Monday, December 22, 2008

Roaches Christmas Cracker - 21st December 2008

Setting off to take part in the Roaches Christmas Cracker filled me with excitement rather than anything else.

A Fancy dress event that had some competitve undertones this year, I needed to beat 2 members who were fighting for 2nd Place with me for the Fell Championship this year.

This is a serious descent face !

"Sunday's clear weather conditions were a welcome sight for the race organisers of this years Christmas Cracker Race, the event staged by Staffs Moorlands Athletic Club now in it's 23rd year saw entries top the 300 mark for the second year in succession, proving that this race is a hugely popular fixture for runners from all over the UK.
The field of just over 320 runners set off from Tittesworth Reservoir for the 8-mile testing race taking in the Roaches and was made up of a large number of serious fell & club runners; plus a significant number of runners wearing fancy dress costumes that seem to get more elaborate year on year.

The race was won by last years champion Stuart Bond of Tommy Fell Stars running club in a time of 50:21 (Stuart was also 1st runner to the Roaches Trig Point at the highest part of the course to claim the Mike Bishop ` King Of The Mountain' Trophy) also for the second year in succession."

After a really hard push up onto the Raoches i found myself overtaking other runners, which is a new experience to me, i seemed to find my footing and stride length and started to pull back some places i had lost on the climb " more hill reps in the new year i think"

Finished in good time and place, 6th in for the in 1hr 29mins,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bonnie Prince X County and Trig Point - 11th December 2008 -

6.35 am early morning start - really cold, frosty, winter wonderland, from home, down old markeaton street and across markeaton park, onto bonnie prince walk, across ashbourne road and up to trig point off radbourne lane nr water tower.

Last two fields before the trig have been ploughed, and they wer efrozen solid, took a tumble and it was like hitting concrete, battered and bruised, arrived at the trig point,

Dog walker looked at me as if to say " you must be a nutter "! shorts in the dark running!

New Speedcross 2's are teh ideal tool for this weather and terrain. felt really heavy after the weekend, hard under foot, Good solid push up the hill climb from ashbourne road 6 miles - 56min 22 secs - a little slower than usual.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cardington Cracker 2008 - 7th December 11am.

This is what its all about, the second climb! it really is a killer!

The Cardington Cracker. It's an institution. Over 200 turn out on a cold December day to pay homage to this annual fell race as part of the traditional runners build up to Christmas. It's 9 miles and 2,600 feet of hell but well worth it for the carrot soup followed by a few pints of Shropshire Lad in the Royal Oak.

Travelling from Derby at 7.30am we, Chris, Carolynne, Paul, Alan and myself all went in one vehicle, car sharing is a Fell runners duty.

Cardington was very cold and very small, 4 or 5 miles down single track lane to get to it.
A great little village hall was the signing on and local coach company was the car park.

Whilst signing one we all looked around us, the type of person entering was older than me, with kit that looked as though it had seen better days, maybe like myself in 4 years time.

Hardened fell runners !

What a race, slow cross a field start with single narrow stile to get across, then through a wood and god! there it was in front of us, the first climb, a line of runners winding up the hill, teh front runners already over it and making their way.

I pushed and pushed as hard as i could but just couldnt get my lungs working after the chest infection i have had since the home coming!

I hung on in there for the first climb and pushed hard down the hill, a fast grassy descent, but the ground was so hard underneath the layer of slightly frosted grass.

A Small restbite then hard at it again up Lawley the tallest of the three hills to climb today! good heavens, i had to keep pushing just to keep with the guy in front of me. But i was loosing so much ground!

After Lawley and ridge run for approx 1.5 miles, then hard steep descent.
What a race and what a great view from where ever you had chance to look! This is a real find!

A great event catgary A fell Race - 9 miles - 3140 ft of Ascent in 2 hrs 22 mins, 1 hr 5 min behind the winner!

The Home Coming - 26th November

After careful planning and training the day or night had arrived to take on the ultimate challange.

Run from front door to front door - Derby to Wistaston nr nantwich in Cheshire. 51 miles in total, cross country.

The route had been planned and i had run the sections that would take me into the daylight.

11pm - Started out from home

I ran into the night, making my way across the fields that i had ran in the daylight weeks before, running in the dark with a head torch is a great experience.

Keeping your eye on the line across a field to the next stile is hard enough in the daylight.

Footfall is the key to making this as easy as possible, training in the dark helps you to just deal with the terrain.

As the miles passed i was so concious that i needed to keep my energy levels and hydration correct, so kept taking food on board and water.

Looking down at the garmin i noticed that time had passed quite fast with 4hrs gone and just under 20 miles covered.

The light of the moon was creating a shadow on the ploughed field below my feet. my ankles had started to feel the cross country running, constant twisting.

Pushed on long and hard through the night, arrived at a service station to top up on water and had some very strange looks from the attendant. "you've ran from Derby! "

Some strange thinsg had gone through my mind over the last hour, some of which had made me question what i was doing, what is this for? Do i really need this? How much more can i take?

I kept telling myself to let my mind wonder, if i could let my mind wonder i would go through this stage of breaking point, the third one i had reached during the night!

1 hr later and still running through it hips burning i saw the lights of Stoke, Hanley and Burslem. All of which offered an exit point!

That was it the brasking point was reached, i had ran 41.75 miles in 8 hrs 34 min covering 4215 ft of ascent.

I can honestly say that this was the hardest thing i have ever attempted, and yes i will be doing it again and i will achieve it.

"the home coming 2" " unfinshed business"! has been discussed and will take place in the spring!