Friday, 17 June 2011

Recce run for the Osmotherley Phoenix

Set out from Clay Bank car park this morning with clear blue sky's again but it wasn't long before the clouds started to roll in from the south. Left the car park and got strait into the first climb of the day which followed the Cleveland Way onto Ura Moor then checked out the trig point which is self clip CP-4 then retraced my steps for a couple of hundred yards before heading off across the moor towards the village of Clap Gate.
The car park here is CP-5 so after some refreshment it was onward and upward once again and out onto the Cleveland Hills. I'm just glad I had my treking poles with me to pull myself up that bitch of a climb onto the moor. (It will be worse on the day as I will probably have tiered lags by then).
Once on the moor it was an easy run across the top and nice decent down to Wheat Beck (CP-6).
Now it was just a matter of retracing my steps so tried out the Garmin navigation which was spot on and even told me when a turn was coming up.
By the time I'd got back onto the moor the wind had got up even more but it wasn't a problem as it just served to keep me cool and luckily the rain that was forecast didn't arrive.
Back at Clap Gate, I realised I was running out of time as I had other arrangements at home so I decided to just follow the road back to the car park.
That wasn't an easy task as there was a motorcycle rally on at Helmsley and I think every motorcyclist in Teeside was heading that way, so it was one mad and noisy road.
Back at the car park I me one of the riders who just happened to be a runner so we talked for quite a while and he couldn't get over the fact that I was about to run 33 miles over that terrain. (I just had to tell him I was planning on doing 70 miles later in the year. “That made his mouth open a little”).
If I get chance, I want to go back next week and check out the terrain between CP-6 and CP-7 as there is a lot of field work to navigate through. The rest of the route shouldn't be too bad as most of it follows the Cleveland Way.

I have to put my hand up now and admit that I only ran the easy bits and walked all the uphill sections but that is how it will be on the day to save energy and hopefully get round in the given time of 10 hours.
The elapsed time on the Garmin was 05:21:08 but the actual moving time was 03:55:20 which shows how much time I lost looking at the map and sorting myself out during the day. Hopefully I can keep going on the day and get in in fairly comfortable time.
I actually kept the pace at 4.4 mph and that would be good enough to get me to the finish in 7.5 hours.
I also did 3000 feet of climbing today and with the whole 33 mile event only covering 4000 feet then that is also looking good.

BRING ON THE ULTRA BABY”, “BRING IT ON”

Check out the map of the route and all the fine details including elevation and split times etc at my Garmin page

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Redcar ½ marathon 2011

After getting up at 7:00am, downing a small portion of corn flakes and a couple of coffee's it was time to hit the road. I arrived at Redcar collage car park about 8:20 and after checking that I had everything in the bag that I needed I jumped on the race shuttle bus and was at the start line at around 8:45. I checked my bag into the baggage drop area and made my way down to the coast road where the race would start. A couple of short runs the top of the sand dunes and some other warm up exercises and it was time to get into position. Not wanting to get drawn into a fast start I joined the runners in the mid field section.
As the gun went off we headed away from Redcar towards Marske before doing a U turn and made our way back towards Redcar so as we crossed the start line going the right way we had already done over 2 miles. There was a southerly wind blowing on our backs so the first 4 miles I ran these first miles a fairly fast pace but the sun was shining in a clear blue sky so as we started to run inland it got rather warm but out on the dual carriageway the clouds started to come in thick and fast and it was a relief for the sun to be covered now and then. The roundabout at the entrance to the steel works was the turning point and it was nice to see all the other runners behind me coming the other way. At this point I backed off the pace intentionally to try and save some energy for the final couple of miles through Redcar and along the sea front. Once on the sea front the wind came back to bight me in the arse as it was now a head wind and I was having to work even harder to keep a PB pace going. Once out of Redcar and back on the Marske road it wasn't long before the finish line came into view and time for one last push to to get that PB and also, I didn't want to be seen lagging with the crowd of supporters now getting thicker. As the clock came into view it was looking close to losing that PB so one final push over the line gave me a chip time of 02:03:22. (1min 31 sec faster than last year). So I was happy to get that PB even though I was looking for something under 2 hours but with the heat on the way out and and the head wind on the way back that sub 2 just wasn't to be.
My chip position made me 825th out of 1191 finishers and included beating quite a few younger runners.

Next race is in 3 weeks time and I'm now getting more nervous as that one will be 33 miles of trail running in the Osmotherley Phoenix which takes me over the North Yorkshire Moors and my first ultra.

Congratulations to Greame Taylor (no relation) for winning the race in 1:11:07 almost a minute ahead of David Kirkland in second.

See the route and details of the run on my Garmin page