A little over a week ago Jackpot’s Neil Waller took part in possibly the hardest Iron Distance Triathlon there is, The Full Wasdale X.
Here is a little about the course.
At over 17,000 ft (5100m) of ascent in 140 (225km)miles of gruelling Lake District mountains, The X is the world’s toughest extreme triathlon.
Swim 2.4miles (3.8km) around the head of Windermere, England’s longest lake, before tackling the route of the famous Fred Whitton bike ride; at over 12,000 ft (3,700m) of ascent the Fred Whitton route is the hardest bike section of any ‘Ironman’ type event in the world.
Competitors transition from Bike to Run to complete the 26 mile (42km) marathon to the top of Scafell Pike and back. Climbing over 5,000 ft (1,400m) from the foothills of the Langdale Pikes before entering the high central mountains, traversing Esk Hause and onto Great End and Scafell Pike, England’s highest point
It’s not just the total ascent, 16,994 ft (5,137m) over the traditional ‘Ironman’ distance of 142 miles (226 km), that makes it the toughest, it’s the severity of the climbing on the bike and run that distinguishes The X as the world’s toughest.
With the huge challenge here is how Neil’s race went.
“So Wasdale wasn’t the result expected but believe me in no way I’m I disappointed in any way..
Arrived at the swim at 3.30am to a freezing cold lake in the dark. A mass start. So cold I struggled for a mile to get my stroke and breathing anywhere near where I wanted it. In fact overall due to the visibility I swam just short of 3 mile in 1h 25m😂
Then onto the bike.. Wow..
For my friends and team mates who will only really understand the full brutality of this whole 112 mile bike ride which takes in England’s biggest and toughest climbs back to back. Straight on the bike you head onto Kirkstone pass which gets that heart rate flying at 6.30 in the morning at 25% incline.. Then onto Whinlatter, Coldfell, then onto the one and only Hardknott 33% followed straight into Wynrose 20%.. the heat was nearly 27 degrees. And on busted legs it was tough.
As I was descending down Wynrose disaster and I ripped my rear tyre which needed a mechanical assistant to replace which took 45 mins. I took this opportunity to strip down and lay in a stream to cool down and at this point knew my cut offs were tight. Back on the bike I pushed back to Ambleside and out on the run. I had 90 mins to run 7 mile. Made it with 20 mins. Onto the next cut off. Made it with 20 mins.
Then I saw the true meaning of climbing on busted thighs.. Rossett, Esk Hause, and Broad Crag.. I made the cut off at the top for 7.40pm and had one more before Scarfell. I had 20 mins to hit the 8.00pm cut off. 8.15pm game over. TBH I felt a sense of massive satisfaction rather than disappointment. I had pushed the run so hard. I was like a pissed up mountain goat climbing the sheer climbs. Hot and sweaty and with a contact lens full of suntan creame but this event was like nothing I have ever entered and will be in no rush to do it again. I nearly made it and who knows without the split tyre. On route back down I bumped into a gentleman in difficulty so we walked back and chatted out being nearly men.. he was a top bloke and I shared the last of my fuel with him as he had run out. I’m now going to enjoy my time with the girls and going to have a chilled Father’s Day in the lakes.. Thanks to my girls as always for being here just no medal today.”
A massive well done to Neil.