~~~~~~~~ Challenge Completed ~~~~~~~~~It was hell out there, the heat, the 4500 metres of climb up the mountains, the altitude, the distance. My result was position 3206 out of 4357 finishers. Consider this in the context that 7000 were entered and many were swept up for not being able to stay ahead of the broom wagon. In my class (40 to 50 years) I was 1213th out of 1644 that finished. I managed the 120 miles, 5 mountains in 43 degrees of heat (the tarmac was melting and tyres were sticking to it) in 10 hours 43 minutes. Myself, my brother (10 hours 4 seconds) and my friend Mike (10 hours 47 minutes) all finished, but there were many who didn't and got a lift to the finish in the broom wagons. I went very well for the first 115 kilometres (first three mountains). I was awesome on the downhills and across the flat between the first two climbs but began to suffer at the top of the third where my brother (who over the winter has been consistently fitter and stronger on the bike than me) caught me. At that point I we were two and a half hours ahead of the broom wagon (the broom wagon travels at a consistent 17 Kph over the course, I finished one and a quarter hours ahead of the wagon at the finish). My brother and I carried on together down the third mountain but he pulled away climbing the fourth. Over a course like this you consume between 6000 and 8000 calories so you need to be taking on food and drink. I obviously messed up on this as I bonked going up the fourth mountain (the body ran out of energy stores and shuts down). I even fell off when I touched wheels with another competitor but as my speed was so slow I simply bruised my knee as I hit the melting tarmac. I can't remember much about the race for the last two mountains. I do remember pain and suffering and I walked a few Kilometers. The walking wore out the cleats on my shoes so only one shoe locked into the pedal over the last part of the fifth mountain which gave me a problem when I tried to ride uphill, but I had such a margin over the broom wagon that it didn't matter. Even Greg Lemond, a recent Tour De France overall winner, only managed 8 hours 41 minutes. The winner, a 29-year-old Frenchman managed 6 hours 29 minutes!!! It will be interesting to see what time the Tour riders do the course in when they ride it next Monday. I will post updated reports on this website (www.justgiving.com/duncansetap) over the next few days as I recover. Pictures of me suffering during the race can be viewed (my race number is 4394) at: http://www.maindruphoto.com/product_info.php?products_id=2075560&cPath=1116_1117&language=en As well as the money raised through the charity site I have other sponsorship and am hoping the HBOS Foundation will match the first £500 raised. Overall this should benefit the charity by over £2000.00. A fantastic figure I think, exceeding my expectations. My wife's reaction, "Now we can sell the bike and get on with our lives". Overall, a once in a lifetime experience, but beware if you are thinking of doing it next year, your life will not be your own between the entry going in and the race.
I have been training now since November 2006 for the 2007 Etap du Tour. This is a ride over Stage 15 of the Tour de France on July 16th 2007, a week before the actual tour professionals go over the same ground. It is a 120 mile ride over 5 Pyrenean mountains with 4500 metres of climb (this is equivalent to cycling over Ben Nevis three and a half times in one day) . Training for this event has dominated our family life this year.
The 120 miles has to be done in under 11 hours and this is the toughest challenge I have ever given myself. My ability to finish is in doubt, however, in order to spur me on I would be grateful if you would sponsor me for a good cause.
This is the toughest challenge I have ever given myself. My ability to finish is in doubt, however, in order to spur me on I would be grateful if you would sponsor me for a good cause.
would be grateful if you would sponsor me for a good cause. I have chosen the White Lodge Centre as the charity that I would like my exertions to support. I have previously done some volunteer work at the White Lodge Centre with my work colleagues and we were impressed by the work they do. In addition to your sponsorship I will also be applying to my employers to match fund donations through the HBOS Foundation.
White Lodge is a specialist children’s centre that offers daily therapy services and nursery education to young children with cerebral palsy or a similar disability. It also supports physically disabled adults in developing interests and achieving individual goals by offering services within a variety of locations.http://www.whitelodgecentre.co.uk/
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Many thanks for your support.