Saturday, October 20, 2018
I meant to mention the weather. I was dreading getting typical English weather, especially for this time of year (cloudy, cool, rainy, drizzly, etc.) We have totally lucked out on the weather, with sunshine and above average temperatures, in the high teens! We couldn't have had better weather, so happy about that!
Tracy ended up pulling herself from the race after 53 obstacles. She has been having IT band issues for over a year, affecting her running. And there was lots of water on this course, and she got cold. She could barely walk from her IT band, so she got driven back to the emergency tent by the course officials.
I ran into my British underwear buddy along the race, and we chatted for a bit.
We headed back to town, Tracy and I headed to a pub for supper, then back to the room.
Tomorrow is the team relay and the charity race, then it's all over.
Friday, October 19, 2018
We ran into Jamie again, and another woman that goes to Cor.Fit, but who's name we couldn't remember. That's at least 8 people from Cor.Fit (our gym) at the World Championships.
My race didn't go until 11:00, but me and Tracy walked around and checked out the obstacles, and watched some of the early racers doing the course. This event is very spectator friendly, spectators can pretty much walk around the whole course, so it's awesome.
Today was the 3k race, with 25 (maybe 24, they removed an obstacle from the race) obstacles. I queued up with Jamie, Lucas and Graham, from Cor.Fit, as the grouped a bunch of different age groups together. They only let 10 people go at a time (every minute), and I was near the rear of the group, so it was after 11:30 until I finally got to the start gate.
I'm ecstatic that I completed the 3k race, and 25/24 obstacles successfully, kept my band and got my medal. It was actually relatively easy, with the training we do at Cor.Fit, nothing was really that difficult. I hate running, though, so I'll pass people on the obstacles, then they'll pass me again running to the next obstacle. Haha. If I had the desire to really improve my running, I'd be unstoppable!
I had a total time of 29m 55s. I finished 76th out of 202 racers in my age category (non-pro). 427th out of 1070 men in the open (non-pro) division.
The pro racers started in the afternoon, and everyone was excited to see them, as the best OCR racers in the world are here, including Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster, both Canadians and two of the best OCR racers in the world.
To put my time into perspective, the top pro racer today was Jonathon Albon, with a time of 15m 37s. (Ryan Atkins was second place, with a time of 16m 07s.)
Anyway, we all headed back to Brentwood mid-afternoon, and Tracy and I went to The Swan pub for an early dinner, then back to the hotel room, watched tv, did journal stuff and photo stuff and showered to get all the mud off of me.
Tomorrow is the longer 15k race with 100 obstacles. I'll probably be running very slowly (and even walking) lots of it. I've never done a longer obstacle course race (did I mention I hate running?), so it'll be interesting.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Tracy was super grumpy, and neither of us were particularly hungry, so we skipped breakfast, checked out and got on the Underground for Liverpool Station and got on a train for Brentwood.
The people of London are crazy. There are pedestrian crosswalks everywhere, but half the population don't even follow the crosswalk lights, and cross all the time, in front of cars all the time. And cars don't even seem to care, they slow down, honk their horns, and keep going.
We got to Brentwood about 10:30am, walked to the Premiere Inn (2 minutes from the train station) but check-in doesn't start until 2:00pm, so they stored our bags while we went walking around downtown Brentwood. We went for breakfast at the Slug and Lettuce restaurant, then wandered around downtown, Tracy bought a dress, I bought some socks and then got a haircut. Back to the hotel and checked-in.
For the weekend, we are renting a car with three others that go to Cor.Fit with us (Mandy, Jon and Mike). Tracy and I had tickets for the opening dinner tonight at 6:00, so there was no point in us going to the event earlier to pick up our registration packages. So they drove up there for noon to pick up their packages, then came back, and we took the car. Unfortunately they were unable to add me as an additional driver without me being there, so I had to drive back to Romford in rush hour traffic without being on the rental car contract, driving a standard transmission on the left side of the road, a 30 minute drive. It was kind of stressful, but I made it without incident. Once I was on the rental car contract, I felt comfortable.
After doing that, we headed up to the event village, at the Nuclear Races Event Village, north of Brentwood (got there about 6:30) and registered, got our packages and had some pig roast pork on a bun. I paid 35 pounds for both of Tracy, and I found out that others paid 25 pounds, and at the event, they weren't even checking to see if you had paid, they were giving pork to everyone. We were also told we could eat as much as we want, but they were almost out when we were there, so it was a single serving. Disappointed in that.
While we were waiting in line for our race packages, we ran into another guy that goes to Cor.Fit (Jamie). He was going to take a cab back from the event village to where he was staying (with some of his family, south of Brentwood), so instead we took him back to Brentwood, then he cabbed it back from there. Since Tracy didn't eat much at the pig roast, we went out to a restaurant near the hotel, then back to the room.
Also staying at the same hotel as us and Mandy, Jon and Mike, are Lucas and Graham. They are trainers at Cor.Fit, and still teenagers, and are here with their famiies, which is pretty cool. There's a ton of Cor.Fit people at the OCR WC!
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
This time Tracy and I are heading to the OCR World Championships just outside of London, England, just north of Brentwood at the Nuclear Races headquarters.
Tracy and I had a 10:30pm flight from Calgary on British Airways. My brother Darren drove us to the airport, after we drove to his place and left our car there.
Uneventful flight to London, but we both hardly slept on the plane.
We took the Underground from Heathrow to King's Cross and got checked into our hostel late in the afternoon.
Not too much to report, we went to an English pub for a supper, but no booze for us days before the races! Just food. No servers here, we had to order our food at the bar, and then they deliver it to your table when it's ready. No tipping is needed here either.
After supper, we wandered around. An old church had signs for a "crypt gallery"...our interest piqued, we wandered around the back of the church, and it ended up that a bunch of people were setting up a somewhat macabre art exhibition in the basement of the chuch, in the old crypts. They were not yet open, but I mentioned we weren't going to be here for the weekend, so he took us on a partial tour of what they had setup anyway, which was kinda nice.
St. Pancras International Train Station, which is celebrating it's 150th anniversary, with a newly restored building, was quite fabulous to wander around. It's very trendy, lots of shops and restaurants now live in the train station (along with the trains).
At the last minute, I remembered that King's Cross was the station featured in Harry Potter (Platform 9 3/4 anyone?), so we visited the platform 9 3/4 and the tourist shop attached to it. I'm indifferent to Harry Potter, but Tracy is a big fan. We will be checking out the real Harry Pottery exhibit when we are back in London next week.
We were both dead tired from our flight, so made it back to the hotel shortly after 8:00. Tomorrow we are making our way to Liverpool Street station and getting a train to Brentwood.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Friday, December 09, 2016
We had left our bags at Kajibange, so after getting checked in (including a drink and the "famous" DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie), we walked back and collected our bags.
Sat around the Hilton for a bit, then walked down the beach to the turtle sanctuary near the lighthouse. They take in injured or lost baby turtles, raise them, then when they are two years old, they release them. They have an annual turtle release date of Feb. 20, which would be cool to see. When we were walking down there, and at the sanctuary, both of us were sweating bullets, and we didn't know why. Why stopped at a covered rest area at the sanctuary, where a little kitten curled up on Tracy's lap and fell asleep.
We walked back to the Hilton and went to the pool with a swim-up bar.
I also called our taxi driver who had taken us from the airport to Kajibange a couple of days ago, Mr. Hamad (+255-777-418944) if you need a great taxi driver. :-) We arranged for him to pick us up at the Hilton tomorrow at 11:00am and also told him our plan to tour Stone Town tomorrow, and hoping he could help us store our bags somewhere and then take us to the airport later in the afternoon.
We had booked a sunset tour yesterday, so at 4:00 we went back to Kajibange to wait for our pickup. Once collected, we walked down the western side of the beach to where the sunset tour boats are and missed it. The "captain" said that's ok, we'll get on another boat. They have lots of boats available, and they go out when they have enough people on it, so we had 10 people on our boat. The first boat that went out was packed, about 20-25 people crammed on it, so we were lucky.
Sunset tour finished about 6:30, we want to the Fisherman's Grill restaurant at the Hilton for supper, then went back to Gerry's Bar, which was happening tonight. To bed around 10:00.
Thursday, December 08, 2016
We slept in a bit and had breakfast shortly after 8:00. Then walked along the white sand beach, along an endless line of restaurants, guest houses, high-end hotels, souvenir shops, dive shops and tour companies. Fortunately, it's not like Cancun with massive hotels stretched along the beach for miles, this is much more toned down and much smaller. Of course you get your locals all trying to sell you things, like sunglasses, bracelets, boat tours. There are even quite a number of Masai here, trying to get you to come to their little souvenir shop. We bought a few things, I got an awesome hat made of coconut skin, it's so light and cool.
Back to the guest house to relax. We decided we're going to spend another night here, but Kajibange can't let us know if they have something available for tomorrow night yet, so we'll see tomorrow morning.
Not too much to report today.