It’s the school winter term already and I’ve not even caught up with the summer running yet.
When I last wrote, I’d bitten the bullet and dragged my body kicking and screaming around the Scott Snowdonia Trail Marathon. The only real casualty from that escapade was that my trail shoes disintegrated. I’ve also got a lovely collection of blackened toenails from the rocky descent.
Trust 10 – Lyme Park
I’ve been occupied with a new Trail 10k route within the National Trust property of Lyme Park in Disley (Cheshire). There’s a separate post covering the route so I’m not going to repeat that here. However we’re only 3 weeks away before the inaugural staging of the event and entries are open, and there is a lot of interest.
We now have the promotional material:
It’s all becoming very real now, and that’s exciting. I think it’s a good mixture of terrain and definitely a little tougher than your average 10k. Having something to challenge people is good, at least as long as it doesn’t scare them off! It’s a long way from being 10k of tarmac though which is what many people end up signing up for. And it’s a lot nicer to look at!
The 401 Challenge
I went from doing no running to going off to run a marathon up the second biggest mountain in the UK. 2 weeks after that experience I ran another marathon, my lifetime 5th.
You may be aware of a chap named Ben Smith who has taken on an incredible challenge of running the distance of 401 marathons in 401 days. Called ‘the 401 Challenge‘ the aim is to increase awareness of bullying and to raise £250,000 for two anti-bullying charities. Ben’s 351st marathon started in Bramhall and I was fortunate enough to be able to rearrange my work to be able to join the run.
Here’s a group photo prior to setting off:
All in all a great turn out and whilst some people only wanted to run around Bramhall Park with Ben, others joined en route. The information given prior to the event about the length of time it would take turned out to be incorrect. As a result I ended up having to run ahead in order to get back to walk a dog on the other side of Stockport. However, I did manage to get back before Ben and the others who completed the full 26.2 miles got back to the park and so was able to enjoy the atmosphere at the end. There were a whole host of personal bests achieved on the day, and in fact, the 1000th PB within the challenge was recorded on this race. An excuse for another photo!
Ben always does ‘selfies’ with anyone who runs with him on this challenge, and so here’s mine 🙂
All in all, a fantastic day. Very hot for running, but a great atmosphere. I’m really chuffed to have been able to participate in this.
Stockport ‘Hatters’ Half Marathon
Finally I’m almost up to date. As I mentioned at the top of the post, my bursitis has continued to persist to the point where another round with my physio is required. However, I’ve been getting a little frustrated that I’ve not ‘raced’ since March. My speed has dropped too. Admittedly this has been due to factors such as terrain or weather, but it’s annoying.
Having joined a running club in February, being injured has meant I’ve not been able to participate in anything. Having seen the details for a local half-marathon, I decided to give it a go.
I run at Lyme Park a lot of the time, and so am used to the terrain. Limited tarmac, lots of tracks, some hills. This is the world I’m running in now. The result is that my road-running has been left in the background. The ‘Hatters’ race is a mixture of tarmac and trails, providing a chance to try some speed work.
I took the first half of the race very conservatively. This was, in part, due to difficulty in overtaking on narrow paths. However I wanted to make sure I had control of my pace throughout.
The result was that my second half was faster and I could finish strong. Other runners commented to me that I was in good shape towards the end, which was pleasing. This despite the fact that my heel was complaining at me.
I’ve always maintained that I don’t competitively race against other people, just my own expectations. That is, until the finish line is in sight. At that point, anyone is fair game. In addition, now that I was running for a club, it gave me a boost to pass other clubs just prior to the finishing line. Something which went down well with the locals as people like to see a competitive finish. Especially when it’s a local club runner who is coming out on top.
My time of 1 hour 37 minutes was pleasing in the circumstances. Whilst it was almost 1 minute/mile slower than my PB in Anglesey in March, it was on a par with the pace I had previously run half-marathons.
There’s still a significant amount of healing required in my feet. I am hoping they will get to the point of not hurting soon. I have a number of races planned for the autumn, and would like to get along to some club training sessions too! Somebody did state it was an age thing, but I’m not ready to give up yet!!!
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