5k trail/road run. Weigthts 30/8/10

Quick run round the lanes followed by an upper body weights session.

Ragleth Inn Fell Race 25/8/10

AS 4 miles 1600 feet.
Wet, windy and a little bit slippy.
Callow hill viewed on a much nicer day
Great race and really pleased I managed to make it on time coming back from my Peris recce in Wales. This was the last in the series and I had done all the others. It was also the last race at all in Shropshire for quite some time. Good to catch up with the usual crowd before and after the race as well.
Photo from a rather wet Alastair
Starts by crossing a ford followed by a gradual climb up a track. Then leaving the track and going straight up Callow hill. Over the other side and back onto the track for another gradual climb. Next is a left turn and a very steep descent into Callow hollow, a good portion of which I spent sliding down on my backside(unintentionally), and follow the stream down the valley back to the base of Callow on the opposite side to where we started. All the way up the steep relentless climb back to the top. Retrace our earlier steps back to the finish.
Looks like I was a bit slower than last year but I'll put that down to heavy legs and the terrible weather conditions ;-)

Peris Horseshoe recce 2

10 miles 4500ft ish.

After missing the turn, for the last bit of of the route, on my recce last week I decided to go back and finish the job.

It was probably a good idea as I think navigating and common sense will be lacking after 16+ miles and 7000 feet+ of climbing/descending. Although, if the weather is as good as it were yesterday, navigation should not be a problem.

Looking forward to the race even though I know it's going to be really tough.

Just about got back in time to enter the last Fell Race in the Shropshire Summer Series.

Peris Horseshoe Recce

17 miles, 7000 feet, ish.

With the Peris Horseshoe Mountain Race coming up in a few weeks and the disappointment of being timed out at Borrowdale I thought I'd better get some miles and some climbing in my legs. What better way than give the race route a recce.

I did the Half Peris last year (9 miles 4500 feet) so I was familiar with the first section. But, as most of it was in mist last year and I ended up tagging along with some local fellas, I didn't think it would do me any harm to find myself round.
zigzaggin through the quarry
It starts as it means to carry on. Brutally ! From Llanberis a 2700 ft climb through the disused quarry then continue up to Elidir Fawr. Scramble over a load of rocks then some contouring and another climb up to Foel goch. A nice fast descent than another climb up Y garn. Another fast descent before a real slog up to Glyder Fawr. After that try and find a good line of Glyder down the Pen Y pass car park and the finish (of the half that is). That is a mammoth race on it's own.
After that the real battle starts. A gradual climb up the miners Track with all the ill equipped tourists asking stupid questions then some relief from the tourist as you cut off the main path and head up the trail towards Y Lliwedd.
looking back towards the miners track
With tired legs this is really difficult and towards the top it's so steep you're using hands and legs to pull yourself up.
hand and leg stuff
Next is a series of ups and downs (mainly ups) up to the summit of Snowdon. Snowdon behind the cloud
Again, the last couple of hundred feet is hands and leg stuff.
view across to Y-Lliwedd taken on another occasion
Once at the top you are reunited with the masses. A lot of whom have gone up on the train and get in the way even more than the walkers. Start going down the Llamberis path for a few hundred metres and look out for a left turn taking you down the Snowdon Ranger Path. I missed this turn and continued down the Llamberis path. By the time I'd realised I couldn't muster the energy to drag myself back up to take the correct route so continued the 4.5 mile down to where I started. I should have gone down to the foot of Moel Cynghorion for the last climb and then down the very steep grassy section which takes you to a path leading back into Llamberis.
I am now aware of the enormity of the task ahead. This must be one of the hardest most technical races on the calender. I can't wait.

Ponderosa Fell Race 11/8/10

BS 4 miles 951 feet.

My second run of this race. It's slightly unusual in that it starts at the top of a valley (near the Ponderosa cafe, Horseshoe pass Llangollen). Winds up a path to the top of a nearby hill then starts flowing it's way, speedily, down to the bottom of the valley. After that there's a slog back up the valley to the finish. I think it's the only race I've done that finishes with an up hill.

I started right at the back. I mean last. I don't know why. Maybe I was worried about my legs after Borrowdale and kickboxing in the previous few days and I didn't want to get in any ones way. Maybe a bit of a daft decision as I spent the whole race trying to get past people. Never mind, I was pleased with the result. I started last out of 118 runners and finished 72nd. I also knocked 2 minutes of last years time ! Woohoo. Great race and I really enjoy the fast descents.

Borrowdale Fell Race 7/8/10

AL 17 miles 6700 feet.
Or that's what it would have been if I'd have finished.
For a change I had a really healthy week leading up to the race. No booze and healthy eating. I trained a few times but nothing too strenuous. I even lost a bit of weight.
collecting my number
Because Methuselah and I had never done a race of this length our plan was to start relatively slowly and pace ourselves for the first three hills and save some energy for the last two. But not so slowly we wouldn't make the cut off (Honister 14miles 4.5 hours). Or that was the plan. going up Bessyboot
Unfortunately it didn't work out quite to plan.
When the race started we jogged out at a reasonable pace but straight away I felt as it I didn't have enough energy. I'm never quick going up hills but I found the first hill, Bessyboot (check point 1), even more of a struggle than usual. Then it seemed a real battle just to keep up with the stragglers across the top and up a gradual climb to Allen Crags and check point 2.
We agreed before hand that we would need some food to get round and had decided that would be after 2 hours. 1:50 into the race I decided I couldn't wait the extra 10 minutes and shoved a GIANT size snickers bar down me.
Whilst I'd been going through a bit of a mental battle Methusela had been jogging ahead, filling the joint water bottle up from streams and patiently waiting for me to turn up to rehydrate me.
As we ascended towards Scarfell Pike the weather closed in a bit and we got separated. I think I took a poor line at one stage which probably cost me a couple of minutes and a few places as, frustratingly, some of the few people I'd passed ended up ahead of me. I managed to hook up with Methuselah just before Broad Crag and we started the, now relatively short climb, up Scafell Pike together. By now the Snickers had kicked in and I started to feel more normal and found the climb up Scafell Pike to check point 3 much easier. So it seemed that I'd been lacking energy due to a shortage of fuel.
going up Great Gable
The run down to the base of Great gable was pleasant enough and we thought we had enough
time in hand to make the cut off. Going up Great Gable check point 4 was hard but you just had to get your head down and get it done.
Coming off Gable was easy enough and all we had left to navigate was our way over Brandreth, Grey Knotts and down to Honister. I don't think we took a bad line at this stage but it was taking us longer than expected to cover the distance. On the run down to Honister it became apparent we wouldn't make the cut off. I got there 4 minutes too late.
running in at Honister
I had a mixture of disappointment, at not making the cut off, and relief, at not having to continue.
It really hadn't been a good race for me from the start. A lack of energy and when I usually make up time going down hill they were all a bit too steep to really let go. After the race I was really peed off. And, a few days later, I still am. It has however given me some determination to loose some weight. I think it's the only way I'm going to be able to do these longer races with real intent.
I will go back next year to finish the race.

Wrekin slow run 4/8/10


Up and over the Ercal, down the road past the hotel, up the steepest part of the Wrekin, up to the summit, down the other side, up and over little hill, round the side of the Wrekin, back up to the summit, retraced my steps towards the Ercal missing out the short cut, up and over Ercal again and back to the truck. All on no breakfast.
Probably last bit of running before the Borrowdale Fell Race this Saturday.