Peter Hart asked Mark Todman and me if we would like to run this one with him as he is currently in serious training for the Edinburgh Marathon. Fast forward a couple of months during which the training I had planned in my head to be ready for this distance did not really come to fruition, there we were the night before the race and I think both Mark and I were feeling a little nervous about it. Mark’s wife looked at our faces and pointed out “you know, you don’t HAVE to do it” and I must admit I was slightly tempted not to. “But, I’ve paid for it!” I said.
Ultimately, I was glad that I did do it. The weather was just right for running, for me at least, cloudy and cool with little wind. There was a great atmosphere in the village and we even had some unexpected cheery encouragement from a couple of Blackhill Bounders who passed us during the first couple of miles. Pete took off after about a minute and Mark got a bit ahead of me as I was worried I was going out too fast but then I realised we were doing the same speed more or less so caught up with him and we ran the rest of the race together. I know the road to Torver fairly well by car and had been worried about how the ‘undulations’ would take their toll. However, I seem to have improved a lot on hills in the last six months and at the six-mile marker all felt good.
There were plenty of water stations which were a welcome chance for a bit of recuperation and also broke up the distance a bit. We had planned to walk the mythical ‘mega hill’ we had spotted on the course profile between miles 11/12 but we ended up doing a bit of walking on some of the others as well during the second half in order to not be completely KOd before the end of the race. Some excellent support en-route, especially from cyclists, both those passing us, and the group parked up doing a loud and hilarious ‘mexican wave’ on the far side of the Lake.
Really, if you must run 14 miles you may as well do so in such a beautiful location as this. The sun even broke through around mile 11 which made for a lovely springtime feel. Pete met us at the finish where we were handed a slate coaster as a memento and offered water (plain or isotonic!) by some fantastic young volunteers who were working their socks off and giving congratulations to the runners as they did so. Food and cakes were available in the school at the finish. As I have never run 14 miles it was always going to be a PB for me, but also a half marathon PB by 2 mins according to my Garmin which I was very happy with especially for a hilly course that I hadn’t really trained for. I may well be back for more in future years if my knee holds up (as I thought the pain might stop me in my tracks on the final big descent)
Serious kudos must go to Elaine Bisson on her excellent performance as 7th lady with a time of 1.37 and great runs from the other six Striders as well. A well-organised enjoyable race that I would thoroughly recommend.
|position||name||cat||cat pos||chip time|
|1||Sam Stead (Keswick AC)||MOPEN||1||01:16:27|
|27||Eleanor Fowler (Nuneaton Harriers)||FV35||1||01:28:16|