Dave Clamp

In November 2008, Dave Clamp completed the Deca Ironman event in Mexico. For anyone who doesn’t know what this is, click here for more information.

The below is a diary he and his family kept throughout his race.

———

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 16:59 — Dave

Hi everyone A’ole makou e ho’ohikwale kela—- rough translation… we wouldn’t want it to be too easy !!!! Everything’s nearly sorted. Recovered from the journey. ( all 25 hours of it). Enjoying our luxury accommodation- looks pretty much like the Strangeways Hotel !! 6 of us sharing a room in 3 sets of bunks and a handy little hike up 4 flights of stairs each time I want a sleep in the race.  the swim is in the fab olympic pool. 50 metres and 10 lanes and only 2 or 3 swimmers per lane. Feeling sorrry for Sally and Sam having to sit through a 12-15 hour swim !!The 2km bike course is great. Flat and good surface.The main hazard being giant kamikaze ducks playing chicken with the cyclists.Emmanuel Conreaux is very confident of breaking the world record. ( 8 days, 9 mins).We were told at briefing that any nudity( we have to use changing rooms to change in transition) would lead to disqualification (it’s a very religious country) and no crapping at edge of road.Temperature is in 70′s at moment , so planning a strategy of 2 hr sleeps perhaps in the heat of the afternoon. They do say that there eill be constant updates on the race site. That’s about it. Time for another beer to drown our sorrows at Bolton getting the weekend off to a bad start against the evil scousers. there are times inour lives when we feel uncontrollably drawn to some dangerous source of misery–most people call it marriage– I have found another route and i get to divorce it in 10 days time ( talking about the race, not Sally of course). Any idiot can do a tri — it takes a special kind

Day 1 Monday, 17 November, 2008 12:50 AM — Sam
Dear All,It is now 18.39pm Mexican time, we are 9 hours and 40mins into the race. Dave/Dad has completed 23,500m on the swim which equates to little over two-thirds of the way through. It has not been without difficulty however, having only just settled our grievences with the lap counter who we have just noticed is now playing solitaire on the computer he is supposed to be counting laps on! Our count on lengths was 12 ahead of the official count which has now caught up after the race-organisers stepped in. So still swimming strong and a consistent 22min kilometres in 4th place. Sam’s projected swim finish time is midnight mexican time, which will be a very respectable 15 hours (although we have learned from many many years of this madness never to speak to soon!) hopefully he will be out cycling when you all wake up and get around to reading this.That is all, the chefs are preparing the evening meal.Goodbye

Day 2 Monday, 17 November, 2008 10:02 AM — Sam
First of all a correction to the last email which falsely claimed the swim to be only 34km not 38. The full 38km was completed comfortably in exactly 17hours and would of been faster if the big girl didn’t insist on a hot shower every hour. We have made it to the bike course in spite of the incompetent police escort who tried to run him over and being struck by a traffic barrier on top of Dave’s bonce. Currently cruising around the course having covered 30km and is set to ride through the remainder of the night. Laugh a minute. We have set up camp complete with kettle and are enjoying a nice cup of tea whilst awaiting the sunrise .Enjoy your collective day at work, in the cold. Love from sunny (soon) Mexico x

Monday, 17 November, 2008 5:41 PM  — Sally 
its now 9.19 am and I have some peace and quite the boys are asleep. I have been up now for a total of 27 hours. Good bit is tho I have just had my first shower in the bathroom alone. Sharing a bathroom – two loos and two showers between 6 is no fun and nether is the mexican plumbing/sewage system. Dave came off the swim and went straight out on the bike course. He was escorted from the pool by police escort to the bike track. Sam and I were in the police car. The police man opened the swing down barrier to let the car through and Dave followed. As Sam watched through the rear view mirror he could see the barrier decending onto Dave’s head – Ouch. But he continued cycling. He went out on the cycle track and did a few laps before we brought him in for a cup of tea at 3.39 am. Sam then went to bed as I continued the night shift. A nice cup of tea and a chat with the girls in our concrete hut all was going well. Dave kept going round and round and smiling at each lap. I guessed he was happy (or putting on a brave face). I checked at around 5.04 am to see how he was doing and the race computer indicated that he had completed 68.18 km (42 miles) so far. Things were going great. Then suddenly at 5.15 am he pulled in and announced he was going to bed. I took his bike of him and off he marched towards our accomodation (prison cell block H has nothing on this place!). I gathered everything I thought we would need and raced after him. Up in the room I got him settled and realised I had left the ibroprofen gel downstairs by the race track. I settled him into bed and return for it. 15 minutes lated I return to Dave and massaged the gel into both shoulders and the tops of his arms and got him into bed. He had now pinched my bottom bunk. So there was nothing for it but for me to climb into the top bunk. I asked him how long he wanted to sleep and he said 2 hours so I set the alarm clock. It was 5.40 am so set alarm for 7.40 am. I must have drifted off slightly and was awoken by Dave writhing around in pain at 7.15 am. He was in a fair amount of pain. He got up and I persuaded him to come with me to see the medic. We saw the doctor who examined him. Nothing broken and he thinks it is all muscular pain. He administered a pain killer and some very smelly gel to be rubbed into the shoulder. This was at 7.30 am and he said that if it was no better in one hour to go back and see him. Well with racing temporarily (I very much hope) out of the question the next best thing was to eat, digest and rest (hopefully sleep). I got Dave back upto the room and settled him before returning to the race track to get food.  When I got back I fed Dave -  At 8.45 am he fell asleep. Now I am sitting outside the room (we only get internet access sitting on the concrete floors on the landings in this prison, sorry accomodation) in a quandary:- He wanted 2 hours sleep pre injury How much sleep should I give him post injury?

Monday, 17 November, 2008 9:46 PM Sally - we are now on tablet number 3 from the doctor and things are going better. He is going great guns again – guess this is what is meant by the term “ironman”  they know how to handle pain. I have just walked to the local 7/11 store which involved playing chicken on a three lane carriage way with mad mexican drivers, survived this and returned with flavoured water and an ice cream for Dave.  He was none too impressed at having to stop to eat it – I don’t know there is just not pleasing this guy at the moment!! But he certainly enjoyed the treat. I am finally surrendering to no sleep and after 34 hours of only 3/4 hour sleep am going to try and go upstairs and get some shut eye so I can take over the early shift tomorrow have my brain fully functional.  Actually Dave would probably disagree with this as he would say my brain was never fully functional in the first place (just cos I cannot do crosswords!).Just to update you on his progress he has currently done 158.8 km and completed 84 laps as at 3.41 pm. The only truth in Sam’s previous email is that the weather is lovely and I think Dave is enjoying his new ipod although he did complain about one of the songs he had to listen to being just noise!   Day 3 Tuesday, 18 November, 2008 8:45 AM-- Sally

you can tell I am bored coz we now have a table to display the results which at 2.35 am stood as follows:

Position Race No Name Km Laps
1 12 Marcel Germany 478 248
2 2 Berto Mexico 478 238
3 11 Kari Sweden 436 227
4 3 Mario Mexico 430 223
5 5 Michael Germany 415 215
6 15 Neil GB 400 207
7 9 Dave Clamp Bolton 394 204
8 4 Guy Rossi France 388 201
9 10 Harn Singapore 365 189
10 1 Manu Conraux – France 354 183
11 8 Antal – Hungary 308 159

Emanuel Conraux has come in for another sleep. Marcel and Berto are both in sleeping.  Kari has had a sleep and has just gone back out on the track.  Michael (currently loved up with a female fellow competitor who is taking part in the quintuple ironman) is asleep (we assume) in his tent with said girlfriend.  Surely he cannot have surplus energy for other activities?!?!?! Neil went off to bed a few hours ago and is planning on taking a 3 hour break.Meanwhile Mr Clamp still pedals on and on and on and on.  Where does he get those duracell batteries from………Its dark here but fortunately not too cold tonight so we are able to keep warm.  There are not many support crew around either at the moment hence the boredom and more emails.

Tuesday, 18 November, 2008 1:21 PM- Sally
Captain’s log star date Tuesday 18th November 07.00 hours. Beam me up Scotty …………  Is this supposed to be fun????  Dave decided to stop and go for some shut eye at 3.35 am this morning so I packed a few things and took him back to the room, just two other people in occupancy at the time (one being Sam) so we had to be quiet.  Got him showered and tucked up in bed and planned to sleep until 5.45 am.   I set my alarm fo 5.30 am as I was dying for a shower. I slept like a brick but Dave said he only dozed – not true I don’t think coz I heard him snoring!.Kicked him out of bed at 5.45 and got him back on the track by 6.30 am.  He is going again. Lesson learnt this morning – the tireder you get the more you forget.  I charged his ipod up this morning and forgot to pack back in the back the holder that he has strapped to his arm so had to return to the room to get it (no fun as it is a bit of a trek and then up four flights of steps) returned got him plugged in to Top Gear Anthems thought they would get him racing round.  Then went to start recording the race info in our diary (which is turning into a bit of a Bridget Jones diary), I had forgotten that too so back to the room to go get it.Dave plans to come in for breakfast at 8 am hopefully they will have the porridge that he liked at 3 am this morning, he will not notice I have reheated it in the microwave. Finally I get a sit down and to update you.  Will go and get the latest info off the computer screen:

Race positions at 7.12 am Tues 18th Day 3

Position Race No Name Km Laps
1 12 Marcel Germany 551 286
2 11 Kari Sweden 530 275
3 3 Mario Mexico 505 262
4 2 Berto Mexico 478 248
5 5 Michael Germany 451 234
6 10 Harn Singapore 440 228
7 9 Dave Clamp Bolton 434 225
8 1 Manu Conraux France 423 220
9 15 Neil GB 413 214
10 8 Antal – Hungary 407 211
11 4 Guy Rossi France 405 210

It’s all getting a little too close but I guess the competition is good for them and makes them not want to stop or give up.

Better go get him breakfast now.

Tuesday, 18 November, 2008 3:19 PM – Sally

Update on Dave’s current position

Sorry just been interupted by an unscheduled pit stop.  He needed a wee and to take some layers off, it’s starting to get hot again here.   It’s now 9.09 and I will go get the race results from the computer to update you.

Position Race No Name Km Laps
1 12 Marcel Germany 597 310
2 11 Kari Sweden 549 285
3 3 Mario Mexico 532 276
4 2 Berto Mexico 503 261
5 10 Harn Singapore 484 251
6 5 Michael Germany 478 248
7 9 Dave Clamp Bolton 472 245
8 1 Manu Conraux France 467 242
9 15 Neil GB 459 239
10 4 Guy Rossi – France 444 230
11 8 Antal – Hungary 425 220

So far so good.

Am waiting for Sam to get up now so I can get off to the supermarket to get fresh supplies.  We are desperate for powerade/high 5 equivalent sports drinks because we now suspect that the stuff the race supply is nothing but cold tea (not very strong) with sugar served cold.

Day 4 Wednesday, 19 November, 2008 7:36 AM – Sally

Just a very quick email to give you an update. We are going to bring him in for a sleep from 2 am until 6 am to give him 4 hours rest.  He is stilll out there pedaling away. Currently he is on lap 428 and 823 km in. I have managed to get 3 hours sleep in the tent and Sam has just headed off to bed now. Hopefully tomorrow both Sam and I will be fully recharged and Dave will be able to continue having rested with another great performance.

Wednesday, 19 November, 2008 2:18 PM – Sally

Well Day 4 and day light. Yesterday was a tough day but today is another day. We hit the 5* luxury tent at just gone 2 am last night.  The air bed was heaven and putting my head down on the 2.50 pillow was wonderful.Although it was noisy outside the tent I soon fell asleep.  I think Dave fell asleep before me but am not sure, he was not snoring but then I think he was too tired to snore.I got up at 5.30 am.  It was very cold, I wrapped up warm.  My preholiday (sorry did I just call this a holiday!) purchase of a North Face Down sleeveless jacket has proved a star purchase.  It is so warm and easy to pull on and off.  Both Dave and  I have used it loads it will need a good wash when I am home.  I made tea for two, got the race results from the computer (thought these might motivate him to get up) and then made hot porridge with honey.  I went back to the tent to wake Dave.  He didn’t want to wake, kept telling me to shut up, shut up, shut up.  I told him I would only shut up if he got up.  This is really tough – it’s really tough for me.  I don’t like to see him suffer but I know it’s my job to keep him going and he would not forgive me for being soft on him. He started to drink some water.  I think he is in fluid deficite from yesterday so tried to encourage him to drink water first and also thought it would help kick start his system.  Unfortunately, he then promptly felt sick and demanded I open the tent door.  Not a good start.  I rushed for the bucket.  He promptly used it!!!  I don’t remember that part of job description clearing up sick etc but hey needs must. I decided that it would be best to get him up and feed him at the table.  Breakfast in bed out of the question.  I removed the food and went back to our base camp.  Neil Kapoor and wife Claire had just got up.  Neil looked a little rough, he is struggling with the start of a cold. I returned to the tent to find it empty, he had taken himself to the loo.  So I seized the opportunity and took everything we needed from the tent and zipped up the door.  He was not going to return to bed.  When he emerged from the gents I wrapped him in aforementioned down jacket and tried to put my woolie hat on him, he has such a big head it didnt fit. He had another in his bike kit tho.  Once he saw the others he perked up and even started the banter with Neil.  Good sign. He managed a whole bowl of porridge and the dioralite I had made up for him to try and get some electrolites back into his system. Re-booted and reclothed he returned to the track at 7.09 am,  It had taken me an hour and 9 minutes to get him back out there.  In total he had taken 5hours out of the race.(He just stopped trackside to remove layers – taken one jacket off and gone down to mits not winter gloves, he is coming in at 9 am to remove overshoes,  The sun has come up now and its starting to get hot.

Race positions 08:10 Wednesday 19th Nov

Position Race No Name Km Laps
1 12 Marcel Germany 1018 530
2 11 Kari Sweden 1005 523
3 3 Mario Mexico 945 492
4 2 Berto Mexico 903 470
5 9 Dave Clamp – Bolton 865 450
6 1 Manu Conraux France 832 433
7 6 Ferenc Hungary 798 415
8 10 Nar Singapore 7792 412
9 15 Neil GB 785 408
10 4 Guy Rossi -France 769 400
11 8 Anatal Hungary 744 38

Wednesday, 19 November, 2008 11:48 PM –Sally – Dave told me this morning at breakfast that he had cycled 560 miles and not changed gear yet.  That just shows you that the course is very flat.  It is perfect for him but must be boring as hell.  I think we will have to change that one sprocket on his gears when we get home as the block he had on his bike was practically brand new and now just one gear will probably be wrecked.  Trip to Royles coming on. Talking of Royles the bike shop in Wilmslow that we use they came up trumps for me today.  At lunch time Dave came in and told me that his bike computer wasn’t working.  The battery had gone.  Typically he didn’t carry a spare.  Honestly you leave a man to prepare for a major race and he forgets such basic things as back up batteries.  I realised that all the info would be scrubbed on the computer in terms of wheel size used to calculate the distances and I didn’t have a clue how to reset it and what size wheels Dave has.  So I emailed Royles and hey presto a reply, thanks guys.  I found a Radio Shack and purchased a new battery.  By 5 pm he was back up and running computer fixed.  All he has to do now is remember to add 650 miles to what the computer says and he knows how far he has gone. Dave started the morning quite slowly just warming up and then really got going chugging round at quite a rate.  He came in for  something to eat at 9 am and had his medical check up.  His blood pressure was a little low and the doctor suggested that he tried to drink more fluid to keep hyrdrated.  Dave also has been suffering from what we think is indigestion,  he was prescribed two Pepto Bismol tablets and another one not quite sure what it was that he had to take 1/2 hour later.  He had quite a leisurely break and was laughing and joking with Neil Kapoor (who insidently was having a bit of a rough morning and still struggling with his cold).  I smothered him in sun cream it was getting very hot. He also told me of the first incidence of seeing things.  Apparently last night one of the traffic cones on the small bridge they have to cycle over became a pussy cat.  He said that it wasn’t bad hallucinations because he knew that it wasn’t a pussy cat and that it was really a cone!! He came in for lunch at 12.30 once he had reacyed his 500 lap target he had set himself. He was still struggling to eat and finding it painful the doctor prescribed Ranisen 150 mg two tablets and another tablet not sure what that one was either. After lunch I left Sam to look after him.  Sam is great at setting targets and banter with Dave keeping him going.  Dave’s mind is like a computer with figures, he knows how far he has gone, how many laps he has done, how long it will take him to do so many laps, how many ironman distances he has completed, and he seems to have settled into a routine of 3 hours cycling and then a break for something to eat and drink. He came in again at 4 pm.  I administered a cold foot bath, ohh the very thought of putting your feet into freezing cold water.  Anyway the compeed plasters have done the trick on his little toes and they are fine.  More vaseline applied socks on, fed and watered he was ready for the off. The boys found out the England Germany football score and decided it would be fun to pin the result to Dave’s back so that he could let the German’s know that we beat them.  I made him a sign and taped it onto the back of his race tabard. He actually waited until Marcel (the German) over took him before he set of like a kid in a sprint to go and overtake him.  Little things.  We will just have to wait for the retaliation, that’s if Marcel has a sense of humor.  At the moment he seems very serious and focused on the race.

Day 4 7:32 am                                                                     BST     Thursday, 20 November, 2008 2:14 PM

Dave is back out chugging round the track, Sam is still in bed and again I find myself with a little time on my hands so here we go with the update. When Dave retired to bed he had completed 636 laps in total that was 202 laps for the day.  Although I  must say it is getting a little difficult to count in days now.  Dave is starting to think in terms of days into the race, ie counting from 9 am on Sunday when he started, I am still on calendar days as I find this easier. When he got off the bike last night he said that he had completed one ironman distance since the reinstatement of his bike computer (thanks again Royles). When I got up this morning at 5.30 the race results stood as follows:  Kari                                  1384 km        721 lapsMarcel                               1336             696Mario                                1281              667Dave                                 1221              636Berto                                 1208              629Manu Conraux                   1141              595Ferenc                               1131              589Neil                                   1039              541Yves                                  1037              540Guy                                     978              509

Day 5 – 20:06 pm

Sam took over looking after Dave for me today at 12.30 ish which left me free to sort stuff out. Today I have been desperately trying to get to grips with some medication that will settle Dave’s stomach and allow him to continue eating and drinking.  The tablets that he was prescribed yesterday by the race medic really seemed to do the trick.  However todays doctor (they work in shifts to provide 24 hour cover) gave Dave something different.  I think I mentioned before that I had emailed a good friend of mine who is a GP in Canada I had been emailing him to check that the medications were safe for Dave to use.  He had a problem at a previous race when he was taking anti inflamatories and ended up in hospital with a very poorly stomach.  We had to make sure that this didn’t happen again.I have double checked his medication with my friend and tomorrow we start on a regime of ranisen and pepto bismol tablets to try and stablise his acid stomach.  This requires timing of medication as one tablet cannot be taken at the same time as the other tablet and they should both be taken before he eats.  With the routine we currently have we should be able to give him one tablet at  8am one at 9 am and then his food at 10 am, then we can give him two more doses of pepto bismol during the day.  Then another dose of ranisen at 10 pm, one of pepto bismol at 11 pm followed by his last meal at 12 midnight.  All this planning is all very well but it does depend so much on whether Dave sticks to eating at those times.  If he doesn’t we go to plan B (not sure what plan B is but will discover this tomorrow if things change). One thing that Dave said to me this morning before he set out at 6:48 am was that ”I have cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats so far all I need to do now is cycle half way back again”

Day 5 – 4:37 am

The game plan changed a little yesterday as when we brought Dave in for food at midnight the winds started to blow.  Well they more than blew more than blew they gusted. We decided it was pointless for him to continue cycling in is as he would expend more energy than necessary so we pulled him in to sleep, hoping that the weather would improve in the early hours. I got him into bed and then tidied up camp and made sure we had everything he needed in the tent for the morning (well I say morning i mean 5 am).  I got into the tent at about 12.30 but couldnt rest the wind was howling and I feared for the tent.  Eventually the rain cover that goes over the top of the tent came off, so I got up and put it back on.  This happened again a few minutes later.  I got up and retrieved the duck tape and secured it down well and truely so that it couldnt blow away again. I was not sure how my make shift repairs would affect the waterproofness of the tent (in fact we do not even know if the tent is waterproof). I lay there, Dave was asleep and snoring, wondering if the tent would hold out, I thought that the only thing keeping it on the ground was our combined body weight.  I didnt sleep at all maybe 20 minute or so and finally gave up at 4 am and got up. Kari – Sweden    Finished the bike and now on the run    7 km 3 laps Marcel                                1794            935           +94David                                  1614            841              0Berto                                   1600            834           -7Mario                                  1575            821           -20Ferenc                                 1554            810           – 31Manu Conraux                     1531            798           -43Yves                                    1394            726Neil                                      1353            705Antal                                     1305           680Guy                                      1302           678

Day 6 – 7:18 am This is definitely my favourite time of day.  Only a few of the competitors are out on the track so trackside is quite and peaceful.  It can get a bit much all the banter all day long.  We have a lovely Canadian competitor and his support crew of 3, they are all great people but boy are they loud.  Having said that they probably say the same about us.Mario has now finished the bike and Dave is on 1656 km lap number 863, he is cruising round the course with Neil Kapoor chatting away.  In fact he didnt want to stop to take on board his first set of tablets so I had to run along side him and hand them over so that he could keep up with Neil.  Anyway he has them and we are hoping that the new medication will do the trick. Excuse me if I am repeating myself I am very, very tired and need to get some shut eye.  However, I shouldnt be complaining because I cannot imagine how Dave is feeling. However, he did get some sleep last night unlike me but he said he slept in small chunks. Anyway as promised the food diary for yesterday.  As one day just seems to run smoothly into the next it is difficult to cut off between on day and another.  As I have mentioned previously the boys (Sam and Dave) are talking in race days, ie day 1 being Sunday 9 am until Monday 9 am, I am still talking in calendar days so there has been slight confusion in the race diary that both Sam and I are keeping so that we can log what is going on and use it to communicate to each other as we swap shifts. If I give you and idea of his food intake from the 24 hours after we got up on Thurday 120th -yesterday: 6.25 am    1 large bowl of porridge with honey on it                 a mug of tea                 2 pancakes with maple syrup (like dropped scones rather that thin pancakes) and yummy!8.20 am     Refilled bike water bottle with about a litre of water9.00 am     1 banana10.00 am   Dave stopped for a meal of 3 egg scrambled eggs on 2 slices of toast                  1 mug of coffee                  daily vitamin intake of 2 A-Z vitamin pills, 1 omega 3 oil tablet, 1 omega 6 oil tablet, 1 echinacea tablet    1 diorolite mixed with water as Dave is currently not taking on any sports drinks which contain electrolytes                  1 cup full of rice pudding sprinkled with sugarBy this point he had cycled 51 miles that morning.at 10.20 am Dave had his medial and I have already given you the results of these so wont repeat myself 12:13        Dave took another bottle of water again a large 1 litre bottle.13.00       A salt tablet, Anti acid pills, water bottle and High 5 gel14:00       Dave stopped for a meal of a place of rice (green in colour), boiled potato, and a meat, carrot and potato stew                He had flattened full fat coke to drink                Sloppy ice cream (the freezer here is very suspect) with a crumbled up donut in it                1 salt tabletI have a feeling that he may have taken on more water between 14:00 and 19:00 but it has not been recorded in the diary.19:00       Dave stopped for a meal of jacket potato, with tuna, mayo and sweetcorn lots of                A cup of tea                Fresh Strawberries and a yoghurtAgain more fluid will have been given to him but has been unrecorded12:00 midnight  Dave came in for a meal of hot dog in a bun with ketchup                 2 pancakes with strawberry jam                 a cup of tea                 and a cup of rice pudding with sugar on top. From here he would normally continue until 2 am cycling but because of the wind we called it a day.

Day 6 – 2:43 pm

great excitement as Sam announced that Dave had two laps to go on the bike.We got all his stuff ready as he had announced that he wanted to take a shower.  We had managed to borrow keys to a ground floor room with a shower to save him the walk up 4 flights of stairs. I gathered together the run kit, wash bag, towel, vaseline, compeed for his toes and ibuleve gel for his knees.  Sam was to meet him trackside and direct him on his bike up to the building where the rooms are, it was quicker and easier for him to cycle.The relief on his face as he swung his leg over his bike for the last time (or so he thought!).  I rushed him (well I say rushed we walked and he is walking remarkably well considering he has never cycled more that 1000 in a month let alone 1800 km in 5 days) to the room.  He was visibly relieved and couldnt wait to get into the shower.  He did wince a little as the hot water hit his backside, but considering what he has just done he has got off remarkably lightly with just one sore on his left cheek.He declined a shave as he just wanted to get on with the run.We returned to the track and he set of on his first lap.  The first lap is a mini lap to make up the total distance of 1886 km.  So he passes over the timing mat runs in the same direction as the bike and then round a cone to start running clockwise round the circuit. OH MY GOD !!!  Team Canada informed Sam that he had been pulled off the track 2 laps early on the bike.  He had completed 936 laps and not the 938 laps required for the Deca.  PANIC. Sam ran after him, the officials acted quickly and agreed that he could complete the mini lap come back and jump on his bike and do the two laps before commencing the run again.  I suppose you could say that he has just done a little duathalon in the middle of the Deca.Thankfully I had brought all his bike kit back to the trackside to sort and his bike was with us too.  I got his shoes, helmet and bike and Sam ran after Dave at top speed.I then double checked with the officials exactly what they wanted him to do with regard to the timing mats.In case you are unfamilar with how they count laps and times, Dave carried a chip on his bike that bleeped every time he went over the mat on the track, when he starts running he carries another chip on his running shoes that does exactly the same.  What we didnt want to happen was for Dave to either not cross the mat when he should have done resulting in him having to run another 2 km or for him to run over the mat an extra time giving him an extra lap that he hadnt physically run and meaning he would be short of the total distance and disqualified. I was very sure of the instructions given to me and when Dave returned on the bike after his two laps we made sure he passed over the mat as instructed. Panic over everything back to normal.  The only time he has lost is in completing two transitions.  Lets hope that at the final finish line he is not beaten by someone by 5 minutes as I guess that is what we have lost in the two additional transitions.I could say something here like – the boys were in charge of laps, distances, times, targets, goals, counting etc, etc but that would be cruel. We are a team and in this together. We have worked out where the error came from though.  We were  not working off the offical description of the event that each competitor was given at the beginning of the race.  Instead the boys had taken the number of laps that the quintuple competitors have to complete and had doubled it to give 936 laps (quintuple only have to do 468 laps in total).I have now found the race guidelines and both Sam and Dave now know that the run is a total of 223 laps and a distance of 422 km. Dave is looking awesome in the run and is again cruising.  He needs to slow down a bit we think but he will I am sure after his first marathon.We are on the home straight now just 10 little marathons

Day 6 – 8.12 pm

Dave has relaxed into the run so much so that he has just completed his first marathon.  He has now adopted the long distance shuffle but is making great progress.Emanuel Conraux has just 7 laps left to complete on the bike before he too sets off running but at least Dave has a one marathon head start on him.  Dave still sees Emanuel as his major opposition.  He recons that Kari and Marcel will fade towards the end of the run.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for him.I have been very inaffective all afternoon. Am suffering from little to no sleep and my brain now functioning at less than 15% !!  I dont like to keep telling you how I feel because I know that there is someone out there running 10 marathons who must feel 100 times worse than me. Anyway Sam has largely taken over looking after Dave for me today, I managed an hours sleep this morning between 10.30 and 11.30.  The we had the excitement of the start of the run, the bike laps error.  Sam then discussed Daves tactics for the run.  He wants to eat little and often.  His usual when doing the Triple is to pick up food every lap from a table at the side of the road.  I would very much prefer him to come in and eat every 3 hours and eat a proper meal but he says he finds it difficult to run on a full stomach.With that in mind we reassessed what we had in the way of suitable food and decided we had very little. So, joy, a trip to the supermarket again!  I went with Michele one of the athelete who came second yesterday in the quintuple.  She is quite a lady and a real insiriation.Anyway before I left I put my phone on charge as there was very little battery left and when I returned it had gone.  It looks like it has been stolen.  I cried, partly because I was tired and more importantly because this is the only means of communication I have been using with Viki my daughter, the loss of the phone was like losing my link home to her.  However, after a few tears and a phone call to orange to disable it so noone else can use it I decided it is only a phone and in the scheme of things is nothing.  I have reported the theft to the police and have asked them for a report.  There is a possibility that I will have to go to the police station to file the report, however I will not be leaving the track until Dave has finished.  I also know that orange require that a report be filed within 24 hours of the theft or they will not cover the claim. If I have to go to the station to make the report this will not be done within 24 hours so it looks like I will have to bear the cost of a new handset.  Not only that but it has all my notes and thoughts on the Deca within its memory.More importantly I now have no alarm clock to wake me up.  Not a good day all in all.Dave came in for a pit stop after his first marathon and I tended to his feet, replacing one of his blister plasters and recoating his feet in vaseline.  He said that his ankles are a bit sore so I have applied Ibuleve to them and to his knees.  I then gave him a quick quad, hamstring and calf massage.  All in all his leg muscles dont feel too bad the worst ones seem to be his left hamstrings which was rock solid.  After a few minutes of massage I could feel these muscles relax.I took Dave though a few 3 D stretches (I havent just put that in for your benefit Elaine and Jowsie!! (my work colleagues)).  He now knows the 3D Hamstring stretch and also a rotational lower back stretch.  He seemed physically looser as he left the camp and shuffled his way off into the dark.I have told him that I desperately need some shut eye so we have loaded up his table and he knows that I will be in the tent, if he needs me or wants anything he will come and wake me up.  This seems really cruel to leave him to his own devices but if I dont get some rest soon I will be even more useless to him tomorrow. We have also moved the tent today as I am not sure whether it is waterproof.  It is now a bit further down the course and is under a roofed tented construction with open sides, if it does rain it will keep the worst of the wet out.I have one more email to send tonight – one to Orange to explain why I will not be going to the police station to make a report.  I just hope that they can bend their rules a little bit as at the moment we have a potential UK deca ironman world champion to attend to.  I hope I havent spoken too soon and a lot can happen between now and the end of the race but I know that Dave is trying his hardest and cannot do any more at the end of the race the best man will win whoever that maybe because these guys (and two girls) are trying like you cannot imagine.

Day 7 – 6:38 am

I am feeling loads better having had lots of sleep I feel human again and the brain is now working at maximum capacity (however that is only about 80% of most peoples maximum!).Sam was an absolute star yesterday taking the pressure right off me and looking after Dave most of the day allowing me to shop and rest.  Sam woke me up at just gone 12.30 midnight.  I managed to get Dave into the tent and changed into something to sleep in.  I also managed to stretch his hamstrings, calves, hips and glutes of both legs as he lay on the airbed.  He turned over for a quad stretch and found turning over difficult he was very stiff.  Ibuleve (now on the mexican version that has added methol) applied to knees and ankles and we also removed his socks to allow his feet to breath through the rest period.  He was safely tucked up in bed by 12.58 am and Sam set Daves phones alarm clock for me to wake up at 4.30.  We had all decided to allow him 4 hours sleep so he would need to get up at 5 am. Sam got the race positions from where Dave had taken a break and they were as follows: Kari                       101 km               53 lapsMarcel                     78                     42Dave                        76                     41   (2 Marathons into the race)Mario                       42                     22Berto                        29                     15Manu                        16                     8Ferenc                       16                    8Yves                    1696                   884       still on the bikeNeil                      1646                   858 When Dave was asleep – seconds after being tucked up  I went to remove my contact lenses and get him a jacket in case he was cold during the night.  Big lesson learnt – never remove contact lenses after having handled mexican ibuleve ouch it stung and hurt and made my eyes water, not going to do that again in a hurry.I returned to tent to retire, I have been trying to get Dave to sleep with his feet elevated (a good bit of advise from Tony Fisher thanks Tony)  I used the spare sleeping bag and managed to get his feet really elevated and they stayed there all night which is good.  He slept soundly and snored loudly.  He was quite chatty when he came to the tent and was having his stretches.  He commented that his stomach had not troubled him at all during the day.  Hopefully we have cracked the stomach issue and he will be able to continue to eat well.The critical thing for Dave today is to eat and drink well as he has several more days of racing we cannot allow him to go into calorie deficite nor get dehydrated.  If he will not come in to eat big meals we are going to have to encourage him to eat little and often and also drink plenty.The forcast for today is 12 degrees with a few showers.  Perfect racing conditions for him. I got up at 4 am and got a race update: Kari                    120km        63km    an    increase of 10 laps overnight   Marcel                  97             51                       + 10 Dave                    78             41                          0Berto                     52            27                       + 5    Mario                    52            27                        +12Ferenc                   41            21                       + 13Manu                    35             18                       +10 Yves, Neil and Guy still on the bike

I then made breakfast of porridge, tea and pancakes.

I got Dave up at 5 am.  He took a few minutes to come round but got up without a word of complaint, so different from Day 1, I suppose he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and knows that the end of the race is not too far away now.  Got him dressed and he went off to the loo.He sat down for breakfast and managed the porridge and tea, declined the pancakes as he said he didnt want to run on a full stomach.  I also got him to take a diorolite and a salt tablet.  I attended to his feet, reapplying compeed to his toes and vaselining them throughly.  Also a reapplication of ibuleve gel to ankles and knees.  He was off and running at 6 am. In fact he wasnt just running he was positively sprinting – 1st lap in about 13 minutes, 2nd lap in 14 mins. He has just stopped at the race screen which gives the atheletes real time updates and he is 90 km into the run now having completed 47 laps again his last lap took him 14 minutes.  He had a smile on his face when he told me he had just over taken Manu Conraux on that last lap :-) ! Well thats about it so far today.  I will await Sams return to trackside but after his efforts yesterday I have told him he can have a lie in and I will take care of Dave until  he is ready.One think I may do today is just to double check the exact number of laps and distance he needs to complete for the run section ?!?!Oh and I have managed to charge Daves phone and Viki now knows that I have no phone and if she needs me she can call me on Daves number.  In the grand scheme of things it is only a piece of plastic that can be replaced, an inconvenience I could do without but right now we have more important things to attend to – like winning this race !

Day 7 – 8.02 am

Dave just completed lap 51 and moved into 2nd place overall

Day 7 – 9:43 am

Dave is currently on lap 57 and this was a 13 minute 46 seconds lap.  I am a bit concerned that he is going too fast and will burn out quickly, however, I have to bow to his superior knowledge in these events and trust that he knows what he is doing. He has just made a pit stop for 2 fried eggs on toast and coffee.  He has also taken his vitamins. Conraux is now on lap 35 but completing them in 11 minutes 41 seconds.  The complete results look like this:  Kari              Lap 71               taking 20 mins 47 secondsDave                    57                         13 mins 46 secsMarcel                 52               taking 5 hours, 54 minutes – he has just had a sleep and just returned to the track to carry on runningMario                   42                        15 mins 10 secsManu Conraux     35                          11 mins 41 secsBerto                   30                          12 mins 19 secs Its a waiting game now for us to see how long he can keep this up and how long everyone else can keep going too.

Day 7 – 12:49pm

Dave has just made a pit stop for lunch and gone back out on the track with a big smile on his face as he has just found out that Bolton have won 3-1 away against Middlesborough.He is still going great guns and is still running – well shuffling – but definitely not walking. He had 3 potato/cheese and spring onion cakes, carrots and tomato spagetti, woofed it down together with an watered down apple juice and a few sips of a yoghurt drink.He has also just had his medical – blood pressure stands at a perfect 110/80.  Whilst in the medical tent we found Emanual Conraux lying on a bed with an ice pack applied to his left leg just above the ankle.  He is obviously in pain.  Its funny because Dave has also been complaining of feeling tender in this area.  We have been warned that this does tend to happen over these distances and eventually it will have to be strapped with an elastic bandage.  Manu is holding off having the strapping applied until it is absolutely necessary. For all the Bolton Tri Club, I have been asked if he has any of his tri kit out here to wear.  I have hunted through hs race kit and the only thing I can find is the Rivington Triathlon 2008 T Shirt. He is currently wearing it with pride, unfortunately he has to wear a race bib which covers it up but he knows he has it on.I have tended to his feet again.  He has had a foot bath, replacement compeed and has now changed shoes into the next size up.  He usually wears a sice 8 he is now in a size 9 just for comfort.  We do not have another pair of trainers in the next size up but we do have a pair of sandels and it necessary Sam has a spare pair of trainers (size 12!)  Lets hope his feet don’t swell to that size.  I have also applied more ibuleve to the knees and ankles. At the start of the run today, Dave kept stopping at the race positions board to have a look and se where he was up to and where everyone else was. I was sitting some distance away observing.  I timed his first stop 20 seconds and then his second stop was 40 seconds.  I did some maths:- If Dave was to stop for 20 seconds at the race board every lap 20 seconds x 223 laps = 4460 seconds divide by 60 = 74 minutes extra time would be added to the race If Dave was to stop for 40 seconds at the race board every lap40 x 223 = 8920 divide by 60  = 148 minutes  thats 2 hours and 28 minutes extra that he has to race. It’s amazing how these stops soon add up to big times over such a distance. I have been out and had a little jog round with him but not a full lap.  At last I can run at his pace it has taken 24 mile of swimming and 1800 km of biking and 3 marathons and I can run with him !  How bad a runner am I or should I just say how great a runner is Dave? It is still to early to even try to predict the outcome of this race there is still a long way to go and there will be ups and downs.  Some of the other competitors look like they are struggling but then a few laps later they look strong again.  All we can hope is that Dave can keep going and going and going. He seems to have now changed his strategy of eating whilst running round.  I think when he came in at 9 am and ate fried egg on toast he felt really good again when he went back out running, maybe we have convinced him that this is the way to go.  However, one thing we have all learnt during this race is that you cannot plan anything you just have to go with what seems to be right at the time. I am going to grab a shower again now as Sam is here to take over and then I get to do the washing. Fun at the Funny Farm

Day 7 – 8:32pm

Well it has been another busy day at the track. Dave is currently on lap 55 km into the run thats 4 marathons and a bit!  Since this morning he has done 49 laps or 77 km.  He will not thank me for telling you this but he is now starting to feel the pain.  He has pain at the front of his left shin near the ankle.  We were told to expect this and he would have to wear a support bandage.  As at 2 pm this afternoon he had not taken a single pain killing drug, for aches and pains.  The only pain killers he took were on Monday morning for his shoulder. He came in for food at 7 am and had a jacket potato, tuna, mayo and sweetcorn, a cup of tea and a cup of rice pudding.  Also a diorolite and a salt tablet.   He is very very stiff and in a fair amount of pain.  I had to tend to his feet again and it appears that he has another blister on his little toe on the left foot so more compeed applied.  I also stretched him whilst he lay on a very narrow bench.  We tried to get him back out moving quickly so that he wouldnt cease up.  He walked the next two laps one with me and one with Sam. We talked about pain killers and I agreed to let him have one at 9 am.  He had previously taken paracetamol at 2 pm and 6 pm.  So he will take a Co-Dydramol at 9 pm.  He is desperate to complete as many laps as possible before 12 midnight so that he can maintain his position in the race.  He said that if he couldn’t run again tonight he would have to stay up all night and walk it so that he could increase his lap count.  I would rather he got 4 hours rest so the only solution is to let him have the painkillers at 9 pm.  This race has become so important to him and he has done so well so far I really don’t want to let him down.  Its a hard call but I know that at midnight he will come in for a rest and will not have to take any more pain killers until hopefully sometime after lunch tomorrow. Conraux crew guy told me today that Conraux hopes of podium position and world record are now out of the question because of his injury.  One of the hungarian guys has really got to Dave today and to a lot of the other runners out on the course.  He has been cutting corners and coming into the lane used by all of the runners, particularly on one blind corner.  It is making it dangerous as most of the runners are running head down and not looking ahead.  They have made a complaint to the organiser and we now think he has been told. Dave told me today that the purchase of the expensive assos shorts had been one of the best purchases he had ever made for his sporting endeavours. Thanks Royles for all your help and advice in getting him kitted out with the right gear. Sam has just come back to tell me that Dave is now sprinting again! Oh my god how does he do it.  He now thinks that he was short of fuel and is feeling great again.  He now wants rice pudding at 9 pm.  We are not sure if he wants this as well as the pain killers or instead of the pain killers.  Hopefully he will forget about his pain and the need for medication and just take on some rice pudding.  He has asked Sam how far ahead Mario is on the track so that he can sprint past him to demorolise him!!!! Way to go. Sam as usual did the day shift whilst I tended to some washing and yes went to that supermarket again.  Dave’s phone is getting low on charge so I need to go and get the charger and either plug it in in the room which means a hike back to the building up four flights of stairs and then back again later to pick it up.  I have to have the phone for the alarm call to wake me up.  Could you imagine the phone running out of charge in the middle of one of his rest periods meaning that I didnt wake him up 4 hours later and we oversleep and lose the race. I had better go and get the charger and get it sorted now. I have missed my early evening snooze so it looks like I will only get 3 and a half hours sleep again today.  I will pay for it again tomrrow!

Day 8 – 5:16am

He is back out walking and now in a fair amount of pain.  We pulled him in for his 4 hour break at 10.35 pm last night as one of his blisters burst on his left little toe.  I removed the compeed dressing and we let it breath over night. I woke him up at 2.30 am and gave him breakfast and dealt with his feet.  They are not too bad on the whole but his right little toe was now hurting I removed the protective compeed to reveal the most enormous blister.  I had to lance this with a needle and syringe – yuk.  The feet are not re dressed and the pain produced from his feet is now tolerable (tho for me I would still be unable to walk let alone shuffle). Our biggest problem at the moment is that Dave seems to be suffering from what I think is shin splints on the left leg.  He has a patch of red, hot, very tender and a little inflamed patch lower down the shin.  I have made him a make shift ice pack to wear whilst he completes the next lap. He still has about 130 miles to go and I really feel for him.  I wish I could just lend him my legs to finish the race. Kari hasnt made much progess over night I guess he is hurting too. Marcel has taken back 2nd place and seems to be going well,  Mario is behind Dave although Dave and Marcel are questioning whether he really has done 10 laps from 2.09 am when I last took down the results to now 5.22 am especially since his last lap was completed in a time of 29:51 and Dave just walking did his in 19:04.  Dave is convinced that Mario hasnt passed him that often. Today is going to be a long and painful day for Dave.  I have sought advise from Daves GP Stuart who is currently away on holiday in Thailand (thanks Stuart) and also from my GP friend in Canada (thanks Dave) they have now been officially appointed as Team Clamp Medical Advisors in a unanimous decision by ME !!!  I dont think there is much that can be done but they maybe able to offer some advice on pain relief.  I have already checked out the NHS direct medical site to see what it recommends and yes you guessed it rest.  Well unless Dave gives up on the race that is not going to happen, not until he crosses the finish line, It is incredibly difficult for me to watch him suffer and be in pain, but I know that this is his personal battle with his body. All I do know is that he is giving this 110% and he will try to get to that finish line, I just want to get him there in one piece. Must go as I have to go get something to eat, I have a long day ahead of me.

Day 8

Dave is fine – nothing that rest, ice, compresion and elevation would not heal and there will definitely be no long term damage.  However, I know that Dave intends to finish this race and I am certain he will if he can.  He came in on Lap 108 after I had put in an SOS call to Sam to come down from the room with more compeed.  As you know Dave has been limping round since yesterday evening. Anyway he was in so much pain with his shin that I took him to the medic, with his agreement of course.  The medic took one look and said – Oh yes this is very common, you need to rest, ice and elevate it.  She has applied an elastic bandage and told him to rest for at least half an hour.  There are also signs of bruising and inflamation starting on his right leg too so she bandaged that.  Dave agreed to rest it and I have taken him back to the tend and tucked him up with both feet elevated (as I have done every night for him) I have also applied an ice gel pack to it to try and reduce the pain. I had emailed 3 doctors for their help and have had a reply from Dr Walley in Canada (my friend to whom I am indebted to and will repay with a pint of Robinsons at the Railway pub, a roast lamb dinner and home made bread and butter pudding with condensed milk – his favourite meal, I owe you Dave when you next visit the UK).  He has said that it could be shin splints, medial tibial stress syndrome or a stress fracture  of the tibia.  I am hoping for the one of the first two as if it is a stress fracture it seems very unlikely that Dave would be able to complete the race due to the shear pain involved.It is reassuring to know that I am doing all the right things for Dave to try and make it better, ie, gel, bandage, elevation etc,etc. He has stopped at lap 108 205km in.  He has to do 422 km and 223 laps so he will have to complete 217 km and 115 laps.  I am not sure if there is anything in the rule book that says you cannot complete the race on crutches???  We will do our best but at the moment we are praying! I would just like to share with you the spirit of this race amongst the majority of the competitors. You may have guessed by now that Dave and Emauel Conraux are very competitive with each other.  And Emanual has been struggling right from the start of this race. This morning when Dave set off on his first lap at about 3 am – 3.30 am Emanual was sitting at the side of the track resting.  He could see that Dave was struggling.  We walked past and Manu came to join Dave for a lap.  It was quite a picture both of them hobbling along giving each other moral support in French of course.  At about 3/4 of the way round this lap Dave had offered Manu his ankle support bandage to see if it would help and Manu had accepted.  I just marvel at how competitive these guys are and yet at the end of the day they will help each other as much as they can so that each athlete can finish. This race to me is more about personal achievement than racing to get to the podium.  I have just been comforted by Michele who came second in the quintuple.  She has suggested that when Dave starts again that he trys walking on the grass to reduce the stress. It looks almost certain that it is game over as far as getting a podium position which is where I know Dave wanted to be.  But on the positive side the cut off for the race is either Saturday or next Sunday before the awards ceremony at 12.00 noon.  We have 7 days to walk, hop, hobble, those 217 km.

Day 8

Just as I had finished sending the last email I got a shout from some of the competitors to say that Dave had stopped half way round the course and couldn’t move. I went to get him, he was with Claire, Neil Kapoor’s partner. We headed straight to the medical tent again, the bandages were removed and ice applied.  They think he may have an infection in his shin as well as the muscle tears. He has been prescribed a pain killer (Stuart and Dave – he has got Voltaren SR 75 mg, is he ok to take those with his delicate stomach as someone has told me it is a NSAI which could agrivate his stomach lining?) he has to take these twice a day.  They have also prescribed Ciproflox 3 x daily. Ice every 2 hours and rest elevation and compression. It looks very much as if he will not be able to continue if the pain is as bad as it is at present.  However, I have just overheard him talking to one of the other support crew “I have only got 5 marathons left to do and I could do one a day”.  We will have to wait and see. I don’t think I will be updating for a while, hopefully Dave will take a rest and I will be able to get some shut eye too.  I don’t function well on 2 hours sleep a night! Sorry everyone but if we start again I will let you know. Day 9I managed to get Dave to the computer last night to relieve the bordom and help him come to terms with what has happened. He then slept very well, and yes he got tea and biscuits in bed again!!!  He is getting too used to this treatment. Anyway he managed to get up for breakfast, toast and ceral. We have not disasterously run out of PG Tips tea bags   :-(  We tried the local tea but its yuk.  I can tell that Dave is now more rested because for the first time since he started the race he complained about the tea!  We are now on coffee. We have visited the medics for the next installment of antibiotics.  The doctor couldn’t speak very good english so we ended up having a conversation with an interpretor on a mobile phone! The outcome of todays visit to the doctors is that she says that the antibiotics he was given yesterday were the wrong ones and she wanted to try another, however she did not have them so we would have to go and find a doctor and take a note with us to get the drugs.  I was not impressed.  The drugs miraculously appeared later thanks to the race director here who sent a driver to go and get them. As he will not be racing/walking today I have removed all the compeed plasters from his toes (and taken photos for the album!).  The medic has cleaned them all with what looked like iodine and then washed them down.  She has applied a very tight elasticated bandage to his bad leg.  She has given us instructions to return to the medical tent at 4 pm.  She has also said that if the leg is not better in 12 hours from taking the new antibiotic we would be taking a trip to the hospital.  Mere and Fred (Dave’s mum and Dad) please don’t worry about Dave he is in good hands and I am sending emails to the newly appointment members of Team Clamp – my three medical contacts, Stuart Shaw, Dave Walley and the fellow deca ironman Tony Fisher all of whom have been a great help in checking that the medication that he has been give is correct. Dave is currently lying on the airbed in the shade watching the race.  In fact I have just got him settled and he has just made another complaint – I smell !?!  Cheers thanks for that Dave.  I haven’t left his side for the last 48 hours trying to make sure that he was ok so time to myself for a shower or a wash has been out of the question, and I have also been far to tired to even face the 4 flights of stairs to get to the shower.  However, I will take another positive from this – he is complaining therefore he must be feeling better.

Day 9 6:29PM

There seems to be a lot of improvement in Dave’s condition today.  We now have the correct anti biotics for him and he has been taking them since lunch time.  He is in a lot less pain and the redness and heat have almost dissappeared.  His leg is still slightly swollen though. For most of today he has been relaxing on the airbed in the shade at the side of the track, reading, watching and generally bantering with the competitors, telling them to go faster.  He even asked Yves if he fancied a bike ride this afternoon!!!  Dave also managed to climb the four flights of stairs so that he could at last have a shower and a shave.  He looks much much better. He has been told to keep the leg elevated and to rest and to return to the medics in the morning.  I can see just a little glint in his eye and I believe he is now thinking that if things continue to improve at such a speed he will be back in the race.  Although he will no longer be in a race he will just be in it to get over the finish line.  However, Dave has also said that he doesn’t want to make anything worse than it already is so if there is a chance of agrivating the leg more I think he will be resigned to not completing the deca. We will again just have to wait and see.

Day 10

We have had two finishers to the race, Marcel finished first last night followed by Kari.  According to eye witnesses (sorry I was not among them too busy looking after Dave at the time) He wobbled over the finish line to the sound of a band, they sat him down in a chair and he couldn’t help just falling asleep.  One has to wonder – WHY they do it. It’s a question I have asked myself since I have arrived here in Mexico and I still haven’t found the answer but the more I look at it the more I am convinced that there is no answer to that question. I have just been over to the medics tent where Kari is receiving treatment for his feet.  Yuk they are a bit of a mess. Dave’s feet in comparison are fine.  But then he has only done 5 marathons!

Day 10 14:42PM

Welcome to the roller coaster ride of Deca Ironman racing!!

Dave is back out on the track.

He has just recorded his new personal best lap time of 49 hours, 42 minutes and 40 seconds, however he assures me that he took no short cuts during this lap.  He also said that if he continued at this pace he would still be walking round at the start of next year’s Deca! I have now beg, stollen and borrowed some tubi grip bandage from Arthur Puckring to act as a compression bandage on his slightly swollen leg.  His shoulder seems to have eased after he managed to get some sleep this morning. We have had lunch of chicken and vegetables, followed by pancakes and coffee.  What I would give for another packet of PG Tips tea, we brought out 80 and they only lasted us a week! Dave is now lying in 12th place on 214 km and on lap 113.  That means that he only has 100 laps to go and 208 km (130 miles) its going to be a long walk. Again looking on the bright side, provided the infection doesn’t get worse and continues to clear up with the antibiotics, he has the advantage over the other competitors in that he is fresh having had two days rest and lots of sleep.  So he is mentally up to it, his legs have had a little rest. Again a waiting game to see what happens.Slowly, slowly with lots of TLC.

Day 10 7:03PM

Dave is still walking and had completed 12 laps between 1.10 pm when he started and 6.15 when he cam in for something to eat.  He had saute potato, what look like a frankferter sausage stew and rice pudding together with a cup of tea.  We have now worked out the mexican tea and make each cup with 2 tea bags which makes it just about acceptable. I have looked at his feet again and they seem to be doing really well just one small blister starting on the outside of his big toe on his left foot. Compeed applied, vaseline reapplied and socks and shoes back on and off he went. It’s a fantastic feeling for us now that Dave is back in the race.  Although we had not said anything to Dave when he had to stop Sam and I also shared in his dissapointment at having to pull out of the race two days ago.  In fact once I had got him settled after he stopped I had to take some tiime out to myself to pull myself together so I walked a lap on my own.  Whilst Dave was out of the race it was strange being here around all the crew that are so dedicated to looking after their athletes, I felt as if I didn’t belong here any more as I no longer had role, other that to ensure that Dave made a full recovery. Now that he is back walking Sam and I have a purpose and it releves the bordom. Dave is determined as I knew he would be to see this thing through and all being well, with no more accidents, catastrophies, incidents, illnesses he will get through to that finish line. Neil Kapoor is doing ok but is aching and cannot wait to finish.  I think he is going to take two short naps and try and keep going throughout the night in order to get to the finish.

Day 11 4:58AM

Team Clamp is back in action for a second day of walking the distance. Dave got up at 3.30 am and made his way down to the track.  I got up but showered before I came down (we had gone up to the room to sleep last night).   When I  got down Dave had already sorted his own feet out and I understand had got his own breakfast.  He is back out there plodding around. He has just gone past and when I went to see him he sounded tired and fed up.  The thought of having to walk to the end must be unbearable for him.  His morale is a little low at this point.  Also there are very few other competitors out on the course for him to talk to. Neil Kapoor has around 19 laps left to go so is on the home straight and should finish today.  Claire his girlfriend says he should be finished at around 11 am, I know Neil just cannot wait for it to be over. Dave has his ipod which he is listening to but I am at a loss as to how to cheer him up. I walked with him last night about 6 laps or so and we just walked round and round in total silence.  Talking and chatting can be a real effort and he just doesn’t feel like it at the moment.  I cann’t imagine what is going through his head right now. I am sure he will cheer up once more people come downstairs. His foot and leg still look swollen desipite the 4 hours sleep with it elevated. Not a happy funny farm this morning!It has been yet another exciting action packed day here in Mexico. Day 11 4:52PMI would love to say that the hightlight of the day had been Dave’s phenominal effort at wallking and reducing the number of laps left, however if I did I would be lying.   No the highlight of the day definitely is that we are getting a take away pizza for tea.  I cannot tell you how excited we are here that we will not be having rice, or pasta or some kind of stew or rice pudding again.  Pepperoni pizza – yum yum.Anyway onto Dave he has just come in for a little break and he has indeed been walking walking walking most of today and has now completed 151 lap and is only 6 laps off completing his 7th marathon. His feet are holding out really well and only just started with signs of a blister on the sole of his left foot which I have dressed in the hope that it will not get worse. Mid morning today I was around the medical tent when Kari (the Swedish guy who came in second) was having his feet attended to. They are in a really really bad way.  I have photos to prove it.  If anyone is thinking of doing one of these daft races one look at these photos and that should put you off for life. Kari cannot even walk because his feet are so sore and they have to give him pain killers half an hour before they can change the dressing on his feet as it is so so painful.  They will take a considerable length of time to heal.  When Kari’s feet had been done it was Marcel’s turn.  He has lost the skin on the top of his big toes and you can almost see the bone, I have more photos of these too.  I think the medics must have been given a crash course in how to deal with blistered and sore feet. On the medical front with Dave today he has taken no pain killers and is still taking his anti biotics.  His left leg is still a little swollen but looking at it I think it is better than it was yesterday. Neil Kapoor finished at just gone 11 am today and received a really warm reception at the finish line. He and his crew are lovely people and Neil has a wonderfully wicked sense of humour.  Congratulations to Neil and his team.  He is a DECAMAN! We await with eager anticipation for our pizza and continue to shout words of encouragement (or abuse) at Dave every 22 minutes as he passes the place where Sam and I are lying on the grass sunbathing and sleeping. I think after he has got to 157 laps Dave will stop and rest for the night before starting again in the morning.

Day 12 3:40AM

Well here we are again. Dave got up at 3.30 am this morning.  We slept in the tent last night. Dave has borrowed Kari’s camp bed as Kari now has the luxury of being able to sleep in his room for as long as he wishes!!!  I got the good bed (the floor :-)   !)  But it was a warm night and I was tired so went straight to sleep.  He is now back out on the track after having had coffee and toast and jam.  This time not in bed.  Manu Conraux finished at about 2.30 am, we missed his finish as we were asleep but I caught him to congratulate him as he was tucking into some food. His race has been a brave and courageous battle against adversity (in a similar manner to Dave).  He started the swim feeling very ill with a bad stomach.  Lost a lot of time in the swim.  He then battled his way through the bike and sustained a muscle injury during the walk meaning that he couldn’t run most of the distance.  Infact he spent the last half of the marathons with his leg strapped so as to more or less imobilise the foot.  Dave and Manu have a great respect and friendship for one another, they are both true gentlemen when out there racing.  Well done Manu. Dave concluded last nights walk on 160 laps 302 km in leaving him 63 laps to go, that is just short of 3 marathons.  He is working on a time of about 8 hours per marathon and with race cut off on Sunday at 9 am he should finish.  That is provided his leg holds out and the swelling doesn’t get worse.  It is a bit of a balancing act between pushing on to complete as quickly as possible and allow the leg to rest elevated to drain the fluid. The pizza was wonderful last night.  It was really strange because it is the first time that all the teams have sat down and eaten together.  We usually just grab food when the athlete is ready for a pit stop.  Consequently it was very quiet and everyone tucked into what seemed like the best tasting pizza we had ever eaten in our lives!  This was followed by plenty of banter. We retired to the tent fairly early at about 10 pm and other than having to wake Dave at midnight for his anti biotic we slept through till 3 am – a 5 hour sleep, wonderful. I am just wondering whether to go back to bed now that Dave is out there plodding to grab a bit more shut eye or to sit by the trackside and watch the 4 atheletes that are out there go by.  I think I will go back to bed.

Day 12 5:49PM

Another exiciting day at the camp.

Guy Rossi finished at 9.30 am and Yves Beauchamp finished this afternoon.  Yves came through the finish line to the sound of Queen’s “We are the Champions”  he was very emotional as were his crew. Dave started the day on 160 and is now on 182 laps so he has completed 22 laps so far today.  When I last told you how long it was taking him to walk a marathon he said he was taking 8 hours per marathon.  This pace has now slowed to a very frustrating for Dave 12 hours per marathon.  The good news is that he only has 78 km left which is now under 2 marathons to go.  That is another 24 hours of walking.  His feet are deteriorating and he now has blisters on the soles of both feet and these blisters are starting to spread to between his toes.  I am now using assos cream on his toes as opposed to vaseline as the assos cream has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. We just need his feet to hold out for another day. We have a new strategy of resting from about 11.30 am until 2.30 pm to avoid the midday sun.  It has been hot here today and the forecast is for it to be even hotter tomorrow. We are having to go back to the room to sleep tonight as Kari (the guy who has really really bad feet is finding it impossible to get up and down the stairs) is going to sleep down by the  side of the race track tonight on his camp bed.  That would mean us having to sleep on the floor so it is probably better that we go upstairs and get a good rest. Someone has pointed out to Dave that there is a record he could go for here.  He has a very good chance of the world record for the longest ever run stage of the Deca Ironman.  We don’t think that anyone has reached the run stage as early as Dave did and then taken so long to complete the 10 marathons.  Every cloud has a silver lining !!! He is still determined although very very bored and in a fair amount of pain from his feet.  His hands have also swollen up with fliud and he looks like he has elephantitis what ever that is. All good fun here.   We are just waiting to see what colour rice we are going to get for tea tonight.  Sam had a chicken stew at lunchtime that was green – yuk.

Day 13 8:01AM

And slightly later than planned Dave is out walking round again. He came in last night having completed a total of 193 laps so he only  has 30 laps left to go, that is 60 km and 37.5 miles.  Dave tried to get up at 3.30 am this morning but was in so much pain that he lay down on the bed again.  He got up again at about 6.30 am and I got up and tended to his feet.  His leg is sore again, and the blisters are not looking very good either.  I admistered a pain killer and he went on his way down the four flights of stairs back outside to the race track.  I showered then came down and made breakfast. It is going to be a very hot day today here they say it will be about 31 degrees.  That’s hot.  I know Dave would dearly love to finish this thing today but that will very much depend on whether his injuries hold out. There is not a lot to report as things seem to be happening here in slow motion. It will be another long and hard day for Dave and a bit boring for Sam and I.  I may even have to go to the supermarket to go and get more supplies, we are running out of chocolate, biscuits, crisps and tea bags.  At least I did the washing yesterday!!! He has been asked by Ben, the photograpgher, what time he anticipates finishing as he wants to be there at the finish line to take pictures.  He is now a little worried that he will not make it at the time he said he would, due to the extra 3 hours lie in.  He is talking now of trying to push through the day with only a short rest at lunch time.

Day 13 4:19PM

Well again not a lot to report in terms of activity here today apart from Dave walking, walking walking and he has not yet resorted to hopping, hopping,hopping. The good news is that he is on lap number 212, once he finishes this lap he will only have 11 left to go.  That sounds great considering he started the run section with a total of 223 laps to complete however, 11 laps is still 22 km.  That is still more than those sponsored walks we used to do as kids right.  And on top of all this he is battling the pain of his blisters, swollen and sore leg and now swollen hands. He said to me this morning that he intended to finish this race today, and he hasn’t stopped all day, apart from short breaks to eat and have his feet seen to.  It is currently taking him about 25 minutes per lap = 4 hours 35 minutes non stop walking.  Although I know he will come in again once or maybe twice to have his feet sorted. He is doing well metally now as the end is in sight.  He is looking forward to a nice long rest and I would love to say a beer but until he has finished his anti biotics he will have to wait. Can’t wait for that finish line.Day 13 6:28PM

He has just 7 laps to go.

We have been asked music he would like to be playing when he comes over the finish line.  The boys have suggested Is this the way to Amerillo by Peter Kay (bolton connection) I have suggested What have you done today to make you feel proud by Heather Small.  The boys think that is girlie! Everyone else has come across the line to We are the Champions, Neil had a metalica track, all emotional stuff.  I will have to go out for another lap walk with Dave and find out what he really wants. Not long to wait now. Steve Johnson the Canadian has just finished and the party is well and truely on the go here.  At last beers and music and excitement.  However the party food is still rice, pasta and odd looking stew !!!

Day 14 9:49AM

Sorry it has taken me a long to to report that Dave is now a Deca Ironman!!  We had a little celebrating and sleeping to do last night It is now 9.49 am here in mexico and I have had a good sleep but Dave only slept for about 4 hours, I think his body is used to short amounts of sleep now. He crossed the line 300 hours 27 minutes and 19 seconds after having starting in the swimming pool.  As the team crossed the finish line the sounds of yes you guessed it (the boys won) Is this the Way to Amerillo.  The croud was amused by it anyway and it brought a big grin to everyones faces. There was a huge reception for Dave as he crossed the line, all the competitors who have finished have made a point of being there at the finish when each competitor comes through.  We have a wonderful deca family thing going on here and in a way I will be sad to say goodbye.  We have shared the highs and lows of each competitors achievements, successes, failures, injuries, good times and bad times. Dave was in quite a bit of pain as he crossed the line, desipte the pain killers he had taken just hours before to help him through the last 5 laps of the race. However this morning the swelling in his hands have gone down, and the blisters although still very sore look nice and clean and I am sure they will heal quickly. I personally would like to say thank you to everyone at home for their help and encouragement you have all been fantastic. I am sure Dave will be sending you and email soon, once he can walk to the computers!!! We have a day of relaxing now before the presentation ceremony on Sunday.  Then all we have to do is pack up all our stuff and head home on Monday. I am looking forward to that nice cup of PG tips, my own bed and to see my daughter and my dogs.

Hi Everyone     Deca Ironman Clamp here.

Well we eventually got there, dancing down the finishing straight to Amarillo- nobody can get that annoying tune out of their heads now.I slept for 3 hours at the finish and was then awake at 1.30am ready to go round in circles a bit more. With great relief I was able to turn over and try to sleep again. The aches and pains don’t feel so bad today and at least we are sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. I must pay tribute to the greatest support crew imaginable. I don’t know how Sally kept me on the road- Neil Kapoor’s enduring image is of Sally tending to my feet. It was bloody painful but somehow we saw it through. Sam was a massive inspiration despite being bored out of his skull at times. It was a fantastic moment to share the finishing straight as a team. It could only have been better with Harriet there too ( who has supported through many tough times and races in recent years).Thanks to all family and friends – the messages of support were a constant inspiration. It was a struggle mentally  after injury cost the possibility of victory and world record, but still a thrill to finish after having to be carried to the toilet on Monday. Limping 5 marathons was not the most fun I have ever had but it was worth it in the end. And thanks to all our medic friends ( Stuart Dave and Tony)- their advice was invaluable.Also hope Royles are happy with the cool finish line photo in their shirt- I don’t suppose their shirt has adorned a deca ironman finish line before !!! I hope you enjoyed the show folks ! Sorry for depriving some of  you of sleep in the last 2weeks.Thanks to Jim Eckersley and Pam Potts who have been unwavering in their belief in my abilities for the last 12 years or so.

What’s next ??

Quite fancy the Double  Deca  !!!!…………….. – only kidding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
«
Next Post
»
Get Adobe Flash player