2019 Brutal Deca (10 ironmen in 10 days)

When started my ironman journey back in 2011 I remember my brother telling me that there was an Ironman event called the Deca which consisted of 10 ironman distance triathlons in 10 days.

At the time I honestly thought that it was completely impossible especially after finishing just the one of them. I was in bits after finishing just one, the thought of even 10 just seemed crazy but then only a few years after completing Ironman Bolton I was looking up the double and triple events. Its crazy how the mind works sometimes.

After ticking off the double and triple on my buckets list of challenges the deca now seemed a little possible but of course it was still a big call.

I heard from a few people in the triathlon world that Claire who owns Brutal events was putting on a brutal deca event in the UK (deca events are really rare worldwide due to the amount of work that has to be put in to them I’m guessing, that and there’s not many sane people world-wide who want to do 10 iron distance triathlons in a row) and I was interested. There were two formats of the deca, the continuous 24 mile swim, 1,120 mile bike and a 262 mile run. You had to do all the swim in one hit followed by all the bike in one hit and then finish with the run. The other format was one full iron distance triathlon a day every day for 10 days. I chose the continuous.

It was held up north in York at a holiday park. My 24 mile swim was held in a 25 meter pool a few miles away, once finished in the pool my support crew would then drive me to base which was at the holiday park (this is where my camper van and home for the 10 days was based also) and I’d get changed into my bike stuff ready for the bike leg of the triathlon. I can’t remember how long the swim took me but it was around the 12 hour mark. The bike course consisted of a 7 mile loop until i finished the 1,120 miles of them that was expected of me. Yep, it was the most gruelling bike rides I’ve ever done, I was on that bike for 21 hours a day and slept the other 3 ready to get back on the saddle again for more of the same. It took me 5 days to finish the bike and each day it was harder to get on the saddle due to the sores on my gooch (charming) which I also had to look after to stop infection.

Off the bike and into my trainers ready for 262 miles of running 1 mile loops around the lake at the holiday park and then I could call myself a Brutal deca finisher.

My aim was to try and make a good dent into that number on my first run and managed about 75 miles, the rest of the miles were made up of smaller efforts while I had 1 to 2 hour power naps only to get my trainers on and go again.

I remember having only half a marathon left until the finish line and that honestly at the time felt like forever as I was in bits, but I managed it. I crossed the line and I’ve never been so happy to see a finish line in all my life. I was in bits but smiling from ear to ear. It was the hardest and toughest thing I have ever done and one of my best achievements in life.

It took months to recover but it wasn’t long before I was in search of something bigger and little did I know it was only around the corner.