120 Elliot Lewis, GBR
Coach’s remarks: Some if the newbies don’t know Elliot as he travels quite a lot however he’s been with the team for years. I really like your report Elliot as it took a lot of courage to even start the race mate. The race reports may follow a great result or simply document personal experiences – just like that Elliot has gone through here in Sri Lanka. They really show what we are made of as many would have simply pulled out here. For those who don’t know, Elliot was on target and in shape for a 5.15 to 5.20hrs, it just shows you what food poisoning/dirty water can do to you. A brave effort Elliot! Enjoy team…
A huge thank you to JT for all his pre and post-race organization I had not been to Sri Lanka for 20 years and it was great to go back, not much had changed though the airport was new. Coach as always for the painful plans and the pre race talk. The team and especially those who were on the ground who made me finish the Adventurethon!
My internal alarm went off at 0248 when I quickly looked at the neon clock and made a dash for the latrine, not to put too fine a point on it the world poured out of my bottom. A few visits later my alarm went off, so I plodded down the corridor bumping into Guy and Sean who were already kitted up to retrieve our breakfast boxes. After a bit of breakfast it was then down to the transition area to put the final touches to the race kit.
Already at this stage I was in conserve energy mode and sat down on my transition bag and took in the buzz and energy of the transition area, in the quiet hope that everything would stay together for the race.
It was not long until we were making our way into the water, however after that there was a decent wait until the swim actually started. The majority of the T2A team were bunched together and as per the plan I started off following Sean however in the melee I seemed to lose him and found myself alongside JT where I stayed up until the second buoy. While not pushing the swim I was focused on my stroke and felt that it was going quite well. By the time I was between the two top buoys I came along side Guy and took the opportunity to tuck in behind him and tickle his feet. This worked well though at the second to last buoy I felt that Guy was going off course slightly so I veered slightly left. However by the time I got to the last buoy I was back on Guys feet. I was out of the water in just over 38mins so slightly off plan though looking around very much in the thick of the lime green team. After a slow transition I was up the steps and onto the bike (how there were not any injuries on the steps up and down I don’t know, maybe there were).
I decided to throw early caution in transition to the wind and pushed out on the bike with Tim and Guy close by and Sean just up ahead though already by the time I came around the roundabout I knew that all was not great as my gut bounced around as though it were not longer connected stomach, not helped by the uneven round and having to swerve around to avoid dogs busses and other obstacles. As I approached the first bridge I tried a Gu though even a mouthful was rejected which added to my challenges of staying on the bike. It was only at kilometer 21 that I had to break and swerve to get off the bike and paint the road, after that near miss of taking a tumble I thought that it was a better idea to just stay on the bike. Apart from the obvious I rather enjoyed the bike course, it reminded me of riding the streets of London with the odd added extra and it certainly felt like it was a fast course, the only thing was that I was getting slower and slower only able to take down water and depressingly being passed by everyone. In the end I completed the bike course in 3+hrs.
Through transition I thought that I could pick the race up and get back on track going out on sub 5 min k’s. I thought that I would attempt a chomp however that was not working for me and by the first water station I was into survival mode with stomach cramps that were leaving me doubled up. I went up to the turning point and back to the water station where I took a salt tablet and took on as much water as possible as my mouth was like a fur ball. The run was a bit of a haze of pain and emotion however by either the first of or second time of reaching the second water station at the far end of the promenade I was in tears at the thought of not being able to get myself round the 21km and now going at a pace that was off the chart. At this point I found Dr. Coke and water which seemed to work for me however was only at this one water station. After a serious chat with myself to pull it together I trundled from one water station to another buoyed on by all the team, a massive thank you to you all for your support and encouragement. At one stage Sean gave me a good boost however no sooner than I felt as though I was free of the cramps they came back on I reverted to walk mode. On my last lap as Dr. Coke and water was taking effect I managed to pick up the pace a bit and caught up with Liza who was going through the low I had been through earlier, the race was really taking its toll.
At last with the end in sight the clock stuck 6hrs and 38minutes I had crossed the line…