A WORTHING man showed the ultimate endurance earlier this month, not only by competing in a Triple Enduroman lasting more than two days – but winning it.
Chris Ette was racing for more than two days to complete his first ever Triple Enduroman event, crossing the line of the gruelling event in an unthinkable 53hrs 03mins 11sec.
Emotionally and physically drained, the 34-year-old admitted there were highs and lows during the 423-mile event in the New Forest, based on triathlon disciplines.
Ette, who has been competing in Enduroman events for the past year, was taking on the 7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike ride and 78-mile run for the first time. He finished exactly 20 minutes ahead of second-placed Nick Thomas, who recorded 53-23-11, while third-placed Chris Edgley finished almost five hours back in 57-59-13.
Ette completed his first triathlon last year at Chichester, and, then, in February completed a single Enduroman in Lanzarote, where he was also persuaded to try the double event, which he finished in 30hrs 36mins, so he found it only fitting his next scalp should be a triple event.
Ette, who also trains at Tuff Fitty Triathlon Club, said: “Emotionally, throughout the race, I experienced extreme highs and lows. The swim started well, it was a lake swim and consisted of about 300m laps.
“I came out the lake in fourth and 15 minutes quicker than my expected time. The best advice I received for the swim was the race is not won there so take it easy, although I felt comfortable, I can’t recall it being easy.”
On the bike section, he said: “Over this course, you not only had to battle with fatigue, but with the New Forest ponies that were in abundance on the course. The bike strategy involved eating and drinking plenty, so that I did not feel hungry at any stage.
“Included in my race strategy was to have a break early hours of the morning, as this is a time the body is is at its lowest in terms of energy and enthusiasm, so between the hours of 3am and 4am, I had a 30-minute sleep.
“This was the hardest part, having to wake up and then get back on the bike, the temperature had dropped and I was struggling to get warm, but this soon passed and before I knew it the sun was starting to break, you also have to remember that I had been cycling for 14 hours at this point.
“After about 20 miles of the run, I was told that the second-placed athlete had decided to pull out, I also got told that I was only six laps behind the first-placed athlete.”
With the leader taking a break, Ette made up the laps and went two ahead, before the other competitor returned.
He said: “I had never been in a winning position before and didn’t know how my body was going to respond for the last 20 miles. I knew that the second-placed guy was going to push, so I had to keep him at bay.
“I was able to do this and eventually finished ahead of him by 20 minutes, which is nothing over that period.
“I would like to say a huge thank-you to my mother, who formed part of my support crew. Without her, it would never have been possible, and also to my wife, who has endured the countless amount of training hours that I have had to dedicate to this event.”
On the future, the Worthing athlete has set his sights on the legendary, Deca Enduroman – 10 Enduromans in 10 days.