Hinstock 5k Race (road)

After some light jogging up and around the Wrekin on Thursday night, 90 minutes, I knew my back still wasn't able to cope with too much abuse.

So I had my excuses ready when the Panther and I hobbled down to the village hall to register. It was there I saw a Chris, fellow villager, in a Newport Running Club vest. I had no idea he was a runner (well road runner if that counts). And, a road runner of some note. Bugger ! first local was now even more unlikely. Oh well.....
90 runners gathered outside the Falcon Inn for the organiser to warn us about some slippy parts of the course (maybe the road runner will take a fall)? and inform us the course is actually "a bit" further than 5k. Then Lord Morris counts us down and blows the horn that starts the race. I start off tentatively to see what the back feels like. I still hurts, even after taking MattR's advice of brufen brufen brufen, but it's only for 20 minutes or so, so, I plod on. Ahead I can see the lead pack pulling away. And, with it, villager Chris. After them were a second group which I try to keep up with. I pass the supportive marshals and some relatives that popped over to see us. Now in about 25th position I seem to be getting used to the back pain so decide to pick up the pace and try and reel in some runners. It takes some time but slowly I bring them in. Still a good way behind the lead pack and no chance of catching them I somehow manage to start pulling away from the rest of the runners behind with only the occasional challenge from another local (young lad). With about a mile to go I reach the "slippy bit" and there is no sign of any fallen local runners. With no chance of local winner there is now only pride to fight for. With 800 meters left I look round to see a group of five club runners bearing down on me. YOU WILL NOT PASS I think to myself and put on a bit more speed. Last 100 meters and there's now only one challenger on my shoulder. We both put on a sprint finish as we round the corner towards the village hall car park and the finish line. I hold him off.
In the end I came in 12th overall and second local. I'm pleased with 12th out of 90. Much better than I usually do at fell races. Maybe I should start doing more road runs ?.........Naa
The good news is, I found out talking to him afterwards, Chris is moving out of the village in a few weeks. He will be sorely missed. But not by me next year ;-) I just have to make sure I can stay ahead of young lad. Unless something were to happen to him leading up to next years race ?
Wohahahaha ! Wohahahahah ! Wohahahahahahahah

Catch up

Kickboxing 13/9/10
75 minutes sparing and circuit training. Very difficult after running the Peris two days earlier.

Wrekin training run 15/9/10
Quick blast up. Started slowly and reluctantly but felt strong on the second half of the climb. Jogged down then around the other side. About 1 hour all together.

Road run 16/9/10
With the Panther to help prepare her for the Birmingham half marathon in 5 weeks. It was only supposed to be a shortish one as there wasn't much day light left. In the end though, after several wrong turns, we ended up doing 9 miles. Doh ! It was well and truly night by the time we got back. On the plus side though it looks like she maybe on target to break 2 hours in five weeks.

Trail run with some sprints thrown in 18/9/10
Away for the weekend but managed to squeeze in a 60 minute trail run with the Panther. Nice and light for the trail run but finished off with some hill sprints.

Peris Horseshoe 11/9/10

AL 17.5 miles 8500 feet. A race of epic proportions.
The longest race I have done to date and a truly inspired route. Starting in Llamberis with a steep climb through the slate quarry and beyond up to Elidir Fawr check point 1. Scramble over a load of slippy rocks "find" then follow a trail around to Y Garn (2). Down then UP Glyder Fawr (3)then try and find a good route down to Pen-Y-pass (4) the half way point and end of the line for the "halfers". 9 miles 4500 feet. Avoid the temptation to get on the bus back to Llamberis, cross the road and start up the miners track before cutting off left and climbing up to Lliwedd (5). Then there's the down and up to Snowdon (6)before going down the Snowdon rangers path to the foot of the last climb, Moel Cynghorion (7). A quad busting descent down to the last check point (8) then if there's any energy left a run through the woods towards the Vic and the finish.
After 8300 feet of climbing I have to stop for a rest
This is one of the hardest races in the calender and in my opinion, with only 60ish runners entering, vastly under attended.
Last year Methuselah and I did the half Peris. A race comparable with Ben Nevis in terms of distance and climb and no easy race in it self. At the end of that race, as the half Perisers, we weren't deemed to have worked hard enough, to be awarded a slate coaster. The full Perisers were. So it was then that I decided I would do the full Peris route this year and get my hands on a coaster. Thankfully Methuselah agreed to come along for the ride.
Photo from Fellrunning Pictures check point 8
To ensure we made the cut off time, at the halfway point, we decided to take the early start option. This meant starting with the halfers 30 minutes before the serious full Perisers were released. Even before check point (2) the two leaders had past us. Incredible. It turned out we didn't need the early start as we would have got there before the cut off anyway, but, we seriously slowed on the second half so I'm glad we went early as not to have the marshals waiting around in crappy weather for us to turn up. Worse still, all the jelly babies they were giving out may have gone by the time we got there.
Well earned Peris mugs (not coasters this year)
8 people didn't make the cut off and 3 people did not finish. In the end we came in a little under 6 hours. We weren't last but weren't far off. I'll put this down to the seriousness of the competitors that take part in a race like this. Definitely not for the faint hearted. As one of the halfers said to me on the way round. He ran the full a couple of years earlier and collapsed on the second half. He got carried off the mountain.
A race of epic proportions.
Incidentally. Had we have done the half this year, with my time at Pen-Y-pass, I would have finished in the top half ;-)

Ben Nevis Race

AM 10 miles 4406 feet. Britain's highest mountain.
A bit flashy I know, but, leading up to the race it was the thought of the possible 10 hour plus drive up the M6 on a Friday afternoon that was putting me off. So, I had the offer of using a friends plane and my running buddie Methuselah had offered to go halves on the fuel. "Ok then. Lets fly up".
A classic. 1969 Bellanca Viking. The only one in the UK and our transport to Oban airfield.
A day at the office for me, although I'm usually getting paid to do that sort of stuff(lucky bugger), but a novelty for Methuselah.
It was 1 hour 50 minutes later we touched down on the runway in Oban. Hire car was already waiting and a short time after we drove into Fort William feeling fresh and ready for some lunch. If you have the money, which I don't, it's the only way to travel.

Next day was the race. We booked in early and so had time to wander round Fort William for a while before heading back to prepare for the race.
pre race team pose
The usual dilemmas as to which tshirt, shorts and trainers to wear. Then to the start where all 481 runners were serenaded to start line by the bagpipers.
Started with a circuit of the playing field to wave at the spectators then onto the road for a short section. A path takes you around a hill and slowly uphill towards the foot of the Ben.
The climbing then continues up the Ben to the halfway up point and the first cut off, which we made by a good ten minutes. Then, when the tourist path starts to zig zag up the mountain, we cut off left and went the direct route to the top. This is a real slog but you've just got to get your head down and get on with it. A while into this climb is when the front runners start coming down past us. Incredible athletes these people are.
Towards the top it levels out a bit so you can start running again to the summit. Hand your tag in, turn round and head back. The only difference going back is that, at the halfway point
everyone takes a short cut down a ridiculously steep grassy bank to get back onto the path. At this stage my quads just started collapsing underneath me and I spent almost as much time on my back side as on my legs.
If I do the race again I may consider going back via the path. Although further and maybe longer in time at least I would still have some thing left in may legs for the remainder of the race.
With wobbly legs we continue down the path, which is still quite steep, towards the road and the final slog back towards the field and the finish line.
After 10 minutes getting my breath we go in search of recovery food . Which I find in a tent in the form of cake, lots of cake ;-)
And beer !
Then a soak in the river. Bracing !

before going back to the B&B to get changed then go out in search for more "recovery" food.
"juzt one more for the road. Hicup"
I only really wanted to do the Ben Nevis race to tick a box and say that I'd done it. And, the route is nothing special, but, the race itself had something, I can't explain, that makes me want to go back again next year.
Anyone fancy chipping in for some aviation fuel ?

Last run before Ben Nevis

I wanted to go for a run but nothing too strenuous as we are running the Ben Nevis Race on Saturday.

I popped down to the Wrekin and had a quick blast up to the top. I thought I'd do this bit as fast as I could as the last few times I've been there I had been running for endurance rather than speed and wondered what I could do it in. 16:58. I was pleased with the time. Only 20 seconds slower than my best ever time.
After that I slowed it right down. Jogging down the opposite side and around the southern side trying to get my technique right.

In total I was out for just over an hour. Really pleasant trail run on a nice summers day. Probably not many of those left this year.