I will do a bit of catchup over the next few days/weeks.
Things I've completed since the Pennine way are another Longmynd Hike, Dublin Marathon and the Six Dales circuit LDWA event.
The trig race route for this year was the same as the previous 2 with only a slight change in that my short cut from Stile Cop/Brereton over the downhill MTB track was now out of bounds and an alternative route would be flagged going around it.
Stodge and Kelvin from Walton Chasers were also volunteered, or self volunteered just to get out of the house and were manning the SI card download. New for this year SI dibbers were being used as a safety feature for the ever dangerous rail and road crossing at the bottom of Kitbag Hill by the Pumping Station. We were given instructions that we had 2 minutes from the rail crossing dibber to the other side of the road where we would dib again. Good idea. I knew I'd be the full 2 minutes here. We were to do the same on the way back.
Lots of folk I know at Milford cricket club before the start. This race is becoming a popular early year tester. I'd persuaded Roger Taylor that if I could get top 20 in the trig points then he was surely a top 10 prospect so he was there with zero recces in the bag and a gps trace to follow acquired from Helen Skelton.
Dale Colclough was in attendance who I'd not seen since Rogers Bob Graham. Felfairy Tracy Dean who I'd met for the first time the week before the Trig Race on one of her many recces. For those who don't know, Tracy won the Lakeland 50 in 2012 in an amazing time of 8h 38mins. That was 5th overall and less than 8 minutes behind the mens winner, absolutely incredible.
Rob Little was there to defend his title and his brother Gareth hoping for a good result after some recent good form. John Robinson, Rachel FIndlay-Robinson and Dan Findlay-Robinson on a family day out.
I had Dan as my 'man to keep up with' last year. I almost achieved that and was only a minute or two down on him. I wasn't expecting much this year. I'd gone a bit lean in the training department during December. My attackpoint training entry said it all.
Note Friday 28th December
December training 2011 1st - 28th
Running 22hrs 181km
total activities 33, 32:51, 270km inc road bike etc
1 day off
December training 2012 1st - 28th
Running 7hrs 81km
total activities 21, 12:53, 126km inc road bike etc
14 days off
...think I'll forget about the trig point race. Stress of moving house has killed my training. Must return to daily activity.
It wasn't as bad as it looked as I'd not been on a winter 2 dayer like I did in 2011, that added up to most of the time stated. Still 60 miles less though. The Trig race was too good a training run to miss and I felt OK so just entered on the day.
Conditions were perfect. No chance of rain, shorts and T shirt weather and not all that muddy.
One high 5 gel at the start. I got given boxes of these after the Dublin marathon for taking part in a nutrition study and find them quite good, another 2 in the bag for later.
We start off and most head up the German cutting. I just kept Rob Little in sight until we reached the fork at the end. He went left and put the foot on the gas. Dan and Gaz not far behind. Roger has a fumble looks at his watch and decides to follow it, he heads right up the old rail track towards the 'old' start. He'd gone before I could call him back. I would see if I could catch him at the first trig.
I found it a bit pacey and all the way up Sherbrook valley I could see the ones in front pulling away. No point chasing, I would blow up so I just let the heart rate drop to around 160-165 and did my own thing.
I felt OK and took the more direct route up to Rifle Ranges trig. I never did see Roger there. He was a minute ahead of me at that point.
Across Tackeroo and on to marquis Drive There are dozens of cyclists out. A couple shouting my name and a bit of encouragement. Who are these people, I'll probably find out one day, then another 2 riders, 'Berkswich dads' Steve and Simon at Tackeroo. They should be running this.
I put my foot down a bit on the Kitbag decent as I knew a rest was due. Like an orienteering dibber finish I punched and started walking across the railway line and road while necking another gel. The water cups were before the out dibber so i took my time even more before and had a drink before I departed. Tracy passed me at the pumping station looking a bit confused about where the second punch was.
Up to beudesert I took the long drag to the car park and then cut through the woods to join the main Castle ring path.
Rob Little and Tim Werrett were the first I saw on this out and back section. Gaz, Dan and Roger all a few minutes down but way ahead of me.
I ran all castle Ring comfortably, I was probably too comfortable. At the turn around I opened up a bit and ran hard on the downhill but eased off a bit when reaching the road and the jog up to Brereton. The car park was heaving with downhill MTBers.
Wasn't like this in the early 90's when we used to build downhill tracks there. That was before the forestry commission felled the whole lot and knocked our tracks down with it. But that's another story.
the next taped section was all a bit new to me. It kind of followed the same paths going back to the downhill tracks but went off to the left just before reaching them. I guess this route would probably lose me a miunute or two as opposed to the direct line I'd taken before.
I found myself slowing down a bit heading down Morse Gorse again but had to press on as another 2 minute rest was waiting. I'd have another gel and do my shoelace before tackling Kitbag.
The climb wasn't too bad and I was waiting for that big blow up, it never happened so I just kept going.
Never seemingly losing any places all the way from the Whitehouse to Glacial Boulder to the finish. I had about 4 or 5 people in my sights on the final decent but just didn't have the leg speed to catch them, I also thought that I didn't have to because they wouldn't have used their full 4 minutes at the rail/road crossing. I was right.
Turns out that from expecting nothing at all and just using this as a training run I managed a 24th place finish and only 5 minutes down on the run of my life last year.
|Roger in the local rag, centre. Rob Little top right.|
So. A satisfactory outcome to the first race of 2013 and I still don't know what to do ultra wise for the coming year. Yes I've entered Lakeland 100...again and I'm in the UTMB.. Brit invasion so I guess it will be some runfurthers, fell races and general days in the hills. Nothing like a good plan.