Shades Marathon Training

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11/09/2013 at 22:02

Hi everyone - have been meaning to write up the trail run I did a week or so ago and only just getting round to it now..

I had decided to enter it as it fell on the weekend when I had intended on doing a long run anyway. There was a 12k, a 20k and a 32k circuit. Idea was to enter for the 32k, not race it but treat it as a long run... yeh forward to the Monday after and me coming down the stairs backwards again!!

Anyway, quite calm as I arrived only to be shocked at the amount of people entering this event. Turned out there were about 450 runners and God knows how many Nordic walkers doing some other circuit. Made my way to the entry tent and fought my way through to the 32k table which was strangely deserted. Those warning bells started to chime when I realised that only 33 runners had entered for this class - and only 4 other women. Hmmmmmm...... Warning bells positively clanging when on milling round the start only other people with the same bib on as me seemed to be hardened army types with water backpacks on and a handful of lean and mean looking women. I myself am not lean and mean looking, more round and friendly really. Managed to calm self down by repeating mantra "Just accept you are going to come last and treat it as a long run". We were informed that everyone would set off at same time then the course would split into a 12k circuit and a 20k circuit. The 32k runners would do the 12k loop first then follow immediately the 20k. With an enthusiatic fanfare from the group of bagpipes (bagpipes?? we are in France???) we were off!

Determined to take things easy I set off at a comfortable jog with the 12k runners. Realised I might be taking things a bit TOO easy when realised that the nice man on his bike by the side of me that I was chatting away to was actually the Sweeper person! Picked up the pace a bit and overtook a fair few people then really started enjoying myself. Lovely twisting and turning forest paths, a few scrambly steep bits and running through river beds. Found myself whooping at one point as I ran over a series of fallen tree trunks (there was nobody else around). Had quite a confidence boost when overtook a lot of people struggling towards the end and realised I was feeling great!

Bit of a comedown starting the 20k circuit on my own though and realising I was not even half way round and most definitely the last runner. Things started off pretty calmly with a couple of km of forest paths, these seemed to get narrower however and before I knew it I was reaching a sheer bank and was looking at... a rope. Two marshalls heads poked over the top and with Gallic cries of encouragement urged me up and over. Another km or so after this I suddenly spotted a human form ahead of me.. realised I was running stronger than him, managed to catch up and overtake!! Unfortunately had to keep up pretend fast pace up until was out of sight and could stagger round and recover a bit. Following this a couple of windmilling armed marshalls directed me towards a flight of shallow steps, realised I was dropping down into a "gouffre" (great hole in ground), got to bottom, scrambled over a load of boulders and met up with.. another rope. This was however really steep and long to climb out of. I mean there were people at the top with cameras which I thought was uncalled for. The next ten or so km were made of forest paths/ boulders/ steep inclines and drops and parts where I didn't see anyone for what seemed like ages. I managed to overtake a few more people but by the last few km I was absolutely on my nose. Another bout of rope climbing at km 26 nearly finished me off. Struggled the last two km with nothing left in the tank and crossed the finishing line in 3h34.

I ended up getting called up for a prize  as f

11/09/2013 at 22:07

Sorry! Going on a bit!

Got called up for prize as fourth woman to finish (out of five remember) coming in 16min behind first woman and 30min behind overall winner.

Although I was in bits after and has taken me a good week to recover I really, really enjoyed this race and feel pretty pleased with myself for finishing it

11/09/2013 at 22:43

Great report Manafox! And 30 mins behind the overall winner is a brilliant time too. Sounds quite tough though, with fallen trees, big holes and ropes. More like an obstacle race only you had to run 20k too! Makes my 5 mile race on Sunday on dead flat road seem quite inviting What did you get for your prize? You should feel very proud.

11/09/2013 at 23:22

Really enjoyed your report Manafox! so you should feel proud! Sounded tough! Ropes!!! Lol!

Me and Big G did the recce run tonight for our clubs Ladies 10k race on Sunday. Well, I only saw him once! 

12/09/2013 at 07:04

Mamafox - a great report.  The race sounds fun!

VR - it was a good run out last night.  I was trying to keep up with a couple of young whipper-snappers  I think there were 37 in our group and Chair mentioned there were 20-odd in the other group so a good turnout.

12/09/2013 at 07:10

Keith - the godfather won't be pleased, Brathay have just cancelled our reunion dinner held after the Langdale marathon.   Rescheduled for November, but I won't be going.

mamafox - brilliant report, what a race!   More like an adventure race than a trail race.   Well done on your prize, well deserved.

And as for the bagpipes, I personally think they shouldn't be let out of Scotland...I hate them

I'm still working on my race report, I'm back in training now, circuits last night, Kettlecise tonight and running every morning, aches almost all gone

VR - LOL, are you marshalling or doing the race on Sunday?   I've decided not to run it as I'm not in PB shape, will watch Mo on telly instead

12/09/2013 at 08:38

Mamafox - what was this race?! I must put it on my bucket list! Really great race report!

12/09/2013 at 08:55

Mamafox - What a great report and a brilliant race, thats sounds great.  Well done on getting 4th women

Shades - I thought you were watching me on sunday never mind Mo  Look out for a brunette with long legs, beetroot face in a Get Kids Going T-shirt and that will be me

12/09/2013 at 09:55

Shades - I'm not marshalling as they seem to be covered and I haven't entered it. I'd rather watch Mo with you! 

12/09/2013 at 10:14

Great report Mamafox, & you did really well..what race was it ?

Good luck with the GNR Lesley, must do it one year, damn expensive for a half though.

12/09/2013 at 10:21
KingKenny wrote (see)


Good luck with the GNR Lesley, must do it one year, damn expensive for a half though.

Completely agree with you there. The entire Great Run series are a complete rip off. I used to run the GSR every year with my mum but we've stopped it now as the price and crowds were huge and we both started to hate the race.

12/09/2013 at 13:01

Lesley - I'll watch Mo and then I'll watch you.   You'll just be a few minutes behind him, won't you?   Hope the weather is good for you

Emmy - never done any of the Great Run series, too crowded and overpriced, plus wouldn't travel that far for shorter than marathon distance races.

Where are you racing this weekend?

Edited: 12/09/2013 at 13:26
12/09/2013 at 14:15

Seems I did enter Barcelona. Lol!

12/09/2013 at 14:17
Valley Runner wrote (see)

Seems I did enter Barcelona. Lol!


Shades - I'm running the brussels eco trail on Saturday and then "in flanders field" on sunday. Am just going to take it easy and enjoy it!

12/09/2013 at 17:23

Emmy - what distance are those races?

VR - LOL, we all know you entered Barcelona, how come you forgot?

12/09/2013 at 17:45

Hi shades.

saturday is 26km and is due to be with the dog if the weather keeps cool. Its all trail so it'll be nice and easy for him.

Sunday is a marathon. The first world war is a topic of interest for me so im looking forward to running through it.


Whats your plan for this weekend?

VR - how could you forget about sangria?

12/09/2013 at 17:54

I know! What a numpty I am!

ive also been looking at Lake Garda again! So far I've looked at flying to Verona, train to Desenzano then ferry on the Lake to stay at Limone where the marathon starts.

looks to good to dismiss! 

12/09/2013 at 19:44

Thank you everyone for your comments! I enjoyed writing the race up as I got to relive it all over again!

Slowkoala - My prize was a box full of regional specialities. A nice bottle of Bordeaux  plus a selection of jars of things like fois gras and indescribable parts of duck..bleeuurrrrk. To be honest would have preferred a Body Shop selection pack but didn't want to appear ungrateful so thanked them enthusiastically then promptly handed over box to an appreciative Mr Fox who has been brought up on such delights. Thinking about it, this is the first time I have actually won anything - well since a donkey derby circa 1981...

The race is quite local to me and is called the "Trail de la Braconne". We live in the Charente region of France... about half way down on the left a bit in from Bordeaux if you want to get technical! Otherwise just tap "middle of nowhere" in Google and you should find me pretty much spot on

Emmy - That sounds a lot of mileage in one weekend. The Flanders marathon sounds very interesting - and moving too I bet. Was thinking about you during my race as at one point was surrounded by three dogs!! The owners had these long snazzy harness things wrapped round them - have you got one of those? All dogs looked as if they were having a wonderful time and were pulling their owners along at a fair old speed!

Lesley - Good luck for your GNR on Sunday. Won't be able to watch it on tv here but will be looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

Tempo 10k done this morning. Back to running in the dark again  Not cold though, feels weird running in pitch black in vest top and shorts! Dogs caught someones pet rabbit.. enormous white fluffy thing. Nightmare getting it off them. It wasn't hurt but was squealing the place down.....managed to release it then scarpered before we were noticed!!

Edited: 12/09/2013 at 19:50
12/09/2013 at 20:59

I'd steer clear of the foie gras, MF... My 6 yo decided to try it whilst on holiday in the dordogne, followed by duck and chips! It all came up again during our 5 hour journey to the other campsite. 

My sister's dog loves rabbits and has caught the neighbours one a few times when it has escaped.

Emmy, good luck in the marathon on Sunday. It's fairly flat around there isn't it (?) so should be a fast route.

I'm doing the inaugural ickenham 5 mile road race on Sunday. I think it will have less than 200 runners and is nice and local. Also supposed to be a nice flat course.

13/09/2013 at 00:54

KK yup got Brighton marathon in April as my a-race. Got 3 half marathons on the way.

i did an 8 mile run couple of days ago. Ran the last 3 miles at marathon pace 9 min mile and it felt like I was running at my 10k pace. I was really struggling and even got a stitch. Shocked at how much I have slowed down and how much fitness I have lost.

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