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Friday, 30 June 2017

South Downs Marathon

Not to be confused with the aforementioned SDWM this is further along the massiv between Slindon and QE2 Park.

Limited stuff to say about this really. I think the 6th time of running this. One of my faves but not today. Coy feeling at the start led to a good few miles with Helen and a great catch up...then a semi hard run to Kithurst and the switchback to get on the SDW. Felt great for then on pootling along at 7.30s on a 30 degree day (why do they start this race so late! Give me a 7am start pls) all the way down to half way, then back up Cocking Down probably top 20 runners in the field and then mile 14-15 BAM BAM BDAM........ it hit me like a wall of shit. Exit stage left for a dump. Jeeez. Then after composure, another one. Then another. Then another. Again. It went away and then stomach cramps so bad I spent 10 mins, maybe 15 lying down in the grass......slightly off the course in case the brown train came again.

I walked for what felt like ages. I didn't see anyone. I thought I was last. BAM again. Again. Again. I was wasted. No water. Nothing inside me. I carried on. Only 10 miles to go. It was a bimble in. Slowly and tentatively, never fast...just in case....always looking for an escape route.....

I have never downed so much water at Harting Down CP.  Felt better and then carried on. I felt like I was at the back of the field and so carried on like a wounded soldier with the thermometer rising, grinding out the miles. BANG......2 miles from the end when all was getting back into the rhythm it was necessary again. Again and again. Even a mile from the finish, a diversion off the trail for privacy. ARRGGGHHH! So, dear readers, this was a beautiful trail, a hot day and a race that was marred by over an hour of diarrhea stops. Fuck's sake! Slowest marathon ever but #84 done

Saturday, 17 June 2017

South Downs Way marathon.

This time a marathon. 28 degrees at the start. 30 at the finish. A cameo first 14 miles in the mix with the top dudes and girls. Then......

9 shits and a need to lie down with stomach cramps. First 14 in 1.48. Last 12 in 3.01. Terrible terrible terrible. I ran an extra 2 km over the course just trying to find somewhere that people wouldn't see or smell me. Totally wasted throughout but #nogutsnoglory and #shittersnotnquitters.

I have dived out of races before. 9 Shits. No quits. My slowest marathon ever ever ever.

grim but done

South Downs Marathon ultra really.

Low key. 4000 ft of hills. Stunning countryside. Self nav. Conservative start. Met Zoltan Fordor and had a good chat with the legend himself. What a guy. Ran harder, then harder, then harder still. There was a lot of climb on this route and only 3 CPs. One with food. I dug deep. Really deep and then the last few miles were total bliss. Blasting down to the finish and 6th place. 6th!! A well deserved beer in the pub next to the finish.

Marathon #83

Liverpool to Manchester 50 L2M50

When you haven't raced a 50 for a couple of years there is a small squeaky bum crack moment when you down your porridge and then get in a cab across Northern Liverpool. Down at the start at 5am and it was about 4 degrees and windy.........headtorches lit the park near Aintree as I bid farewell to the cabbie.

The first thing I noticed was the chatter and the gear. There were 2 types. Basic runners. Vest, skinny, wiry.....wise. Then there were the show offs. All the gear.......lamenting about previous races. "I did this" "Well I did that"......and so it was for the kit check and number pick up that I was slightly aprehensive when I hear brash Northern tones from some girl..."I've done my Grand Slam....." I'm going to run the Tahoe Ring" "Me and Killian..." and I tried not to get psyched out. That sort of thing kills me though and I don't usually get bothered by it BUT I was worried about my kit check as I had not checked the email and being 230 miles from home when I check SAID email the night before realised that they were going to ENFORCE some things. Shit. I didn't have half of it. OK, blag.....blag again......Oooh I'll just pop to the car and get it....oh, its in my bag over there with the rest of my club.......Got through.

So with plenty of pomp and ceremony, Wayne Drinkwater sent us off. I felt pretty crap for the first few miles. Running the routes that I do when we escape up to the outlaws in Liverpool, I was quickly on 'home turf' and the first 9 miles I had run 20 times over the last 8 years. I felt shit though. Fat Welsh guys all bravado and spunk and weekend ultra selfie snappers were dancing ahead. I felt cack. Getting past East prescott and then Gateacre and down to Speke I started to pick up. The wannabees and the spunkers stopped to tie laces, pour powders into bottles and check Garmins. I pootled on. Conversation at a minimum.

Then. I woke up. 17 miles in and then I switched into the race. Probably some Caffeine through my veins as I crossed industrial estate and faded matchbox new build and hit the Mersea through its tidal laziness across the dawn sky. All of sudden I was hard wired into the race and the intravenous runners high did not stop. Old Bridge, New Bridge.

Then it happened. The stench from HELL. A quick run past a Northern Bone reprocessing plant. God. It smelled so bad.

A clip on now I blasted through CP3 and 4, spening time chatting to folk on the way. Chatting and then running on. I ran harder and harder and until I felt the wheels were going to come off. They didn't. Mark and I struck up banter. Banter at 30 miles in when you hit Cheshire and run a mile past your old house in South Manchester to a fellow Mancunian is pretty good. One small section of filth and the rest of the journey past runner after runner after runner......all the negative ones was great. We bonded. Across HALLOWED turf of the RIVER BOLLIN. That ran behind my house when I was 6.....and all of a sudden we were not at 30 but 40, not at 40 but 48.

The cameo is always good. We caught another 4 runners, we dropped 2 and then had a hell-for leather race for the line thanks to our guy from Knutsford Tri who had run the course last year. 'I though yer were a slow basterd....' he said as we had had banter in the changing rooms at the start. BLAST IT....I dropped the last mile in sub 7s. KILLED me, but after crossing the line in just over 8 hours for a 50 mile I was pretty gung ho. Burger in mouth, the family arrived before the bar opened. Good thing really as we blasted down the M60, me driving with 900mg of Caffeine in my veins....shh.

This was definitely in my top 3 runs of all time. AWESOME

So the Killian Tahoe Grand Slam Girl......well she came about 5th from last, nearly 7 hours later.....shame.