Monday, 21 June 2010

Forgot to mention the ups

North Downs Way

It`s a good job I do not name events as I would have called this one `The North (Up Down, Up Down, Up) Down`s Way`.

Not having run this one before I thought it would be good practice for North Devon Marathon – and it was a case of “just be careful what you wish for” – my goodness I found it tough but a great event.

I had only done one previous 30Km race before. I had to beat 3:34:56 (I know) so I guessed around the 3 hour mark (6 mins per Km) - easy to work out too.

Got there nice and early, had a wander around, saw Mrs BooBoo, Mr Boo & Too Much Water which was nice. After a short warm up it was time to assembly. I was testing out my marathon gear - new camelpak (Camel Rogue 2ltr), gels, sweets (Randoms - are great btw), patch up kit, sunnies, - I was all kited up.

The course started off with a lap of a nearby field - great nice and flat & can work out the pace - bit fast but not too fast. Then out onto the road & through the nearby golf course. One advantage of being a `km` distance is that the garmin beeps come around quicker. Found the first hill at around the 4Km marker - that got my pace back on track. Just after the 5Km marker we had a bit of a wait for the first of many kissing gates (at least a minute) - but still on track. One thing that I hadn`t worked out was my gel strategy - I normally take them every 5 miles - quick mental bash around and all was ok. Went through the 10Km at spot on the hour - great. Bugger forgot to take the gel. Opps..

At 11Km found a whopping great hill in the way - first walking point :-( Kept it steady after that - bouncing around the 6 min km mark. Went through 15Km in 1:32 – knickers two minutes down. I thought to myself do I catch up now or wait and have a strong last 10Km - best not to burn out...faster last 10Km it is then. At around the 17Km point we went through this field - it was so nice. Open field full of corn with a few poppies growing in between - we were on this small track of course but the wheat was growing so close I could run with my hands down sweeping through the corn ears - an inspiring moment - I could not help but to think of Russell Crowe in the Gladiators in the corn field..

A real motivating moment - "At my signal unleash hell” I was ready, bring it on.....

....then like a kid with the tv remote I suddenly thought of this.....

...The moment had gone...damm my upbringing.

Never mind - I did laugh at that for miles to come.

I was nearly back on track then at 19Km another hill - it was quicker to walk - but gutting I knew the minutes were ticking over and I don`t like to walk. Through 20Km in 2:04 or something - mt garmin had lost 0.25Km somewhere under the trees.

The next few Kms were great, I especially liked the section through the vineyard. Then a killer hill at 23Km. At the water station at 24Km I practically had a wash.Right 5 Kms to go – well that`s a not actually. Well those last few Kms through the field & then over the golf course were tough. At least you didn`t see the finish somewhere off in the distance.

Through the finish in 3:06:05 (pleased I got that obligatory 5 seconds in)

2nd PB of the week – nearly 29 mins Still more to come off that thou.

Watch the prize giving (1:48 flipping heck that was fast) & chatted to BooBoo and TMW at the car.

Great event, well marked – almost to the point of every large stone or tree root w, happy & friendly marshals. There was water & Isotonic drinks, gels & jelly babies at the water stops esp at the key points. Tech T-Shirt, Medal & Cakes (as many as you like). Great start & finishing area – even a free swim afterwards if you wanted it (which I did) - free car parking. It`s almost a case of "what kissing gates" or "really - stiles you say" - "nope never saw any hills" – well maybe not. Thanks Istead & Ifield Harriers.

Split Summary
1) - 0.62m - 5:28(8:48/m) - 77cal
2) - 0.62m - 5:24(8:42/m) - 81cal
3) - 0.62m - 5:25(8:45/m) - 82cal
4) - 0.62m - 5:57(9:35/m) - 80cal
5) - 0.62m - 6:43(10:50/m) - 77cal
6) - 0.62m - 7:22(11:53/m) - 78cal - wait for a kissing gate
7) - 0.62m - 5:40(9:08/m) - 79cal
8) - 0.62m - 6:12(10:00/m) - 84cal
9) - 0.62m - 6:15(10:05/m) - 81cal
10) - 0.62m - 5:58(9:38/m) - 80cal
11) - 0.62m - 6:47(10:56/m) - 77cal
12) - 0.62m - 8:09(13:09/m) - 72cal - hill
13) - 0.62m - 6:11(9:58/m) - 84cal
14) - 0.62m - 5:58(9:38/m) - 83cal
15) - 0.62m - 6:29(10:27/m) - 80cal
16) - 0.62m - 6:07(9:52/m) - 83cal
17) - 0.62m - 5:30(8:52/m) - 85cal - through the cornfield
18) - 0.62m - 5:52(9:28/m) - 82cal
19) - 0.62m - 6:03(9:45/m) - 79cal
20) - 0.62m - 7:51(12:40/m) - 75cal - hill
21) - 0.62m - 6:27(10:24/m) - 76cal
22) - 0.62m - 5:49(9:24/m) - 81cal
23) - 0.62m - 6:14(10:03/m) - 82cal
24) - 0.62m - 6:54(11:08/m) - 87cal - hill
25) - 0.62m - 7:05(11:26/m) - 82cal - washed & clean finger-nails
26) - 0.62m - 6:17(10:08/m) - 84cal
27) - 0.62m - 6:29(10:27/m) - 72cal
28) - 0.62m - 6:16(10:07/m) - 77cal
29) - 0.62m - 5:56(9:34/m) - 81cal
30) - 0.37m - 3:18(8:55/m) - 48cal

Next up – North Devon Marathon this Sunday. Which is going to be tough but I`m so looking forward to it. I might even have a pint of cider afterwards

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