Total Pageviews

Monday, 25 October 2010

Race report: Founders Marathon

It is with some trepidation that one enters a XC marathon with no marshalls and a set of directions with no more than 30 miles a week under ones belt 8 weeks after the Ridgeway but bumping into a couple of familiar faces after a cold start cheered me up.

I caught up with Irish Tom who just made it to the start. Some runners had gone off early but a small field left for a lung-bursting 2 mile uphill from the start line at Peaselake Memorial Hall in the Surrey Hills. 3 runners went off like the clappers up the hill, then followed by a couple. I presume they were all on the marathon, rather than the shorter loop of 16.

Tom and I settled down with a group of about 12 runners who, apart from the faster few were at the head of the field. The directions are always going to slow you down and more heads are better than one. It is so easy to go wrong. Having said that, we made a steady pace towards CP1. The weather warmed from a chilly 1 degree and the presence of the sun and the hills meant that I was glad I left the extra longsleeve in the car.

After CP1 the field began to split. I was aware that the field was stringing out and out group had pulled clear of the rest of the field. Tom stated at the end that he thought I had chosen to go hard and break the group. I was not aware of doing this but was running on feeling, with the Garmin tucked under my ronhill. We ran and chatted and soom enough, caught the 100 marathoners that went off half an hour before us. CP2 was full of lovely sandwiches, biscuits and crisps. Filling up on water bottles and we were off.

Tiredness inevitably crept in and we went wrong. Twice. We added at least 2 extra miles and at Friday Street, were caught by the fastest of the leading pack, who were in fact, 2 chaps who went off 5 mins before the start.

We dropped them again and after literally a minute at CP3, hot footed it up the steep hills to the end. Some of the hills were more like scrambles and the heavy rain had made the pathways rubbly and dangerous but we were better than that. At the finish we signed in, to find ourselves equal 6th. No other runners made it under 5 hours and fair play as it was a tough and technical challenge.

Cider at the finish to watch the rest over the line was the order of the day

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Coming to an end

Sunset from Peckham, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

The year is coming to an end and although the mojo is back, I am just not putting in the miles. Time is the biggest blocker here. Work pressures and all of the things that allowed me to run long have gone on the back burner for the moment. I can easily do 10-12 miles running back to back mon-weds but consistency and the LSRs on a saturday morning just are not happening. Still, 14th Founders Challenge tomorrow and hopefully all will be fine. Something that I am looking forward to, despite all of this rain.

It has been an incredible year. It looks like there will be 11 marathons and ultras for this year, with Founders and Portsmouth Waterside coming up in the next few weeks.

The notion of getting faster was potentially my goal for 2011. I am back running with the elite group at the club, although not comfortably. I guess there are 3 issues here: 1, improving VO2 max; 2, speedwork down at the track (no way!); and 3, mind over matter. Building the confidence is a lot of the problem with quicker running. However, I am now committed to the Thames Trot 50 in feb and the SDW 103 in July. These are my goals for the first part of 2011. Heck, I might even have another pop at the Ridgeway.......but I would like to get an overseas marathon in too.