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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentine's Challenge - Marathon #80

Not a great deal to say. Too much DOMS from running hills. A tarmac course that was windy and pretty unforgiving.This was a training run that if I could get my head around the laps, would have been OK, but I hate the laps...what can I say.

Slower than average time. 7.50s for first 15, then capitulated and 9s'd in the rest like a rat holding onto a mouldy crisp. Felt like quitting after 15 miles. Felt better at 24....but too late to think about the 2 laps beyond the marathon which would've won it.

I love Traviss and Rachel for heir excellent organisation but I need to get my head around the laps. I just can't do it anymore. Give me the trail again please.....

Marathon #80 ticked off

training in the Peak District

2 days 2 x 2.5 hour runs. I wish I had gone further and had longer on my feet but I knew I had a marathon on the Tuesday. Well below freezing and lots of snow. Perfect for exploration, following the hills and trails and trying not to fall over and die on the remote hills. I did not see a soul for 2.5 hours each time and thank the grips on my shoes and someone watching over me that I did not trip, slip of break something.

I ran up to Solomon's Temple to begin my run. Having lived just 17 miles away as a little Northern Scoundrel, I knew this 1200ft hill well. From here it was Nav out into snow country.

Despite the deeper snow, it was a much easier run on saturday as there were not 60mph winds that were almost impossible to stand, let alone run. This was a good explore and plenty of vistas.

Axe Edge Moor and Burbage edge were my faves.

Sunday I had developed a little but of DOMS and took it easy for a while. I ran much further than I did on the Saturday although had to keep off the peaks to some extent, heading for Cloughs and gulleys as the wind was too hard to stand up in.

I headed down the Goyt Valley which was cold and deserted. My mum and dad's favourite place. I can see why.....I loved it as a kid and I still love it now.

Shining Tor, Hoo Moor, Stakeside and then back down and up Burbage. Legs battered. Cold and filled with DOMS. Time for a warm bath and remove the black mud from those hidden geothermal pools beneath the snow.....

Winter Tanners 2017

I love this race. What can I is fairly local, fairly nuts in terms of cold and wet as is early January. It is self-nav and in the 50km, only 3 CPs and this year a totally new and very challenging course.....4000ft of hills

The plan was to start out with my good Tanners buddy Mark Thronberry. He had brought along a few friends including Paul T who I had run with on the first 7 miles of the Winter Midnight Ultra......thanks Paul as if it wasn't for you I would have gone off course and potentially not won the race!! I also bumped into the sexy young Hampshire scamp, Kelvin Gower and had a catch up. This type of race is the business and my kind of territory. Wet, muddy, hard to nav and cold. We ran together for about 15 mins then I realised that I was on form for the day so in the first of 6 hours of constant rain and sleet, waded through puddles and hit the uphills like a wet antelope. After a while I caught up with 100 mile winner and legend Jenny Cox and her entourage and we on and off chatted for a bit. We meet up for our once a year date with mud and beastly hills and have a chat.....then off she went. 

CP 1 came and went and off towards CP2, which included the hilliest section of the run. I began a conversation with Martyn Turner who I had been overtaken by at SPW on the last mile and had been a marshall at the ill-fated Thames Gateway 60 in 2013. We ran and chatted for all but the last 3 miles of the race. There was a good bit of nav between us and we didn't see another runner until CP2, where we caught and overtook a bunch of good quality runners. Leading through the forests of the Surrey Hills and through plenty of mud, Martyn and I had a good old chat. We went at a steady but fast clip and caught up again with Jenny. As a group of about 7 we went through mud and snow, slipping all over the place to now about 4 hours in the rain and sleet. My waterproof was not waterproof anymore, everything was soaked and now heavy.

CP3 came and that was the signal to hit again hard. Martyn and I ran and left the group, taking a couple with us who eventually caught and then I ran with Jenny's mate and Martyn ran behind. I knew the last 3 miles like the back of my hand. Cold wet legs and 7.30s down the hill for the cameo was manageable. 6.19 was the slowest I have ever done the race, but 19th place and it felt like the fastest? There were some seriously good runners in the top few and also some seriously good runners in the next hour behind me. I really enjoyed this race....more than any other tanners and probably in my top 10 of all time races. 

Marathon #79 done