The Ben Nevis Braveheart Triathlon Race Report

Last weekend I became a Braveheart! It was the race I’ve been working all year towards and accumulated in a 1.2 mile swim in a FREEZING loch, 56 miles on a hilly road through the Scottish highlands and a 15 mile run up and down Ben Nevis.

MY THOUGHTS BEFORE THE RACE

“I jumped into the loch yesterday for 10 minutes and it was a very long 10 minutes! A little bit of brain freeze was going on, but once my 3 swim hats (including a Neoprene hat) were properly placed it was much better!

They say not to try out new equipment on race day.. I am trying new equipment on race day. The neoprene booties and gloves are new and much needed, as the water temperature is around 13oC.

It’s now 7:34am and I’m chilling out in the car with my mum waiting for the race to start, as all of my stuff is racked in transition and I’m in my wetsuit ready to go!

I’m just going out to have a really good time and be the happiest person out there, training has been almost non-existent due to a health issue.

My plan is to go out there and have fun, enjoy my first ascent of Ben Nevis (never imagined I would be running up it!) and experience the Scottish Highlands!”

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MY THOUGHTS ON THE RACE

I finished in 8 hours 57 minutes, so a sub-9 hour race, which I am really happy with, especially considering I haven't’ been able to train properly in the lead up to Braveheart.

My amazing trainer, Mark Kleanthos, predicted I would complete the race between 8 and 9 hours, so I’m pleased with the result.

(Listen to Mark on my podcast talk about his incredible journey in triathlon and he drops some juicy knowledge bombs too that will help you perform at your next race!)

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The Swim

The loch did not feel any warmer since my dip the previous morning. There’s no beating about the bush, it was cold. Scrap that.

It. Was. FREEZING.

Once over the initial cold shock, we all lined up and waited for someone to shout ‘GO’. When he did, the water around me suddenly became a washing machine of 150 swimmers. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

I held my ground and felt good. Frustratingly, I became sandwiched between everyone as we all amalgamated around the two buoys at the 500m mark. This slowed me down, but once everyone had spread out it was much better and I kept to the outside.

I finished the swim in 45 minutes which was a little slower than expected, but still good.

The Bike

My transition was 10 minutes, which I was really happy with and once on the bike, this is where the pain began.

A few weeks before the race I decided to get a bike fit as I wasn’t happy with the setup. Turns out that my new saddle was amazingly comfortable for the first 30 minutes and after that complete agony!

In the weeks preceding I had been out on my bike, but for no more than 30 minutes due to health reasons, so this amount of discomfort came as a shock.

The bike is usually my strongest disciple, but this ride was one of the most demoralising. I was overtaken by what felt like hundreds of cyclists over the course, but I just couldn’t speed up.

The Run

I usually look forward to the run the least, but I couldn’t wait to get off the bike!

On the run I was on a tight deadline, I had to get half way up Ben Nevis by 3:30pm which gave me just over 2 hours.

When I started running, it was uncomfortable. My legs were sore and there were SO many steps. I just went as quick as I could. I was completely self-sufficient with water and food, so I didn’t need to stop. My entire focus was on reaching the halfway cut-off time, which I did successfully.

At the halfway mark, I had a renewed amount of energy and even over took some competitions! I made it to the summit of Ben Nevis (which was also freezing!) with 10 minutes to spare.

I came down the mountain at an easy pace, taking care not to slip.

Crossing the line

It was pure relief to cross the line and know that I could stop. I could relax. It was underwhelming as the race crew had pretty much packed up. My bike was one of a handful left, I finished near last, but I finished.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I’m chilling out for a little while. I’m starting a new job this week and have lots planned for my business, so that’s my focus for October.

However, I cannot wait to meet with my trainer, Mark Kleanthos, and start planning my 3 year journey to becoming a Norseman!

(Want some help with your nutrition and hydration system for racing and training? Listen to Mark on Season 2 of my podcast to discover how you can enhance your performance.)

The Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is the world’s ultimate triathlon. It’s an ironman-distance race stretched across the Norwegian landscape with 5000m and a finish line on top of a mountain. It was already at the back of mind, but since working at the race this summer, it’s now the race I’m gunning for.

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(Watch my video to get a taster of the amazing race that is Norseman. You'll soon see why I want to do it!)

5 ways adventure transformed my life

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have. When I hit rock bottom 5 years ago as a result of severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I was told by doctors that I would never recover. If it wasn’t for the desire to embark on remarkable adventures, I’m not sure if I would have had the strength, resolve or perseverance to fully recover. Thankfully I did. Now, I strive to live my best life and adventure is a big part of that. Here are 5 ways adventure has transformed my life.

1. ADVENTURE GAVE ME AN EXCITING LIFE TO AIM FOR

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Between 2009 and 2013 my health deteriorated to such an extent that I had to withdraw from studying a BSc Geography degree at University College of London. Most days I spent in bed, in a darkened and silent room, too exhausted to move.

Explorers Connect, an organisation leading an adventure revolution, and adventurers gave me a glimpse into a whole new world, one bursting with adventure, passion, wildness and exploration. I knew I wanted to slice of the action.

During the days when I felt low, the wonderfully exciting adventures that were continuously posted on Explorers Connect filled me with determination and ambition to recover.

Reading about other people’s adventures also tantalised my tastebuds for my very own journey, Alastair Humphrey’s blog was an endless source of inspiration.

It’s adventurers such as Alastair Humphrey, Frank Wild and Scott of the Antarctic, that gave me the courage to keep moving forward, to face my fears and challenge conventional wisdom.

[Listen to Angie Butler on my podcast Season 1 Episode 9 to hear about the fascinating life of Frank Wild - he’s spent more time in Antarctica than Scott or Shackleton!]

I spent countless days imagining my life as an adventurer and what it would be like to travel the world by bike or pull a sled across the Arctic’s snow.

I knew I had to find a way to get over my illness no matter what. I wanted a slice of that action.

[Listen to one of my most popular episodes about how I fulfilled my dream of pulling a sled across the Arctic, tune into Season 1 Episode 13 Svalbard: An Icy Wilderness Adventure]

2. SMALL ADVENTURES OPENED THE DOORS TO BIG ADVENTURES

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I remember my first two British adventures like it was yesterday…

It was my first summer in which I had totally regained my health and I felt ready to try my first microadventure. Having never done anything like this before, not knowing if I would enjoy it or not and with the lack of adventurous friends to advise, I decided to go on a fully organised microadventure with Explorers Connect.

When booking my first trip I felt akin to a small child in a sweet shop, being completely overwhelmed by the amount of sweets on display and having to choose just one, when all of them looking utterly delightful!

My very first microadventure was in Gower, Wales…

The weather was glorious and the people were fantastic. I remember watching Anton’s pop up tent blow away and Belinda’s ripping in two!

We hiked, dived into a tidal pool, ate ice cream by the beach, drank beer and stand up paddle boarded in the harbour.

I felt alive and full of energy. I loved every second of it. The tales of people’s adventures had me on the edge of my seat and I came away buzzing.

That weekend sparked my love affair with adventure. I felt very intrepid and booked my second trip a few days later…Wild Camping in the Brecon Beacons.

Forecasted for torrential rain, my parents were worried and the guy I was dating at the time thought I was crazy, but I was too excited for words.

It was my first time in the Brecon Beacons and wild camping. And I LOVED it! We hiked up a ridge to the most spectacular views of quintessential Welsh countryside.

A patchwork of green hues, rolling hills, wild hedgerows and dense forests spread out before us. We watched grumbling purple clouds move across the horizon as we basked in blue skies and sunshine!

We hiked off the ridge and into the untamed land, where we explored a magical damp wood and discovered an enchanted pool with a tumbling waterfall — perfect for a quick morning dip to wake you up.

I felt very daring wild camping in the Welsh countryside and as I slipped into the enchanted pool, with the water’s cold shock forcing me to catch my breathe, I also felt rather adventurous.

The time has gone when I was too scared to jump into glacial waters (circa school trip 2008). These microadventures have proven to be the stepping stones to my bigger adventures and with each one, my courage grows and comfort zone stretches.

[Read My Ultimate Adventure Guide To Mongolia: 11 Reasons To Visit which I created after traveling and working solo in Mongolia for 3 months!]

However, I still LOVE the microadventures and am fully enlisted into the weekend warrior philosophy, although now you’ll more often find me clipped into my road bike or running on the trails than strapped into my hiking boots.

[Ever listened to a podcast that was recorded in an igloo? No? Nows your chance! My best friend and I went with Much Better Adventures to learn how to build an igloo in Switzerland for the weekend! Listen here.]

3. ADVENTURE IS A MINDSET

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Over the years I’ve come to discover and learn that adventure isn’t a one-off event or journey that involves exploring an unfamiliar culture or landscape.

Adventure is a mindset that you live by and it is unique to everyone.

For me, adventure means embarking on a journey of transformation by taking that one giant leap of faith and trusting that the universe will catch you. It can be building a business, growing a brand, changing careers, starting a family or venturing into nature. It can be anything you want.

The people who take these leaps are those that inspire me to grow, take risks and make a difference to this world.

[Want more adventure in your life or thinking of changing direction in your life? Listen to Season 1 Episode 12: How To Live A Life Of Adventure to find out how others have achieved living an adventurous life.]

The people on my first Explorers Connect microadventure squashed any doubts I had about my solo travel plans, they boosted my confidence about traveling solo and told me tales of their bygone journeys which topped up my excitement, motivation and inspiration to just go!

I have since traveled down a trajectory I never thought existed and my path continues to change, but always down the more adventurous option!

4. ADVENTURE HAS PUSHED ME

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By surrounding myself with inspirational adventurers who are continuously pushing their limits and enjoying life’s journey, I have been motivated to push myself further, be better, set higher goals and be the best that I can be.

Jim Rohn’s belief rings true to me…

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

If you had told me when I was 17 or 18 that I would be wild camping in a field, in a bivvy bag, I would have laughed and thought you mad. Now this is one of the things that I live for!

Belinda Kirk, founder of Explorers Connect, and her incredible community were the first to help me learn new skills in the outdoors, increase my self-confidence, stretch my comfort zone and encourage me to overcome my fears.

When I was 11, I cried for hours after spending a short few minutes on Disneyland’s Rocky Mountain rollercoaster.

While adventuring in an old Victorian slate mine last year, I jumped off a ledge to free fall 50m for fun (attached to a rope) AND with adventurer Laura Kennington we completed the Via Ferrata Xtreme at Honister, Lake District.

I really dislike heights but these small feats bolster my confidence and show me that I am the master of my mind.

Adventure has facilitated me to stretch myself that little bit further, take greater risks and it has taught me to live in the moment.

5. IF IT WASN’T FOR DISCOVERING ADVENTURE, I WOULDN’T BE WHERE I AM TODAY

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If I hadn’t picked up Scott Of The Antarctic’s diary, read Rich Roll’s book, sat at the back of the Royal Geographical’s auditorium listening to the tale of Frank Wild, or never come across Explorers Connect, then I hate to think where I would be today. Adventure truly has transformed and changed my life.

If you want to be inspired and motivated to embark on an adventure or push your limits, then check out my podcast.

I recommend listening to my most popular podcast episode first: Season 2 Episode 16 with Megan Hine on How To Influence Your Mind To Thrive.

Meg is a survival expert and expedition leader Megan Hine, and I guarantee she will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and planning your adventure in next to no time!

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How I Took The steering wheel of my life - and how you can too!

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This is the advice I received from my headmaster of Wellington College, Dr Anthony Seldon, almost 8 years ago when I was feeling lost, having just fully recovered from severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, along with recurrent urinary tract infections, chronic constipation, irritable bowl syndrome and an overactive bladder, using a powerful combination of neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis and life coaching.

This may sound crazy, but I fully recovered in just 3 days by learning how to re-wire my brain from chronic fatigue and a dis-functioning immune system, gut and bladder, to energy, switching off the flight or fight response for feelings of calm and relaxation and a high performing immune system, bladder and gut.

The more I used these good and useful neuropathways, the stronger they became and the more natural it became for me to be this way.

Read on or listen to the full story below on The Wild Show Season 1 Episode

Think about sheep in a field. Yes, I’m talking about sheep!!

The herd of sheep always follow their Chief Sheep and each day, every day they all follow the same pathway in the field.

Over time, this path is worn down, the grass disappears leaving dirt and it becomes deeper and deeper in the field.

Then, one day, the Chief Sheep decides that the field next door has much more luscious, greener and delicious grass than the field they’re in now.

Yes.. you saw it coming…the grass is greener on the other side!

So the Chief Sheep decides to lead his herd to this new, beautiful green field for grazing and instantly, a new pathway is created.

Over time, this wonderful new pathway becomes worn and well travelled. And the old, not so useful pathway is reclaimed by nature until it’s so feint, you can no longer see it.

And this is exactly how our brains work!

The more we use a neuropathway, the more worn and easier to use it becomes.

[To find out more about the magic of our brain read this article: THE NUMBER 1 SECRET THAT HIGH PERFORMERS KNOW]

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So having fully recovered, the world was my oyster, but I had no idea what I wanted to do! I wanted the answer to the purpose of life and I received: “Do What Makes You Happy”. I didn’t know what to do with it and for the next 3 years I ignored it. What the hell did it mean?!

Then 3 years later, I was sitting in my shower, the water falling on my back, crying.

I was studying in Vancouver, Canada working towards achieving my Geography degree for the second time, as I had to withdraw the first due to ill health, and I hated it.

I disliked being trapped. I disliked my hard work and time, that I invested into my essays and revision, to be represented by a subjective number. And what was I doing the degree for? So I could work in the City, have fun only at weekends and a couple of weeks holiday a year?

I realised that my passions were adventure, life mastery and helping people. They were and still are the things that I love the most - with Ironman and triathlon training added into the mix! These are the things that make me happy.

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[Listen to my podcast episode or read my article on fulfilling a life long dream of mine: adventuring in the Arctic: ADELAIDE GOODEVE ON SVALBARD: AN ICY WILDERNESS ADVENTURE]

With the help of a life coach, I started to explore new pathways and researched all of the people who I admired and looked up to as role models, from Tim Ferris, Anthony Robbins and Rich Roll, to Sophie Radcliffe, Megan Hine and Dave Cornthwaite.

I asked myself a dangerously exciting question, if they could do it then why can’t I?

I finally knew what Dr Seldon meant by “Do What Makes You Happy”.

I was currently doing what made everyone else happy; my parents and my peers. I wanted to do the things that made me happy and I could!

Early one morning, I was Skyping my coach, I felt desperately unhappy and my body was responding by making me feel fatigued again. I didn’t want to go down that route…again. My coach asked me a simple question; What do you want to do? What would make you happy?

I was holding back the tears, feeling racked with guilt and failure as I said, I just don’t want to be here.

I never realised, but up until that point. That moment. I had never been in the driving seat of my life. I had followed the education system like a good girl, no questions asked and followed my parents desire for me, what they thought would be a successful life for me.

But I had never asked:

  • What does success look like to me?

  • Where do I want to go?

  • Can university teach me the things that I want to learn?

Asking and answering these questions for myself was difficult. I felt almost criminal for even thinking these things!

But I knew. I knew I couldn’t go on this route any further. I had to take the steering wheel of my life and drive it by myself.

Withdrawing from university for the second time was terrifying and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder than any mountain I’ve climbed, adventure I’ve been on or Ironman I’ve raced!

The next day I got an email from Escape the City, a company I had never heard of before…to this day I’m not sure how they got my email. But they asked if I wanted to learn how to build a startup….err… hell yes!

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To me this was a sign from the universe. So I went on their 3 month course in London and realised that I wanted to create my own personal brand and it took me a little longer to realise that I wanted to become a high performance coach.

My aim is to build a community of ambitious men and women, who want to inspired, motivated and get the tips, tricks, tools, practices, knowledge and tactics they need to become the best they can be and live their best life, a life they love.

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When I was growing up, I was heavily influenced by the media. I believed I should be skinny, sexy and pretty, like pink and pretty dressed, and once I had these things I was winning. I never thought of being an adventurer or entrepreneur or becoming a badass at triathlete.

My mission with my podcast, The Wild Show, is to create a place where both women and men can be inspired and realise that the only limit of becoming who they want to be is their imagination.

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My podcast goes deep and long form with some of the world’s high performers, those who are exceptionally good at what they do. Revealing to you their habits, routines, tools, tactics, favourite books, time management tips and tricks that you can apply to your own life, to help you achieve awesome results.

It takes time, failures and successes, experimenting and testing. Patience is definitely a virtue in life. And doing what makes you happy is a necessity. It’s all about the journey.

Listen to those little voices of positivity in your head and make them louder, don’t ignore them and drown them out, for they are there to guide you.

If it wasn’t for me sitting in the top balcony of the Royal Geographical Society’s auditorium, listening to the story about the unforgotten hero of Antarctic Exploration: Frank Wild, I would never have heard Wild’s quote and wouldn’t be where I am today…

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[Listen to Angie Butler, Frank Wild’s autobiographer, on The Wild Show Season 1 Episode 9 to learn through stories just how extraordinary this man really was.]

This was one of my many ‘aha’ moments. As I thought, oh my god, that’s me! I was studying Geography at the University College of London, having returned from a year of travel and I felt like I was hiding amongst the flesh pots of London with the call of the wild ringing in my year.

I knew I had to get out and it’s taken me 4 years to figure out how.

The Wild Show was created from the inspiration of Frank Wild.

On Saturday 1st September Season 3 will be launched… and oh boy, are you in for a treat! The guests I have coming on will blow your mind - they certainly have mine!

In themeantime... jump into Season 1 and Season 2… there’s something for you, I just know it!

Would like to stay up to date with the podcast and pick up some mindset tips and tricks along the way?

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Adelaide Goodeve

Adelaide is passionate about adventure and wellbeing. This year Adelaide founded Lilly Wild while participating in Escape The City's Startup Tribe, she wants to help and inspire women to adventure more because it has significantly impacted her life.