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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Tanners Race report

5 pages of directions!!, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

You can't go wrong for a fiver.....well if you are me then you can..... and then some! the 50th Summer Tanners is the last before the retirement of the Tanners Committee. Winter re-runs will exist but no new runs...ever. I am ever the endeavour-ist but reading a sweaty direction sheet is not my forte. Maps are mine, so this was a real challenge. I needed the miles so 3-4 extra was no problem.

A mixed field of a few faces recognisable from other events but it was not until mile 13 that I struck a conversation with Vinny and Carl, fresh from the GUC 145 mile race. I say a conversation, I felt like Jeremy Paxman asking all of the questions. What a super pair of blokes. Carl crewed for Vinny and ran with him after the alloted 70 miles until 145. Baby food, pot noodle and smoothies.....i.e liquid food was the order of the day, the night and the next day. These guys were brilliant and all hail to Cromer and place for hill training! It gave me some real insight into the latter stages of the Ridgeway and what challenges Jezza, Immune and myself will face.

Back to the race and after my 2 diversions I settled down into a nice pace. The new Raidlight bottles on shoulder straps were OK, but I am still searching for a quick way to get fluids into my body without the suck factor and having-to-reach-round-the-back-of-my-bag-and-get-cramp option.......There were very short sections of tarmac with 90-95% being open track, pathway and shaded woody pathways. I decided to bag the sunglasses as running through dappled shade was fraught with slips and trips.

The last half was ace, Holmbury Hill, Leith Hill and along the dragon's back of the North Downs. Undulation, heat and dust kicked up by the occasional mountain bike took its toll, as did the 30 degree heat. I was drinking at double the rate of a normal marathon. The checkpoints were poorly stocked and absent of any food which was a shame. CP4 were even rationing water! The last 10 miles were great. Back to workman-like mad dash for the finish and the garmin shows that this was the fastest part of the race, having clocked a few 11 and 12 min miles earlier in the day. A fast finish saw me overtake lots of runners and in spirit of finishing on a high, clocked a 7.34 and a 7.40 which I know Immune would be proud of. Cider at the finish in Leatherhead and despite the detours, 5.40 for 34 miles was fine. A super day all round.

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