UltraHumps: The Support Crew

Hi Blog Followers

Welcome to Blog # 18.  We are less than 3 weeks to go until “game on” for the first part of the 3+2+1=Charity challenge where I compete or rather complete the “3”, being 3 Half Ironman events over 3 consecutive weekends.  The IronMaori Half Ironman is on Saturday 3 December 2016, followed a week later with the Taupo New Zealand 70.3 on Saturday 10 December 2016, followed a week later with the Rotorua Half Ironman on Saturday 17 December 2016.  All to raise funds for the Children of the Fallen Heroes and the 2+1 component to be tackled in the following months.

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The support crew around UltraHumps after the 10km swim on Day 1 getting him ready for the 145km cycle. © Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

Firstly, a tip from Coach Ray that would have had him smiling and also rolling his eyes back.  I stopped halfway through a training activity only to finish it later in the day.  When cycling on the Expressway (yes cycling is allowed where I was), I became alarmed when my Heart Rate (HR) Monitor was telling my Garmin my HR was going through the roof and climbing, yet I wasn’t applying myself anywhere near that level.  When it eventually dropped down it would race off again and this kept repeating. I put a pause in the training and when I got home my partner indicated I looked okay and suggested I take my pulse manually.  When I contacted Ray, he said the same thing (bugger my partner was right).

If your HR goes through the roof for no reason, Coach Ray correctly suggested check the environment as high voltage powerlines will affect the heart rate reading.  Sure enough I had cycled under a series of high voltage powerlines.  This threw my Garmin out of sync into oblivion.  It did have me seriously concerned to the point where I stopped training as a precaution… only to laugh about it later!

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The Support Crew supporting UltraHumps at the end of the cycle. © Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

This brings me to this weeks photos and dedicating this weeks blog to my Ultraman Australia Support Crew.  Ultraman is a completely different angle compared to an Ironman.  You need your own Support Crew on the course, to give you anything and everything you need to get you from the start line to the finish line.  None of the athletes could have done it without their support crew, yet at an Ironman it is the complete opposite.  You would get disqualified for taking things from a supporter as you can only use the Ironman official Aid Stations.

My team, Coach Ray Boardman, Derrick McMillan and Scott Cordwell, were magic for the three days.  I also had the support of inspirational young Lily who turned up as my safety paddler for the 10km Swim on Day One.   She knew her stuff and kept me in line!

The team witnessed my highs and lows.  The highs being the finish line each day and the lows when I found the dark spots you hear endurance athletes talk about.  I found a dark spot on Day 2 when I mucked up my nutrition plan by consuming not enough nutrition of fluid etc from the start of the 280km cycle (Coach Ray picked up on it immediately and went into action) and on Day 3 during the double marathon when we missed a turn.  It was a minor addition to the distance, but enough to razzle me. Once again Coach Ray was in my ear giving me guidance with his cheeky smile.

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The Support Crew assisting UltraHumps through the final kilometer of the double marathon on Day three. © Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

Thank you to my support team of Ray, Derrick, Scott and Lily.  We had a blast.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

Photos courtesy of Barry Alsop of Eyes Wide Open Images, Official Photographer for Ultraman Australia 2016.

Take care blog followers

Regards UltraHumps aka Humps (John Humphries).

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Crossing the finish line was a team effort. © Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

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