exe to axe v the grizzly ? ?
It has been dry as a bone down here; the wind has dried everything out! The weather looks good for Sunday. Just a shame I am working... But; 10 days to go 'til Exmoor Have just run round some of the course today, last time I went round I was slipping around and wading, today it was like concrete, not pleasant, very uneven. Good luck for Sunday blakester!
Plan to run this as a double starting at Axmouth in the small hours : 6 hours really slow to Exmouth then breakfast then join the race back to Axmouth.
My last long training run before The Fellsman.
Would you like a 'if I were you I would' assessment of the Exmoor course? As long as anyone in the same class and event as me promises not to read it, of course!
The course is hard imo; you start at sea level and run steeply up and along the coast path to a cairn (large pile of stones) at 300 metres (height); at this point you will wonder what you have entered! But the good news is you are running straight back down to sea level; except that the descent is tortuous and if you are not careful you will go arse over tit (and look and feel one) be careful. This brings you back to the start (11 km)
Next you go out (the other way) along the coast path. This is just up and down through woods, a town (Lynton), along river sides, to Countisbury, you then look down to Lynmouth (spectacular) there follows a long descent to the town (Lynmouth). You may think the worst is over... but after this you undulate up down up down.... (loose the will to live) This bit is pretty hard. But eventually you come round a corner and look down on the mouth of the river again (at the start) when you get back to the start you are at 44 (ish) km.
You then repeat the initial loop up to 300 metres...
My thoughts are that if you are too keen on the initial 10k loop you will go bang in a big way; so take it easy. The race could also go wrong if you do not save a bit for the second 10k loop . Remember that the run down from the cairn is technically difficult.
The worst bit is running round the headlands (after Lee Abbey) and hoping the next one is the one down to the start! I am certain that getting your pace right is the key to a good time...
The scenery is world class! Enjoy....
The course is dry as a bone.. rock hard.. No significant rain has fallen or is forecast... tough call for footwear.... BBC Weather for the forecast....
I would allow a good hour, maybe a bit more.
Come off the A361 at Aller Cross (The Northgate Inn) and take the A399 right, turning right again at Blackmoor Gate (towards Lynton) it was well signposted last year (turn left after the station).
I will be in a white Endurance life top and an Inov8 belt bag. Good luck.... weather looks shit..... but not cold
I am feeling a bit second hand at the moment; I tried to win my age group and went too fast! Consequently I went slower than last year So I am pleased that I went for it, but looking back I should have added some time because of the conditions. Hopefully my local knowledge helped you; did you see/feel what I meant about the bit between the valley of the rocks and the start of the second loop?
I stopped at the last checkpoint on the way home to see the ultra runners emerging out of the mist coming down from the cairn; it looked pretty grim. I did look out for you; what is your next race? If you enjoyed this race look at the Exmoor Stagger in the Autumn (Minehead Running Club) great race....
The words, "beat my time" are a sore point... I went half an hour slower this year 5h 10m. I wanted to beat 4h 30m and have run it (unofficially) in 4h 36m so this was not unrealistic. I think the weather was a major factor as the times were much slower this year than last. Next year.... (but I said that last year). I don't know how you could describe that second loop 'fun' and doing the London Marathon next weekend???? My legs are still sore today...
You are making me feel very amateurish! I want to do an ultra but pacing is an issue for me, I cannot resist getting carried away... even in a 10k!
The Stagger is 'only' 18miles but you run from sea level to the highest point on Exmoor and back again; 1600 metres of climbing in total. Scenery is again, world class.
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