Sunday, 12 September 2010

Paras 10 Race Report

The day started at 7:00 am. What? I didn't know Sunday had a 7 am in it.
Arrived at Catterick just after 8:00 and after parking the car it was approximately ¼ mile walk with bag to the event field and after getting the bag weighed it turned out I was carrying 40lb instead of 35lb. I was given the option to take some out but the clips were cable tied and I didn't want to go all the way back to the car so decided to run with the 40lb.
There was time to chill out before the off so I went off looking for a couple of people had made contact with on the Runners World forum. Finding one of them and getting into a conversation helped to pass the time away and we finally got under way about 10:15.

The race started with an easy run off the field but it wasn't long before we were climbing a long easy ascent which seamed like a couple of miles and at times we were able to see this long camouflaged snake stretching out in front. Then at mile 3 there was a nice run down Tank hill and passed 3 tanks that had definitely seen better days. At mile 4 we came to the first water station which was a bit of a let down as there was a queue and I must have lost a couple of minutes there. Then it was another nice easy run to Fish pond lake at mile 5 which once round it it was possible to see the tail end of the snake running along the other bank which was a bit of a morale booster to say the least. Now we were on the way home. (But then, the army don't do things the easy way do they?).
Along came a couple of hills with names like "Lick out hill" around mile 6 and 4 posters had been erected with the message,
On the 8th day... God created the Paras... and the Devil... stood to attention!
I'm sure that thought helped a lot of people up the hill as it was the steepest so far.
Now another nice easy run on the flat before the second water station at mile 8 , and another Queue so I decide to pass on that one and concentrated on getting to the finish line.
It wasn't long before the one hill that had been bugging me came into view. “Land of Nod” or "the wall" as it has been called in the past. This is a near vertical climb and I could imagine would take a lot of effort even without the boots and bergen. Anyway, it wasn't as bad as it looked and I was at the top in about 4-5 minutes.
And then it was onto the water features. (Don't remind me). I got through the first shallow one ok but approaching the second I saw the photographer on the left hand side so made straight for him as I was after a couple of good reminders of the day. Three strides in and that was it, my right foot found a hole and just kept going down until I was flat out and with a little bit of cramp creeping in I was unable to get back up until another runner grabbed my arm and lifted me up. (Thanks pal). The photographer said he managed to get a good one of that incident so it looks like I might have a new wallpaper on my laptop for the next 12 months. On runs like these I normally come away with an injury of some sort and this incident was no different. One broken finger nail that happened to draw blood. (Please don't tell the Paras).
Safely through the next water feature and on to the last major climb up Pussy Hill. No problems there so a relatively easy run to the finish line which meant I was home and, (I was going to say dry but I can't). there was crowds on both sides of the approach to the finish line but by this time I was oblivious to what anyone was shouting and was just making one last dash for the finish.

Now for the figures;
Job done in 2:13:39.
Elevation gain during the run was 1,101 ft
Average pace was 4.2 mph
Max speed was 8.1 (Bet that was a down hill section).

All in all, it was a great day out and will I do it again next year? Why not, at least it passes a Sunday
morning away and keeps me off the booze the night before.

Have I got other challenges lined up? WHATCH THIS SPACE!!


To prepare myself for this run I have run a ½ marathon, a 10k trail race, walked 22 and 29 mile off-road events as well as months of training on the local moors with boots and bergen which all ads up to around 450 miles of foot work.

I would now like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and work colleagues for all there support and for the donations which will be shared equally between Help 4 Heroes and the Airborne Forces Security Fund.
The total of which is: £147:00

And finally I would like to thank Kirsty at www.steppingout2.co.uk for her help and advice in buying the right pare of insoles for my boots which gave me no problems what so ever. No blisters, no aching knees and no back ache.
I would also like to thank you and Andy for your donations.

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