My advice for anyone thinking about entering would be to get good waterproofs and never forget it is our privilege to be there, so make sure you enjoy it and stay happy – things will likely go wrong, but try not to get stressed by it!”
I did my first triathlon back in 2005, primarily because I had to do something about my weight & fitness – I had gotten in excess of 120kg and my daily exercise consisted of climbing one flight of stairs to my office. I literally couldn’t run any distance, although I still can’t run! It took me 2 years to be able to run a whole mile.
At the time of those early triathlons, I couldn’t fathom why anyone would do one with an outdoor swim. Now I wouldn’t do one with an indoor swim. I began to take on longer triathlons and ending up doing the Quadrathlon in 2011. My partner for that event, Chris, spotted Celtman and suggest I enter and he would support me. So I duly did, was lucky by getting a ballot slot. Chris ended up emigrating and avoided doing the support!
By now I was doing pretty much every event that Durty Events put on – I love their style of events and their ethos. When Durty Events put on The Heb back in 2016 I jumped at it as it was exactly what I wanted to do and in a place I had always wanted to go.
After doing the first three Heb events, Paul (head cheese at Durty), told me I should do a full fat Adventure Race and it just so happened that ITERA 2019 was in Scotland.
I entered ITERA before even asking anyone to be in my team, I just knew I wanted to experience it. It didn’t take me long to find three other similar individuals – all of whom are veterans & marshalls of many a various Durty Event. We gave ITERA our best shot but we were four novice adventure racers and withdrew after three days of non-stop intense action. We are now much wiser and I will do ITERA again.
The Heb is incredibly special because of the location and challenge of the weather – I just love the Hebrides and that type of multi-sport adventure racing. And there are many, very nice likeminded people. I’d say it is inevitable that you will share a fair amount in common with other athletes, you have after all, entered the event. Everyone goes out of their way to assist anyone else, or even a kitten! [Dave rescued a stranded kitten in this year’s race]
On the beach cycle this year, the sun shone (and the headwind wasn’t too bad) – and when that sun shines on that beach, it is simply majestic! Then there’s the wildness of the hills, when you look down on the Uists’ and you see that they are mainly bog with a few pockets of land – it is mesmerising.
Anyone with a bike and a basic level of fitness could do The Heb just by doing the mandatory check points. I don’t really do event specific training myself, just maintain a good level of general fitness – probably 15+ hours per week
My advice for anyone thinking about entering would be to get good waterproofs and never forget it is our privilege to be there, so make sure you enjoy it and stay happy – things will likely go wrong, but try not to get stressed by it!
I’ve been entering Durty events since the first Durty Triathlon and I’m racing with Paul in the Faroe Islands next year. As I said, I love Durty’s style of event and ethos – it’s about the place, racing is secondary.