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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Green Chain Marathon 2011 - Race Report; a day of missing markers and a dozy marshal

Green Chain Marathon 2011 by ultraBobban
Green Chain Marathon 2011, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

It's been more than long enough since I penned a race report and and I am glad to do so.

The GCM is a local race and I am more than hapy to support low carbon "just down the road (8 miles)" race.

Bright sunshine woke me up.... I was up and ready to race but my blinking leg was still asleep. After the 20 min drive down to Avery Hill; Greenwich, I got out and signed in, meeting Helly D at the start. She told me about the Ridgeway where she ran 5 mins slower than last year but managed 2nd lady overall. She keeps coming 2nd!! Anyhow we went off at a fair clip and Helen was keen to stay with a group. I said that I felt a little slow owing to my broken leg and dropped my pace by 20 secs a mile. Soon finding myself running all alone, perhaps 20 secs per mile faster than the big group behind, but equally slower than the big group in front, I went through CP1 and then CP2 without stopping. The course was through wooded hilly parts of our lovely City that I never knew existed.....and then we traversed Lesnes Abbey and then bang....Thamesmead (on Thames). I am so glad that the concrete jungle was asleep as we ran through perhaps the most income deprived area of south london. I can't imagine what being there on a saturday night would be like but the broken bottles, evidence of burning and vandalism conjured up a place that I did not want to be.

Along the Thames Path to smelly Crossness and down to Erith. Helly was probably about 10 mins in front of me but at the finish, we shared our thoughts on the "James Bond" style buildings that were retro-modernistic. I was cantering along and soaking up the sunshine. Cutting back towards London with the Dartford Bridge just a couple of miles away and into Franks Park and bizarrely past my mate Nick's house......must give him a call.....I haven't heard from him an an age.

Uneventful miles uphill though woodland and then came the point of becoming lost. Plumstead Common, a marshall sent me and another runner straight. Dozy bint.....she should have sent me right. We ran right down to the Thames at Woolwich down Ha Ha road and the round trip was 4 miles.

Back on course I caught and passed about 20 people. The checkpoints came and went until the lovely Eltham Palace and then the last few miles were along roads. I put my head down and miles 27-31 were all 8s or abouts.

Pity I got so lost and spent so much time with the map and asking locals where I was. Yes a Landranger would have helped but I still enjoyed it as I saw so many parts of London that I never knew existed and I have lived here for 15 years!!!

Will be back next year....A low key LDWA style event but very friendly. 4 hours 30 running time for 31 miles but with mapping and hanging around on street corners.....5.00 overall.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

ready for action again

Start of Downland Ultra30 by ultraBobban
Start of Downland Ultra30, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

Tomorrow is the Green Chain Marathon; 27 miles of self navigation in the deepest corner of South East London. Eltham to Abbeywood and back via the Thames Path. I'm not feeling superb about this one as over the last 4 weeks I have felt that anything over 12 miles has been a chore and has aggravated my leg break injury. I had thought that intensive training and the odd day off per week would have meant that it would be sorted by now but 5 months after operation number 2, I think that I will be thwarted for life with the pain that wakes me every morning or, in particular, after a long drive of say 200 miles, renders me unable to run more than 10k without a grumble for a week or two.

That said, I have lost some body mass this last 4 weeks, 5.2kg, which has allowed me to go a bit quicker. This might seem like a lot, but I have been eating far less and working for 13 hours a day, following that by a 10 mile run every night of the week and after coming back from a lard filled holiday in France, is just what is needed.

I am running tomorrow and then running the Blackwater marathon in 4 weeks. Tomorrow is a map work PB challenge. The start is 9 miles from home so not far.....

bring it on!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Beardo is on the charge

I've had a lax few weeks. I got up this morning to run the LFB Chiltern Challenge this morning. I was up at 5am, the cogs began whirring and then I drifted back to sleep....for another 5 hours! After my 22 with Beardo on Tuesday around the grimmest estates in south east London, I had a recovery, then a 10 and then a day or two off. After my slumber, I could not take myself from the sofa to witness the amazing Mo Farah take GOLD at the world champs in Daegu.....what a LEGEND!!! I After a coffee and a crumpet, I went out for a brisk hilly 17km at 8s or sub 8s and then a spot of gardening. The first part of my run included the 360ft climb up to Crystal Palace, something I seem to do every day on a run....but no less impressive at any time to run along the Norwood ridge from Forest hill to Streatham and back down to Elmers end 500ft below and the long drag back up 150ft over 3 miles back home.

Even though I am targetting a couple of longer runs after xmas, I am finding getting my morale up with all of the other distractions; work, wedding, house.....a little tough. Perhaps being back at work will work wonders with me and a new pair of trainers to spur me on. I have invested in something different to my Asics Cumulus into Brooks Ghost 3. I am not sure, but I can't wait.

Meantime I am inviting Steve Beard to run the Green Chain Marathon along with Eric. The run starts in Eltham in 2 weeks and is a 27 mile run around the Dirrrty south east. I have other plans for the Autumn term; Blackwater Marathon in Essex (near to mum and dad's) and then a nice run in to xmas to get ready for the C2C 45 and the various 50s I have in mind to build up to my 100 mile challenge for 2012.

Beardo; well he is on the charge.....he is cycling 70 miles a week and running 38. I am not sure why an 11 stone runner cannot go faster than me up hill and down dale but you need to feel his handshake. So wet!