A 32 mile circular around Derby - This was in the diary early on, a great early test for the legs and head. Organised by Bob Rogerson and listed on the LDWA website.
Mentally strong as well as having the legs is as much the end result of getting to the point of no return,
I had arranged to run this with Stephen Shaw a local Dark Peak member who i get to most races with.
We arranged to do a 15 miler, 20 miler and then 25 miler in the build up, fitting this in has been hard, but with three weeks to go, i had managed this with relative ease, and also had a few days free so decided to trot the route 3 weeks before in its full form. (Steve managed the 20 miler to get to the 20 miler and seemed fine, even though we ran the flattest bit of the route)
I set of on the full recce at 8.30am, really sticky and not much light, misty and also a chance of rain, with rucksack on as i would be out for the full round, i had packed a few nibbles (just testing peanut butter and brown bread as a running snack)
I set off from Radbourne Lane (Trig Point - Skitteridge Wood - SK 31239 36851) water tower and for anybody that knows the route this is after the hard 16 mile start.
I ran the route in the correct direction and soon found myself trotting down the Canal towards the final tarmac section into Derby and towards Pride Park.
The next section from what is essentially is the start - out of Derby from Chaddeston Scout Hut and towards Locco Park - and then the hill start, with muddy fields, i was really heavey going and i soon became tired, nt even wanting to look a the Garmin, i rolled in back at the water tower in 5 hrs 41 min, hold on that's 40 odd mins faster than 2010, and i didn't have the rest of the runners to pull me along! Very Pleased with that.
So the 30th of Jan arrived our start time was 8.10, some banter with friends before the off, and we went of with three other runners, soon we pulled away - Steve seemed to be going well and we reached the first checkpoint 4 mins up, the next check point we had gained another 12 mins, and i felt good really good, steady and still feeling as though i was not burning out.
After about 16 miles Steve hit was can be described as the WALL he started to talk rubbish, and then started to wander rather than run, i soon noticed him falling back, as we reached the next checkpoint he was white, and i just had to get some food into him, a cup of tea followed the food and i spent 10 min trying to get him to lift his spirits, to be honest i would have been gone, only needing to give my number and a small amount of water.
The toughest is done, i said t0 Steve "come on" or word to that effect that i can't put on a blog! he slowly started the next section, within 5 mins i new this was not a good idea and soon found myself waiting for him, at one spot i waited 10 mins, so we agreed that at the next stop i would crack on, Making sure he was ok and not in any danger, i was off, and at it trying to claw back some time, always with 5.41 in my head.
Long distance running is about caring for your joints, soft foot falls and not busting a gutt to make 20 seconds to find that effort has knackered you up!
I had 12 miles left and managed to cover these in 1hr 48 mins, and arrived back with a time of 5hr 51, looking at my splits at the finish i was 42 mins up before we had that nightmare section, but making sure Steve was fine was more important.
Steve finished, after a long slog to the end, but well done for sticking with it mate!
A great event! Thanks to Bob and his team and a great day out with some like minded folk, looking forward to next year............