Welcome to HipHipHooray!
Why HipHip?? Because hip replacements give a new lease of life!
I am in the middle of a mid-life crisis (now arguably an old age crisis).
In 2012, after many years of relative inactivity due to a hip problem, I completed an Ironman distance triathlon and raised £2,056 for charity. It gave me the bug for endurance events and in September 2014 I attempted to swim the English Channel, only to be stopped 3 1/2 hours in because of thick fog.
I had another go in July 2016, but it was not to be (again). Unfortunately there was a bigger ‘tidal push’ than expected on the day of my attempt and I was not fast enough to get across the tide. I was stopped after 10 ½ hours having swam approximately 20 miles, but had been pulled off course by the strong tide. On the plus side, I raised £1,666 for Rockinghorse and would like to thank everyone for their generosity.
I am still undecided about whether to have another attempt at the Channel, but if I do it will not be for at least a couple of years as the support boats are booked up so far in advance.
In the meantime, I went back to running and completed the Centurion 100 mile South Downs Way run on 10/11 June 2017. You are allowed 30 hours to get from Winchester to Eastbourne, so for all bar the elites, it involves running through the night and whilst I say run, you walk up the hills. I was delighted to finish in 28 hours 50 minutes, but owe a big thank you to my ‘support crew’, including my brother, daughter and son, who between them ran with me for the second half of the race. A ‘pacer’ was allowed after 51 miles and whilst I had never intended to use them, having had a ‘wobble’ at Amberley 47 miles in because of the heat (it was a fairly hot day), my crew made it clear that someone was going to run with me. The race report is here.
Not for charity this time, just for fun!
I followed this up in late November with a 50 miler in Wendover Woods near Aylesbury. An up and down 10 mile course that you had to do 5 times, with virtually all of the last 2 laps with head torches in the dark. A really tough, but enjoyable event.
It was been a busy and good 2017. The only disappointment was not achieving a sub-4 hour marathon, although I did improve my PB and all told there were 14 runs of marathon distance or more during the year. Not too bad for an old timer, but the bug is still not out of the system. Barring injury 2018 will be even busier!
It has been a busy year so far. I improved my marathon PB at Brighton in April, but still not quite under 4 hours (now just 2 minutes 28 seconds out). Since then I have been unlucky with the weather. First, a 100 mile run along the Thames Path from Richmond to Oxford over the early May Bank Holiday, when incredibly hot conditions meant the sub 24 hour target was almost a non-starter from the beginning and with a 42% drop out rate, I was just pleased to finish. Then the Outlaw ironman distance triathlon in Nottingham at the end of July, this time in extremely windy (40 mph +) and wet conditions and a finish well outside my PB. But they were just warm ups and I now have the main challenge of the year, a double ironman distance triathlon over the weekend of 15/16 September. It is in Snowdonia and involves a 4.8 mile lake swim, then a 232 bike ride (8 laps of a 29 mile route round the base of Snowdon, including a 4 mile climb), following by a 52 mile run comprising a trip up and down Snowdon and then 8 laps of a 5 mile course. It called the ‘Brutal’ for a reason, although having recently done a recce of the bike and run routes, the scenery is also spectacular.
Post Double Ironman Update – September 2018
For the third time this year, extreme weather made an ultra event that much tougher and this time 40 mph+ winds and torrential ran meant that The Brutal Triathlon was dubbed ‘the most brutalist brutal’. But I made the finish line in 41 hours 38 minutes, just inside the race cut-off. The full race report is here.
It’s back to the swimming this year and I am currently building up to a ‘Windemere Double’ attempt on August 28th, subject to the weather. That’s swimming the length of Lake Windemere there and back, a total of 21 miles.