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Shareholder Edward Taylor and wife Miranda undertake the Brutal Triathlon

22 September 2012
On 22nd September shareholder Edward Taylor and his wife Miranda undertook the Brutal Triathlon in Snowdonia.

This involved a 1.2 mile swim in Lake Padarn, 56 miles cycling around Snowdon twice ( 1200m of ascent) then a 13 mile run, finishing with a run up and down Snowdon. It is promoted as " one of the hardest middle distance races in the world."

They were doing this to raise money for the Alzheimer's society and Breast Cancer Research.

The Billington Group have donated £500, if you would like to support them please visit their Just Giving pages https://www.justgiving.com/TriTeamTaylor for Alzheimers society

https://www.justgiving.com/TriTeamTaylor3 for Breast cancer research.

This is Miranda’s account, following the event:

When I booked The Brutal I was looking for a Half Ironman distance as the next challenge and this event sounded lovely to me: I pictured blue skies, the mountains of Snowdonia, wonderful views. So, inspired, I clicked return and myself and Ed were entered! Most people thought we were completely bonkers – hills, likely rain, Pen-Y-Pass on a bike – twice! And running up Snowden. I have to admit, I had a few doubts myself.

A fortnight before the race nerves were setting in as I had blistered and battered my feet running the Warrington Half Marathon and the weather forecast – well..... Then on my last gentle cycle I somersaulted over the handlebars, winding myself and covering my legs in minor bruises. More worrying, the next day my right shoulder was sore & stiff where I had landed for my forward roll. The final set back was that Booths didn’t stock Soreen!

On the morning of the race, the car dashboard was flashing ‘Risk of Ice’ and measured 3 degrees! On arrival, everyone’s faces said it all. We all padded down over the crisp, white grass down to Lake Padarn. There was 5-10 mins of standing around enjoying the chill air and the mist over the Lake. Then we all entered the lake which, of course, felt not too bad as it was 12-13 degrees as opposed to 3 degrees air temperature. I’m not very experienced at deep swim starts as many of the club will recollect! So I wisely hung back, acclimatising, which meant that the start bell started and I was still a fair way from the start buoy!

The swim was actually one of the best swims of my short swimming career: I didn’t feel panicked – I actually enjoyed it. The glimpses of Snowden and the mountains as I took a breath, and the smell of the steam train will stay with me as some of the fondest memories of the day. I did feel a bit cold towards the end and did have some shoulder twinges between buoys 1 & 2 but overall I loved it.

Then on to the bike and after faffing for 18 minutes in transition wondering what to wear, I emerged from the marquee in my winter cycling garb and shivered +++ for the first 10-15 minutes on the bike. I have never been so keen to get to the first hill – to warm up. Once my teeth had stopped chattering, it was great: lovely views, tranquil roads, friendly competitors. After Pen-Y-Pass though, I was hot. I popped into the marquee after the first lap and changed into my spring KTC cycling top. At last I felt the part and completed the second lap. My main aims on the bike were to eat, eat and eat! Not too much problem – no Soreen, so chocolate brownies, twix, snickers – Oh and a few gels as that’s what you’re meant to do!

The lake lap of the run was over in a flash. I was paying attention to hydration and had one gel but with hindsight realise mistakenly that I didn’t eat enough on this lap. The views coming downhill on the far side of the Lake were fab. I passed through the marquee again and passed my mountain medical check and off to Snowden. Ed & I had practised this a few times and also ‘run’ up Helvellyn and Skiddaw a few times too. So I knew that this was more of a fast walking ascent for me. I started quite well with more chocolate brownies and a token gel. I was going well and met Ed coming down. Then I could feel a blister coming so stopped for blister repairs, a change of socks and, of course, another chocolate brownie! After the second tunnel, I knew I had half an hour uphill to go and to be honest I was starting to feel it! I ran the top section but my thoughts were all about getting down and finishing. I got my wristband signed and headed down. I managed to run but really I was starting to feel the fatigue. As I got to the steep tarmac road at the bottom I saw someone hobbling quite painfully ahead of me – which reassured me that everyone would be feeling it at this stage. Once over the cattlegrid I saw him again and I must have had some reserve left because I realised that I was hobbling faster than him. I felt great as I gained on him, but a bit mean as I passed him 20 yards from the finish. At the end of the race I was 79th out of  92, 11th female out of 14 and elated to have done it in 9 hours 48 minutes. Ed finished spectacularly well: 43rd in 8 hours 22 minutes.

In the end, it was everything I’d dreamed of – a wonderful day, in beautiful surroundings. It was a very friendly race, well organised – one of the most memorable days of my life.

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