Little did we anticipate what the weather and terrain had in store for us…
This event is the brainchild of 3 people, Ivan Park the man behind the Beast of Ballyhoara, Avril Copeland a prolific Adventure Racer (who is retiring again!) and James Thurlow has organised over 100 Adventure Sports events in the UK over the past 11 years with Open Adventure. The idea of showing off the country at its finest is what motivates the team behind the ITERA.
ITER – Latin for “journey”.. and the “A” stood for little more than the ADVENTURE (where on that journey the outcomes are uncertain)…
The teams will be racing through Ireland over five days in August 2016. The race will finish in Killarney – and the start – you will have to wait till August in 2016 to find that out..
Interesting topic which very often crops up in Adventure Racing simply due to the amount of time that you are spending on your feet, very often in wet shoes as a result of tromping through bogs or a solid soaking from kayaking.
The article in the link is well worth reading but the key point raised, I think, is the lack of adequate preparation by athletes when they are aware of the availability of medical help at events.
Many runners have become dependent and expectant that events will have medical personnel providing even the most basic foot care.
I’ve written before about my own foot care issues where it went wrong and then steps taken and changes made that have meant I ***touch wood*** have had no problems since.
I’ve had no issues since I discovered the system that works for me and that is Goretex shoes (Saucony Xodux GTX – a whole size larger than normal), waterproof socks (DexShell Ultralite from Mapdec) and a thin lining sock within this concoction. Foot care in transition involves, removing shoes, socks and allowing feet to breathe whilst taking care of TA business and then before heading off, wiping (babywipes), drying, powdering and reassembly of fresh liner sock, fresh DexShell and back into the shoes that have been checked for all debris and grit.
However, recent experience during the 5 day ITERA expedition race has me a little more introspective on this subject than normal.
The race started with a run – grand, no issues; a long paddle – kayak booties & shoes in dry bag, no issues and then we were all pulled out for a road trek to transition.
This trek – we changed back into our shoes and set off with OK feet but during the course of the road, beach, sand, dunes, trek our shoes (& feet) were subjected to a fair bit of abuse as our shoes filled with sand from crossing beach streams. (With Goretex shoes the sand DIDN’T get into the shoe it filled between the outer lining and Goretex layers putting pressure on toes).
Key thing here which we missed in briefing was we didn’t have access to Team Kit in the next TA before the planned 25k (short course) trek so we had 20k which beat up our feet somewhat followed by 32k without having treated our feet though we did have a change of socks.
The BIG lesson learned was always carry footcare kit in one of the packs.
Furthermore and back to the original point, if you are an expedition racer or ultra runner or conduct yourself over terrain, distance or conditions where you may feasibly get into trouble through foot damage – then you really should be taking care of it yourself. Under no circumstances should an event organiser or event medic be taking care of your feet for you.
If you are relying on ‘outside’ assistance to get you through an event then IMO you haven’t done the homework and prepared yourself properly for participation.
What do you think? How do you take care of your feet and what works for you?
– #TriHarder Sean
Yesterday the schematic for 5 days of racing dropped quietly into our email box and what followed swiftly was a barrage of messages on WhatsApp as everyone went into overdrive guessing, justifying guesses, rooting for maps, picking likely routes, dismissing them, finding others
The internet must have been glowing last night with the back & forth chatter!!
For those who have no idea what a schematic looks like here is the one for ITERA:
Basically a rough, very rough outline of what to expect for each stage with nicely rounded numbers offered for an indication of duration and distance.
All this serves to do is get teams cogs whirring, ramp up the rumour mill (of course no one offers their thoughts outside of their own team…it’s very hush, hush like that 🙂 ) and then throw us all for a wobbly when we actually get the rule book and race format at the Team meeting the day before the off. It does give us some idea of what to expect and how much to pack – lots of shoes and spare socks!!
Here are Kate’s thoughts on the lay of the land:
It gives an outline of the stages (length and discipline)
As promised there is a heavy focus on kayaking with 135k to be covered regardless of whether you go long course or short course and two massive stages (50k and 75k). Other ‘interesting’ things are the stage 2 trek with 5000m of elevation and the 200k mountain bike.
The race website will be live for tracking once the race starts.
There will be tough competition between the Irish teams for a place on the podium and first Irish team also wins a spot in the ARWS final in Australia. Enduro’s team took the honours in the ARES Beast of Ballyhoura this time last year and are bound to be one of the favourites but they’ll have to be on top of their game this time around for national honours with competition from, amongst others, the Defence forces, DAR Dingle who have experienced ARWS action in Africa this year, a Moxie team bolstered by the addition of Pavel Paloncy and the strong and experienced team making up Rachel’s adventurers.
Godzone will likely be favourites for the win but Swecco, Issy adventure, team endurance life and the Irish teams will all give them a good run for it!
Best of luck to all
No matter how you look at it, kicking off in 1 week, 5 days and a fistful of hours will be one of THE most epic adventures we will have undertaken.
Can’t wait!! 😀
Where to start?
Back a few month ago when ITERA was off the cards I struggled to find something to focus on and motivate myself to train so I stumbled across the 1st running of the Sligo Trail Ultra a 50mile track from West to East through Sligo.
Grand so, entered and started running again.Continue reading
So sometime around midnight we arrived back in the hall to get some sleep, wrecked after a stressful day on the mountains.
It was not restful sleep as people kept banging in and out through the door, it didn’t help alleviate the fatigue at all and the floor was cold, but you know what? It could have been a whole lot worse.
We sorta roused ourselves, likely each of us hoping one of the others would broach the subject of stopping but that was not going to happen! If your name is Jose, then the answer was “NO WAY!!”