Some nice track and short fast running going on round here from the usual suspects. Heard a good idea about putting in a bang average mid-pack club runner into every Olympic final to give some context to how fast the pros do it.
Padams, hope you enjoyed these recent races as you won't get much chance from now on presumably
Wardi - you doing Frankfurt and/or Barcelona again.
Sue C - welcome back. What's the short/long term aim. 90 min half? Marathon?
Very entertaining weekend up in the Lake District for me at the Lakes Sky Ultra, with plenty of cuts and bruises to prove it. Fell over about a dozen times which is pretty good going, but didn't die which is obviously a bonus. Genuinely not joking to say that falling and dying was a very real possibility on many occasions if you didn't know what you were doing.
Were only about a hundred of us at the start with 56k and 4500m of ascent/descent. So about 1/3 the distance of a UTMB, but half the elevation. Everyone had been vetted, so there were no beginners or chancers, and they all looked like hardened northern fell runner types. I started out briskly, but fairly conservatively, and was still blown away with how kamikaze some of these specialists are on rough ground. Quite humbling to be put firmly back in your box by guys (and girls) who'd you'd easily beat on the roads, but who can fly past you up and down on the fells.
There were a few comedy sights such as a line of 30+ "runners" scrambling up a 500m vertical climb on all fours having to use clumps of grass to pull themselves up. Lots of near vertical rock faces that needed hands and ropes, so a bit more like mountaineering than running at times. But all good fun if you are confident enough and not bothered by heights. Presumably health and safety weren't invited along to the planning stage.
Felt like I was running OK and got to the halfway checkpoint about halfway through the field. Didn't really hang about anywhere other than the odd stop for a couple of mins to refuel at the CP's. Second half had more runnable sections and other than the occasional positional swap every hour or so, I finished in about the same position as halfway (49th). Took 11h41 (my predicition was about 10 hours!). Was four hours behind the winner though; think he's in the GB ultra team for the world champs. Crazy quick for that course.
Brilliantly organised and marked course, and was lucky with the weather. Really does go to show how specialised that type of running is. Was debating with someone what would happen if you put a, say Mo Farah, onto that type of course. I'd give you 50-1 that he would win, and about evens that he'd DNF.
Once the cuts and bruises have healed I'll take a few easy weeks, then attempt to get some speed back (which has been sorely lacking for a couple of months). Valencia marathon in November is the next big target. Running out of years to get back to 2h45 shape I fear.
RB - congrats; well happy for you both. Was also at a Scottish wedding near Bonar Bridge which I think is somewhere inside the Arctic Circle. Inverness parkrun would have been an hour and a half drive south (!!!), so settled for some tracks & trails around some Loch which was stunning. Good boozy night, though managed to avoid the whisky thank goodness.
All in all I still got to experience the course, the difficulty, the camaraderie, the pain and the despair, if not the finish line. So I don't feel like I've missed out on too much overall. Of course it's always disappointing to dnf, but if you do ultras, then you have to accept it as always a possibility. It's only a running race after all.