AC8, great running, I've been there and it hurts. So I take my hat off to you for finishing and under 5hrs...big congratulations.
I will put together a full race report later today (as it is unlikely I will run more than a couple of miles, I am struggling to walk)
In the meantime, just a few answers to questions and a couple of observations.
MCS, you have a beautiful playground, but it is a harsh environment even on a glorious day
- We started by running through the cloud/mist (see piccy)
- Nobody that I spoke to afterward minded being cut as it was so brutal, in-fact I spoke to a chap who was prevented from running the last leg as he was 32nd (only 30 got to run it) and his view was that it was right as he wasn't quite that good and ready to drop out...us runners can be an honest lot!
- The organisation and value was amazing with a few slight glitches (but it was the first and very ambitious event)
It hurst today a lot...I think this is the toughest run I have ever done
Choisty - i reckon this sort of event will do wonders for your strength and stamina when you go back on the road.
Hats off guys - brilliant running
Choisty - sounds fantastic - glad you are hardcore enough to have taken part - a little bit if me is jealous, another bit isn't LOL
AC8 - all you have to focus on is that YOU DID IT - whoop whoop! The next one'll be easier as you now know what's involved and your body has done the hardest bit - completing the distance the first time. I like to remember the first half I ran and how trashed I was - now I don't even blink an eye at the thought of them. Am looking forward to the day that I am as confident about the full version! The human body is an amazing thing! Enjoy a nice week off and let your body absorb the strength you've just built!
And onto the next week - so .... we have Reiki running a 10k this weekend? Ten - behaving himself for a whole week and cruising his exam? Anyone else got plans? As for me - I have 165 minutes of running this week and then I start my massage course this weekend.
Superb picture C well done on a brilliant position........I was over at Calver yesterday morning before the mist had lifted after I had been for an early run down to Bakewell and wondered if the mist would lift enough for you to see where you were going as Froggart Edge was still covered at 10am . Well done on finishing so high up excellent result. Those hills sure kill the legs, I plan to do a few Edge runs this winter to toughen my old legs up. Hope the Bed and Breakfast was okay for you?
Chester Marathon Report
We couldn’t have asked for better conditions on the day so I decided to go all out for sub 3:30. I knew it would be a tough ask but thought that I better give it a go.
The organisation throughout, the support and the volunteers at the water stations were amazing. I would definitely recommend this race to people. Get it on the to do list.
I was running with me mate and knew I needed to be a little quicker than 8 min mile pace to reach the target. So we set off and put in a first couple of miles at 7:50 pace. Think this probably was a little quick thinking on now but felt fine at the time and got pulled along a little by the atmosphere (rookie mistake). Ran through the city to great support and then out on the rural roads into Wales. Some bits of the course were a bit boring with no support because no 1 lives round there but the atmosphere was good and everyone was enjoying the weather.
Plodded on to Half Way and, minus a few inclines, the course was relatively flat. Went through half way in 1:44:17. Slightly up on goal pace. Noticed that I had some severe nipple issues and that my top was covered in blood. Not to self: micropore tape is a must!
Felt fine at this point going along well. Stayed comfortably on goal pace until mile 17. This was the 1st hill in Farndon. Oosh it was a killer and took it out of me. At this point I had to tell my mate to push on as I knew that 3:30 was out the window. The wheels didn’t come off yet though. That was saved for mile 21. 8:30 mile. Now it was time to grit my teeth and just power on. Which I pretty pleased to say I managed to do.
Mile 23 was the big test – Sandy Lane and a whopping big hill. I train on this in the winter so knew what to expect but normally I haven’t got 23 Miles in my legs. I am sure that I could have walked up it faster than I ran but I had some support on the hill so had to put my game face on.
Once that was out the way it was plain sailing to the finish with a little spurt on the end taking me over the line before two guys in 3:33:54 a 50 minute PB. Got to be happy with that. 2013 is going to be a break from marathons and an attempt to get a sub 1:25 half in the autumn. Plenty of speed work for me after recovery. Possibly start back with cross country in a month.
Well done Choisty - Pic is amazing I can believe how fast you can run it!
Congratulations AC8 your a marathon runner now and no one can take that away from you!
Congrats Luke, great report and an excellent PB progression, you will go faster in years to come I am sure. Awesome AC8 you are a marathon runner too well done. Great effor tenjoy the rest this week and feed up.....This week for me is a nice steady 25 in total I think. Just ticking over at the moment and last week only did 21 miles. Hope to get up on the course where C was this weekend, next and do a round above Castleton, you can run along the tops and and back to the village once you have gained the height there is a run you can do which is not too painful. How our speed merchants do it!! Cycling home tonight, lovely day today here in Bakewell, sunshine and a busy market day. Managed to avoid going in the chippy at lunchtime, had a jacket spud instead......Coniston 14 seems a long way off any suggestions for local races to me over the winter???
Hello there, just thought I'd check by and see what's been going on with you all - have read few last 5-6 pages - well done Luke on a great PB, and Choisty, your race sounds amazing, was it that inov-8 sponsored-thing?
I had a fun summer of triathlons - sprint and Olympic distance - as well as bike time trialling (WHAT a tempo workout!). But I'm getting my running head back on now - have done a few local races and been pleasantly surprised at my times, and have signed up for Zermatt Marathon next year - which is 100% uphill, so unlikely to be a PB yielding outing!
I'm holding a workshop - Master the Marathon - on Nov 3rd, details on my website soon... not that any of you well-informed people need it!
Great report Luke and with such a massive PB you must be well chuffed. Good plan for next year and you can come back to 26.2 when you are ready and have put a bit more strength and speed in your legs. Real progression in the marathon can take years of consistent running so you are on the right track.
AC8 - looking forward to your report
Sleepy - thats only about 20 miles this week, you slacker - thought you were a hardcore mountain goat now???????
Funny Hat - sorry not to reply earlier about coffee tomorrow - i'm over in Watford for a couple days Tues/Wed (coming back for hills weds evening) so unfortunately can't make it - another time would be good.
Good long run today (postponed from Sunday) - 12 miles in MP overall with first 9 @ MP+17secs and last 3 @ HMP-7secs - then deep tissue sports massage this afternoon which hurt - feel like a real athlete for a day !!!!
20 miles for me this week then a couple of very short jogs next week before Abingdon.
mcs - Lakeland trails do a full year round series of races but its still a bit of travel for you - is there an equivalent in the Dales? could you join a running club who go in for x-country local races over the winter (great for strenght and fun)?
Sam - absolutely fantastic and fabulous that you have popped in to see us on this thread - there are only a few of us but its a very informative and supportive bunch and we have great fun and camaraderie and we meet up at races, coffee shops and pubs so have lots of fun as well.
Sounds as though your hip must be fully recovered now so that's great news and your fitness level sounds good. Still read with great interest your RW column so keep them coming please.
You will be pleasantly surprised at the number of times we end up giving each other on this thread advice by starting with "Sam used to say..." so your instruction has stayed with us and we seem to be getting better!!
Do keep popping in
Yo Sam - good to hear from you! Sounds like you've been having fun so you get one of these
oscarr - LOL! I have a few easy weeks ahead too!
My god - I've put on a couple of kilos since Langdale - time to stop being a piggy!
Luke - great report - completely understand your logic - make sure you keep us up to date with your halves though won't you!
Here goes with the report in 5 sections
Red Bull Steeplechase Challenge 7-Oct
I headed out on Saturday afternoon to Bakewell, my base before heading to Castleton the next morning. On arrival I was pleasantly surprised as the hills were relative small and rolling and there was a plentiful supply of tarts (Bakewell that is).
The next morning after breakfast, where the chef was brought in an hour early to cook for me, I set off in search of Castleton. As I got closer the mist drew in and hills became significantly bigger and steeper. As I came into Castleton one hill dominated, Mam Tor; steep bordering on vertical and intimidating to a road runner.
Once parked the organisation was superb, from the ease of registration to the chill out tent to relax in before the race and no queues thanks to ample toilets. The race briefing before the event, centred on following the signs and there was plenty of marshals so there was no need for a map and it would be very difficult to get lost. The final list of starters was in, so we were told how many would get cut after each stage:
- 160 start
- End of stage 1 – 90 continue (70 get pulled)
- End of stage 2 – 55 continue (35 get pulled)
- End of stage 3 – 30 continue (25 get pulled)
- 30 Finish
My plan was to get into the top 30 from the start and stay there until stage 3, then up the pace on the flattest leg to try and place as high as I could.
On a day perfect for running; 10°C, windless and sunny, we were ready for the off. Looking around the start line there were few if any slow runners, this was going to be tough.
Stage 1 – Castleton to Bamford
Under the shadow of Mam Tor and the Red Bull gantry we waited for the town crier to complete his proclamation and on the third O’yay we were off. A mad dash of ¼ M on tarmac up a significant (station hill like) gradient we turned and followed the most direct route up Mam Tor (515m). This can only be described as vertical. I was as close as I could be to the runner in front and his feet were at my nose level, needless to say the whole field was already walking. Once through the early morning cloud, we reached blue skies and the top, my Garmin bleeped to signify 1 mile in 11:37! Turning right we then ran down, and then up Hollins Cross (411m) followed by Lose hill (476m), before disappearing over the edge descending at an alarming pace (peaking at 3:40 per mile). On the way down I overtook about 5 runners but despite my speed a runner from South London Harriers flew past me, from then on we would trade positions for much of the race.
No sooner were we down than we start to climb again, although this time it was through woodland rather than exposed ridge, to Wooler Knoll (383m), in which there was a short sharp climb allowing me to take another three places, after which we descended into Yorkshire and to the banks of Ladybower reservoir. My eyes lit-up as we had 3 blessed miles of road/made trails, my pace increased as I caught and then passed a group of 5 runners including the South London Harrier. I was contemplating at this point there are three types of runner in this race, the climber, the descender and the road runner, I was certainly the later. After crossing the river Derwent on stepping stones, I was into Bamford village and almost at the first church steeple, signs counting down the last 500m and for the first time an update on current position…6th! 9 miles, 600m of accent in 1:11:15; I get to continue, grabbing a water and downing a gel I started stage 2
Stage 2 – Bamford to Hope
This leg promised to be short and very sharp, put simply it was to climb from Bamford on the banks of Ladybower to the top on Win Hill before descending straight back down to Hope. The climb was steep muddy and long 1,000ft of accent in 1.5miles and I was slipping all over the place in the first half mile, where I lost all 5 place I gained on the road. They were still in sight as reached the top and what a spectacular view, I remember thinking “I was down there on the banks of Ladybower only minutes ago”. At the top was a Red Bull support crew, with an iron Red Bull weather vane, cameras, mid-stage chip reader, which must of been carried-up and presumably back down again. I turned and started on the steep and rocky decent, where the trainers I had on didn’t quite have enough protection to protect the soles of my feet, leaving them bruised.
On into Hope itself and a small but steep climb to the steeple and knock-out point 2, in 11th place covering the 4ish miles and 310m of climb in 36:14; meaning I was into the 3rd and penultimate stage, I downed a gel and water as I started stage 3.
Stage 3 – Hope to Edale
Now was the time to push, make the best of the easy leg. In reality this was the hardest leg, underfoot conditions were at their worst, the recent rain had made every footstep challenging as you had to pull your foot from the ground, making even flat or decent hard work. As the leg continued the South London Harrier and I traded places exchanging a few encouraging words to each other before his fatigue got the better of him at about 17 miles. A bit further on standing in the middle of nowhere was a chap from the last series of the apprentice, Adam Corbally (the blonde market trader) who had got lost on a previous leg, even I don’t know how! After 3 quick down and ups to cross streams, came a long decent during which 2 mountain bikers came charging past shouting “out of the way, coming through”; I took great pleasure in showing them a clean pair of heels on the next climb, leaving them way in the distance.
Edale loomed into focus, I could see the steeple and hear the bells ringing, only 500m to go and I would have made it to the final stage. I was by my calculations still in 11th, but if a group of 20 other runners had sprinted past in the last few hundred metres I would not and could not of responded, they didn’t show-up, leaving me to cross the line at knock-out point 3 in 11th covering the 6ish miles in 55:43. I was delighted knowing that I would complete the challenge, stopping to walk I took a water, Red Bull energy shot and downed a caffeinated gel, before embarking on the 4th and final stage.
Stage 4 – Edale to Castleton
My delight at making it through to the final stage was quickly tempered as I looked up at Mam Tor once more; all that was left was 3 miles up and over it! After 19.5miles it may have taken 14 minutes but I was 1 mile further on but more importantly I was at the top of the last climb, where a crowd stood cheering me on. It was simply now a charge downhill, well no, the initial downhill was rocky, steep and treacherous, still I was getting used to that. Finally I was into the last mile a gentle downhill on tarmac, time to stride out to the finish…almost immediately my calves started to cramp, so I slowed to fast jog crossing the line after 22miles, 4656ft of climb in 3:09:46 and 11th place.
From the finish I was whisked away to have the chip removed, presented with amazing goody bag, before being deposited in the town square with Red Bull flowing (of which I had six to aid the drive home), brass band paying, free bar (not for me due to the drive), hog roast, burgers, cakes etc.
The only downside was that it took 15 minutes to walk to the race car park! Then the 5hr drive home and on stopping at services on the M1 I got cramp in my hamstring getting out of my car, much to the amusement/concern of the passers-by. The various pains that I have are; shoulders, triceps, ribs, hips, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, shins, left ankle, achilles and the soles of my feet; plus I had to remove a splinter out of the end of by little toe and have blister on the end of my big toe.
It was the hardest race I’ve ever done, but at the same time some much fun I would do it again in a heartbeat, just don’t tell my body.
Sam, good to see you...twas sponsored by Red Bull, the chap who came 2nd has just come of the Zermat marathon, which he ran in 3:30! said it was quite a challenge
Choisty - brilliant report mate - i can almost smell the sweat and hear the agony - its strange that the more we put our bodies through the greater the sense of satisfaction that we finished - you can almost touch Choisty's satisfaction
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