Imagine having to race up the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotlandas quickly as possible on foot. Then add in the necessity to sail between them, and then get to the mountain itself, usually by bike. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? Kieth Harris completed this year’s race, and here is is account of how you can too…
How fit and/or experienced do I need to be?
You can compete at just about any level, there are people that have represented England up at the sharp end and people that walk the whole event. Theres even separate trophies for just about every individual section of the race. Not just for the fastest either, theres the high converted Last Inn cup for the last over all team (inside the time limit) and the Kilma Clogs for the slowest overall on the mountains and the award for the best decorated boat and the raised for charity too.
What training methods would you recommend?
As much or as little as you want/can do really, I ride a bike just about every day and do a few short runs and one long one a week maybe the other odd event here or there too.
What kit would you recommend?
Keeping it light is always nice, theres a fair size kit list on this event. Top tip for this race would be a Blizzard bag else you need to carry a sleeping bag and a survival bag which weighs a lot more and will be bulkier too. In my opinion a Cyclocross bike is perfect for the event. Ive seen a few road bikes in previous years with punctures near Ennerdale, thatll waste you a lot of time.
What were the highs and lows for you during the event?
Light winds and rowing the yacht again!!! Most teams carry oars for when theres no wind some teams are better set up than other with rowing sliders and 4 oars or simple lashings with 2. Some have more success than others too largely based on the weight and style of boat. I can promise you rowing a 36ft 7+tonne boat for hours on end gets hard work! Its the un recognized discipline thats not listed with the sailing running and cycling.
All in, how much would it cost me to do this? How do I organize it? Any logistical advice?
Depends a lot on the boat, if you have/know somebody with a suitable boat who wants to race of find a team in need of a runner then 200-300pp for entry fees, food, fuel etc. If you dont and have to charter a yacht then could be a fair bit more, all depends on how fast a boat you want
Logistics for this race is a major part of the event. First thing a boat and a team the PYR website is good for that or the Sleepmonsters website too. This year due to injury we had to use them ourselves to secure a replacement runner at 2 weeks notice and sailor at 2 Days notice!!!! The physical logistics of getting there and back are always a challenge, I dont have a car so just getting to that start line with my kit for a week and a bit plus my bike is a challenge. Thankfully Ive met a few other races who are local to me who often help. This year my bike and one kit bag was sent up in advance on a yacht leaving the Isle of Wight. Then I had a 6.5 hour train journey from Southampton to Barmouth. Then theres logistics of getting everything back from Corpach near Fort William. I managed to use one of the crews cars to get back to Wales this year where I met up with my wife and friends for the weekend before getting a lift back to Southampton. My bike arrived 3 weeks later and I still have a kit bag currently in Ireland I think! long story. I think that may arrive back in next week, who knows what sort of state that will be in after festering for 4 weeks on the yacht.
What charity did you support and why?
This year we raised 500 split between the BKPA and the RNLI, for my late step Dad who suffered with chronic kidney disease and the RNLI because they did a great job in rescuing our skipper on a training sail last year when a pulley broke and flew striking him in the head leaving him with a nasty gash very close to his eye and a concussion. The RNLI (Barmouth especially) always support and help the race start too.
The acid test: Are you keeping the health and fitness up, and do you plan to do anything like this again?!
Yeah fitness isnt too bad, got a little niggle in my Achilles at the moment which is frustrating me, riding but no running because of it at the mo. Yeah Ive got the bug plenty more planned, next biggish one is the Endurance life Extreme Coast 2 Coast.
Sounds like a great event to have a go at! If you have competed in any events and want to tell your story, check out the ‘How to’ template in our range of article templates. Don’t forget to also have a look at the muchbetter Events Calendar for a whole range of adventure sport events from around the world.
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