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The Brutal begint waar de Ironman eindigt !

The Brutal begins where the Ironman ends!

, by Ronald de Graaf, 6 min reading time

Tibor Korozsi trained fourteen hours a week for the toughest triathlon in the world: The Double Brutal in North Wales.

Tibor Korozsi trained fourteen hours a week for the toughest triathlon in the world: The Brutal in North Wales.

His life used to look different. "Ten years ago I was a very big fat bald man with a big belly," he says, laughing. The many kilos were the incentive to exercise.

The origins of this blog start in January 2020. I had planned to complete the Double Brutal in Wales 2021.

A team of 5 members was created, a coach, a logo, a training schedule that makes you proud and a swimming pool in the garden.

The training could begin!

More than a year later, my team and I were ready, but on June 18, 2021, the message came that The Brutal would not take place that year due to Corona. Quite a downer.

As competition training I registered for the Frysman. I was fit, so I also took the Gelreman. I ended 2021 with an entire triathlon in Almere. Even though The Brutal didn't happen, I still became a Triple Dutch Finisher.

I had now said goodbye to my team members and my coach. Another year of training so hard was not an option. Also because my mother had died quite suddenly from cancer. After all, life is bigger than just triathlon.

I emailed Claire Smith (race director of The Brutal) that I wanted to convert my registration from a double triathlon to a single distance. And so on Saturday, September 10, I stood at the water's edge of Lake Llyn Padarn.

I was by no means fit. Over the past year my motivation had gone to zero due to a period of mourning. It would come down to character and the focus to just reach the finish line.

After the whistle blew, a very long day started. I always plan for such a race and don't think about cycling while swimming, for example. 1 thing at a time. The swim went according to plan. The 4 laps of 1000 meters were completed in 1.34 hours.

After a quiet change, the cycling started.
Please note: they drive on the left here and the road was not closed to other traffic. The 4 laps of 46km were full of climbs. The Penn-yPass (6.34km at 4.4%) was tough, but not impossible. The trick of this bike tour were the climbs of 3km with regular climbs of 16% to 20%. Pooh…

After 9:44 am I was allowed to park the bike. My service buddy was along for care and I sent him on a search for a hamburger during this change. With a hamburger in my hand I started the 3 laps of 8 km around the lake. This was a partial trail run with an ascent of over 500 meters. It was now dark, so we had to walk with a headlamp on.

After 4.5 hours the lake laps were finished and I was allowed to report to a Marshall for a backpack check and to see if I was still fit for the climb of Mount Snowdon. For example, the backpack should contain: a whistle, map, compass, food, extra drinks and warm clothing.

Quote: ''The Brutal begins where the Ironman ends''

I had now been on the road for more than 16 hours and the climb began. Steeply up, I walked up with sections of 20%. I was the last runner and only encountered athletes walking downhill. WELL DONE they said when I met them. I was pretty much Well Done by now. I started talking to the many sheep on the route and had to stop regularly. At an altitude of 700 meters I couldn't take it anymore. I sat down, ate a bag of M&Ms and hesitated to continue. Never before has a finish been so far away from me. Because you have been awake for so long, you enter a kind of trance. My watch screen and cell phone screen were shaking. I thought they were broken, but then I realized my eyes couldn't focus.

I decided to continue. It got colder, the wind came (against wind of course) and I ended up in a cloud. Due to my headlamp in combination with the cloud, I saw little. I felt lonely.

I had to make a plan for the last 2 km and 300 meters of elevation. There are large white boulders everywhere on the mountain. You could see it clearly and also rest on it for a while. And so I walked from block to block. Sit, look, focus on the boulder and move on.

At about 900 meters altitude I came across a tent, a Marshall was sleeping there, but heard me coming. The zipper of the tent came down and the Welshman asked what my bib number was. 151 I answered. WELL DONE he answered, another 10 minutes uphill he said.

Ten more minutes, my goodness. I kept going, but every minute I wondered if those 10 minutes were already over. Finally, a red light loomed in the distance. A young guy with a notepad was waiting for me. What is your number he asked. I answered 151. Do I need to go any further, I asked? No, WELL DONE he said. I was allowed to go downstairs.

If you think hiking uphill is difficult, then I have news for you. So going down is just as hard. I had to walk carefully, not to slip, not to fall, I kept thinking. At an altitude of 500 meters I texted my service buddy where I was. He texted hurry up, you still have 1.5 hours before the 9pm cut-off. I started to speed up. Pee, nope. Stone in my shoe, too bad. Walk Tibor!

I came down the mountain and ran towards the finish. Only 2 people were standing there. My service buddy with a photo of my mother in his hand and an old woman, who of course said WELL DONE and put on the medal. The finish is also Brutal!

Time? 20 hours, 38 minutes and 21 seconds

Pride? To the bone




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The Brutal begins where the Ironman ends!