Race Report – Moonlight Challenge.
I entered this event mainly for a training run with a difference and not really as a race. I didn`t mind dropping out after 3 laps rather than finishing the full 5 laps esp if the weather was as bad as forecasted.
Anyway come race day, and it did feel a bit weird not going to Basingstoke`s parkrun. At 8.50am I decided to cheer on my Club mates at Frimley – which was nice seeing `Cove Sprinters` in action :-)
Left for Kent in plenty of time (2 hrs away by Satnav), found the race HQ & the hotel easily enough. Just checking in & saw Debby & Mike arrive (my two friends who I `talked` into doing this after their Goofy Challenge attempt was cancelled). Got changed & almost left for the race check in straight away – which was only 10 mins away.
Plenty of parking at the venue. Fluffed around before the start – odd how darker & colder it gets just before a race esp at 6.00pm. Anyway after the race briefing, we were off with a BANG – we really were - the starting klaxon was a massive firework going off!!
Started off a bit fast – opps but then settled down, mainly due to the terrain. The terrain for the first few miles starts off with a road section then you turn off & follow fairly good tracks (but with huge puddles). Then a muddy section where later during the night confusion sets in & you see runners coming towards you (!!!) – yeap it`s a figure of 8 type of route. Nice friendly & encouraging marshals around. Miles two to just after four apart from a small part is mainly good road surface. In the section is the only hill – a motorway bridge. After mile 4 it`s back to muddy track. Just after mile 5 it`s the through the muddy section again (I did not get this till 3 hours in), about 5.75m it was the `wet section` – I`ve seen drier rivers!! Past the Jelly Baby corner and onto road for the last part of the lap – turn the corner & it`s the Pub – I mean the start / finish point.
Route details - http://www.fetcheveryone.com/route-201143
Completed the first lap in about 1hr 5min, we were very lucky with the weather so far – warned in the briefing that it might chuck it down later on.
Started lap two and settle into a nice pace. I do like lappers as you seem to go around quicker after the first initial lap & you can build up the friendly banter with the marshals – lap two completed in 2hrs 14mins (ish). Decided to pick up from my nearby parked car my water belt for lap three. Chatted away to various folks running this – all had different reasons & plans but no-one racing it.
My original plan was to finish after lap three – well 19.65M would be a good training run. Came around to finishing lap three and still felt good – no real hamstring issues – well after 3.5 hrs of yoga & resting last week I`m not really surprised so I thought of a new plan (honest I did) – I would completed 4 laps = 26.2M & then see how I felt if the hamstring felt bad I would stop if not I would complete the last lap but walking & running at a slower `recovery` pace. So finished lap 3 at around 3hrs 25mins.
Just before starting my 4th lap I did pick up my thigh sleeve – a compression sleeve made from wetsuit material and I ran with this, mainly as a trial. Well it kept slipping down, I was like Les Dawson and his / her ill fitting bra...
Every few minutes I kept pulling it up - but it did keep me entertained for nearly a lap. I also realised I could finish lap 4 in less than 4hrs 30mins (a sub 4hrs 30mins marathon & in muddy & dark conditions who would have thought that – ahem see several blogs below). Despite the constant sleeve adjustments I was running well – maybe too fast as during the muddy section I came a cropper & took an almightily slip – straight into the mud. No damage just lost a bit of time. Tried to make it up by not stopping for water or jelly babies or a chat at the check points.
Through 26.2M in 4hrs 31 mins – knickers :-( Never mind maybe next time.
Last lap `recovery` time – yeah. Stopped at the car to collect Jaffy Cakes & some flat coke Should have also got a thicker running top as running slower meant getting colder. After a while I decided to run a mile then walk a mile, also stopping to thank the marshals for their kind words. I think I equalled my 30M PB (5hrs 22mins). It came around quite quickly and finished, just after Midnight in 6hrs 4mins & 56 seconds.
Saw Debby & Mike at the finished – they finished together, Mike finished all 5 laps & Debby completed her 10th Marathon in 5hrs 15mins I think – which was nice.
Thanks Mike (the RD) for a great event – collected a Certificate & a very nice medal. Who knows I might even be back for a few more laps later this year...
Got back to the hotel & about 2hrs later it started to chuck it down.
Will take some time out this week & then refocus on London.
Roughly the lap splits..
1) - 1m - 9:19(9:19/m) - 129cal
2) - 1m - 9:52(9:52/m) - 131cal
3) - 1m - 9:41(9:41/m) - 133cal
4) - 1m - 10:26(10:26/m) - 130cal
5) - 1m - 9:47(9:47/m) - 132cal
6) - 1m - 10:26(10:26/m) - 131cal
7) - 1m - 9:57(9:57/m) - 129cal
8) - 1m - 9:51(9:51/m) - 132cal
9) - 1m - 10:32(10:32/m) - 131cal
10) - 1m - 9:56(9:56/m) - 132cal
11) - 1m - 10:32(10:32/m) - 130cal
12) - 1m - 10:58(10:58/m) - 129cal
13) - 1m - 10:40(10:40/m) - 129cal
14) - 1m - 12:32(12:32/m) - 128cal
15) - 1m - 10:17(10:17/m) - 132cal
16) - 1m - 10:05(10:05/m) - 133cal
17) - 1m - 9:58(9:58/m) - 132cal
18) - 1m - 10:00(10:00/m) - 131cal
19) - 1m - 12:03(12:03/m) - 128cal
20) - 1m - 14:08(14:08/m) - 124cal
21) - 1m - 9:09(9:09/m) - 130cal
22) - 1m - 10:21(10:21/m) - 129cal
23) - 1m - 10:22(10:22/m) - 126cal
24) - 1m - 9:04(9:04/m) - 131cal
25) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 130cal
26) - 1m - 9:48(9:48/m) - 127cal
27) - 1m - 12:47(12:47/m) - 127cal
28) - 1m - 11:51(11:51/m) - 124cal
29) - 1m - 13:24(13:24/m) - 115cal - walked a bit
30) - 1m - 15:35(15:35/m) - 106cal - walked a bit
31) - 1m - 11:21(11:21/m) - 132cal
32) - 1m - 19:10(19:10/m) - 91cal - walked
33) - 1m - 11:11(11:11/m) - 124cal
34) - 0.03m - 21(11:43/m) - 4cal
Next Race – Surrey Spitfire 20 on March 14th (Mother`s Day – opps I better tell her)