So today marks the start of my training plan for Manchester, I’m hoping to keep it fairly simple with four runs a week. My PB was achieved at Chester this year and stands at 3.23.32. The sensible part of me has set a target of 3.15 but Manchester is really really flat and doesn’t 2.59.59 sound really good!
So this race last year was my first real taste of the world of racing, I was convinced by a mate to take part and while I really enjoyed it, I struggled like mad with the course.
Fastforward 12 months
I had been secretly looking forward to this race all year there is nothing better than testing yourself on a course you have raced before.
I knew I was in much better shape than last year’s 1h 23 xx I just wasn’t sure how much.
I managed to get a lift up to the race with a friend from club and we arrived around an hour before the start and knew then I was ready to go I felt like a kid on Xmas morning.
After meeting the rest of my club mates and the mandatory club photo we took are places on the start area.The race starts and finishes on the track at Stockport AC.
Stockport 10 is light hearted race,the starting pistol is accompanied by the Benny hill theme tune ! also Tony audenshaw is the the race announcer, (Tony is a stockport harrier,very good runner and is better known as Bob from emmerdale) . He compères the day as John motsons half brother,Tom Potson!
The race itself is fairly undulating and while billed as a road race has a couple of off road sections (nothing to severe) and has two main climbs at 5 and 8.5 miles.It is on open roads though so as such headphones are banned and you have to make sure you check the roads before overtaking.
The plan was to try and beat last years time of which i was fairly confident of acheiving,i was thinking maybe a 1h 15 was possible,and a few club mates started betting on my finish time while we waited for the off (1h 10 was the popular choice).I knew to hit that i had to hit 7min/mile dead for the duration and thought i may as well give it a go.
The first mile flew by and i was shocked at just how good i was feeling ,the buzzer on my garmin indicated 6.46 min/mile and i felt really good.Mile two brought the rain,and it absolutely bounced down and within 30 seconds i was soaked to the skin.The rain didnt actually bother me as even though i was only in my club vest and shorts i was getting a little warm plus it didnt last all too long.In last years race i really struggled with the climbs but this year it was a different story,i motored on up ,passing people in my wake with ease.
The last climb is at 8.5 miles and while not steep it does drag on for a bit,but from doing the race from last year i knew it was flat back to the track from there on in,a quick check of my watch at the top made it clear as long as i didnt do anything daft i was well on course for a 1h 10 finish.
I made the final turn off the park onto the track feeling elated with the time and also my progression over the twelve months,I crossed the line in 1h 8.23,a full 13 minutes off last years time and first Radckiffe AC member over the line,ecstatic!!
A special mention goes out to the marshalls,they are well known in the running community as being great,the cheers and cowbells never stopped regardless off the weather!! All in all a great event and i cant wait to do it again next year!
A much better week this week,a trail run,track session ,X country and a fell run made for lovely variety.
Hit a new mile PB on the track Wednesday night 5.59.Chuffed to bits with that.
Cross country on Saturday took me to leverhulme park in Bolton,it was my first ‘real’ XC cold ,mud,hills it had it all.despite thinking about giving it a miss again this week ,i was glad i didn’t as i really enjoyed the course (even if it was three laps!) i finished the 10k course in 47.29.
Trying to make it look easy
Sunday was the real fun as i had agreed to go on the local fells with some of my club mates as a taster session for them to try it out.We was supposed to meet at 9.30 but i got a text saying some of the more experienced was going up for as couple of hours at 7 to get a run in before the beginner session and would i like to join them.
We set off about 7.30am and had a great run in the snow,not deep by any means but it was bloody beautiful.including the beginner session i managed 15 miles before breakfast,cold wet but happy i got home for a warm coffee and all the food!
OK so this week I haven’t ran a step, not even one. Before I ran white rose ultra last weekend I decided to take a week off, just in case of any niggles as when I ran Bolton hill marathon in June I was hurting for a couple of weeks.
Lucky for me I came away from WRU feeling pretty damn good, no major aches or pains, but just felt tired.
For the last few days though I have been chomping at the bit and can’t wait for the club run tomorrow evening.
On a plus side of resting for a week I have entered WRU 2016, Ladybower 50 miler and ordered a new salomon sense ultra set race vest, so every cloud has a silver lining (until my wife sees my bank statement!)
It is a dark November morning,the alarm screeches,its 4AM.
This is not how my Sundays morning usual start.Today is the day i become an ULTRARUNNER oooooooohhhhh!
The white Rose Ultra Is in Golcar near Huddersfield and is billed as ‘The perfect introduction to ultra running being only a few miles more than Marathon distance.’
The course is what is described as ‘Yorkshire flat’ AKA proper fricking hilly!
The course is a fair mix of road and trail and i had been deliberating for ages on shoe choice (more on that below)
Fellow Radcliffe AC clubmate Fiona was also doing the race and had agreed to pick me up at 6 am.After a very foggy drive over we found and parked up at the event centre.
Race HQ was a relaxed affair, I picked up my race number and wasnt picked on for a kit check(i did carry full kit,better safe than sorry).
After a nervous walk to the start we set off at promptly 8 AM,my plan was to take it nice and steady and just get round,as i had been warned by a friend who had done previous years that the course was tough.
After a couple of miles we entered a field with the nicknamed ‘bog of doom’ and of course i went in it and then had to complete the rest of the race with wet feet!The course is really well marked with either paint on the floors or signs on lamp posts,there was only a couple of junctions that were a little unclear but that could of been my crap nav!
We had feedstations every 5 miles ish and my plan was to take a few moments at each to drink and eat as i had suffered terribly with bonking at Bolton hill marathon earlier in the year.
One thing i hadnt expected was the heat,as soon as the fog cleared it was absolutely beautiful (well it would of been if i hadn’t been wearing a black long sleeved baselayer) I kicked myself for about 15 miles for not putting a t shirt in my race vest (i had two in a kit bag at HQ)
As you can see from my Strava below there wasnt much flat and my goal was to walk the steeps and run downhill or flat,which i stuck to pretty strictly( i struggled from mile 20 anyway so the rule was pretty forced)
The feedstation at half way informed my team mate that she was first lady and that i was 12th,i couldnt quite believe it and was convinced they had it wrong,but of i went with a slight spring in my step (until the next hill)
The next feedstation was past a beautiful reservoir and a brutal climb so, so brutal i didnt think i could finish it so i just dug deep and had to power hiked up it.
As they say every up has a down and after refueliing i had a really steep down section to recover and regroup,on the way to the final feedstation at mile 25 had to run up through a field with maybe 15 cows,now im no Dr dolittle and i was maybe a little bit more worried getting past these wild beasts than i should of been!
The final miles were the kindest of the race elevation wise although after i hit 26.2 i mentally suffered even though the legs felt pretty good.
I think the last mile i ran more or less with 3rd lady and WRU decided to throw one more climb at us just in case we hadn’t had enough already! I finally crossed the finish and noticed my team mate relaxing and celebrating her well deserved 1st lady finish!
My finish time was 5 hours 15 and 18th overall,even though i lost a few pos in the second half i was delighted with my first step into ultra running and seeing as i have already entered for next year maybe a top ten is on the cards 🙂
Thanks to OA for a great event !
Footwear i wore my adidas adios boost road shoes and although there was muddy sections i really think i made the right choice as the road bits would of been killer in my x talons.
To carry my kit i wore an inov8 race elite vest which carried required kit and my nutrition with ease.