Total Pageviews

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Winter Tanners 30 mile - Race Report

I had a couple of bacon butties for breakfast and as I was reading up on the directions, I thought I would take a peak at Jezza's blog as he has a time honoured tradition of taking a neat little pic of his race day kit the night before! I was horrified to learn that he was going for a 7.00am start and not going with the main start at 8.30!

I met David, aka Ultra Immune and we got going on a frosty, chilly -2 degree start from Leatherhead. By the time we had climbed to the summit of the first hill after a mile or two, it was jackets off and down to some serious chit-chat as we had not caught up since the summer.

Immune is training for the TP100 in March so at the moment, is a lot fitter than me, however the early miles flew by as we endeavoured to read directions on the go whilst dodging icy puddles and frozen bridleway.

Checkpoint 1 came around in no time at all, as we had been running and chatting and also having a few words with some of the other runners, one with a fantastic Husky dog that was literally pulling him along. I seized an opportunity to whip out the mini-DV cam. No matter how much I practice, because of its tiny size and even smaller mass, the image is very shaky! More on the video later! I'll post up some clips very soon.

Checkpoint 1-2 was a short 7 miles and through the beautiful Surrey countryside, trails through woodland and across open downland, much still frozen and not yet sunkissed by the dawn. Up onto the Downs via a sand ridge revealed a fantastic view of Surrey on one side and London to the North. We were fueling on the run and onto page 2 of the directions....discussing mass reduction of our kit for much of the time. Both of us have realised that it is all too easy to be over prepared and travelling light not only allows you a more economical running gait but you tire less quickly.

I hit a dip between 17-20 miles which was probably a switch from the depleted glycogen stores to a fat burning system. I felt quite rubbish at this point and assumed Immune to want to hit the last 10 miles harder. Indeed he did! After we had traversed Blatchford Down on the NDW, I got my second wind and we started to motor. We made light work of a lot of hills and were overtaking many runners.

As we approached the final checkpoint at 24 miles, we had agreed a pit-stop strategy of 2 cups of juice, a handful of Jaffa cakes and then run. At this point we saw none other than the venerable Lords of the ultra, Jezza and George. Within a few hundred yards we had caught the chaps and spent some moments navigating the twists and turns of the route. It was clear that we were not going to hang around as we had never expected to catch them, having set off an hour later.

The last 5 miles were in the zone that Dave and I have been in a few times. Ultra-leggit mode.......After a particularly undulating 3,000ft of killer hills, dropping to sub 8s for miles 28, 29 and 30 bring on the euphoria commonly known as "runners high".

Blasting down the last mile and off the Surrey hills, I could barely keep up with Dave and a credible 5 hours 16 mins for the muddy and hilly Tanners Round.

Amazing day, made more amazing by the man himself, Ultra Immune! Well done and see you at the Thames Trot 50 mile in 3 weeks

1 comment:

  1. wow, that is a serious slab of miles in a lovely part of the world. Very impressive stuff