2 am time to wake up. It’s dark, cold and the midges are out.
3 am, we head with the car towards a small hamlet in Scotland.
The organisers have done a great job, quick and efficient. Our athletes jump on a coach under the cheers of hundreds of supporters.
ââThis is it: a gruelling day of hard labor is about to start. The view is is great though!
A swim of 3.4km in the deep freezing sea to start the day properly at 5:00am. Surprisingly the first athletes come out in good shape. This is deceiving. Some cannot even stand up, nor can they get any heat back into their body. The warming aluminum blankets don’t even help.
Salim comes out after 1h15min and makes his way on the black carpet, flanked by fire pits with a Celtic band playing their hearts out. We are extatic, this is the time needed for the coveted Blue Tshirt, the one that differentiates the Extreme athletes from the complete nutters!
The Support Crew is at hand for T1 (Swim to Bike transition) and 18min later he is already biking. We jump in the car and try to find him back on the windy single track road.
The bike course seem quite easy. Salim overtakes a few bikers. We are laughing and joking, eating crisps and drinking juice in the comfort of the heated Support car: “Come on Salim, Attack!” We calculate what it would take to get to the finish line, extrapolate his current speed as if he could sustain this rhythm for another 10, 12, 14 hours!