Showing posts from October, 2007

Original Mountain Marathon - Day 2

At the start we could see that it was likely we would have a steep uphill beginning from all of the competitors ahead. There were quite a few teams though deciding against it and going along the valley instead. Although this was tempting when we got our maps we decided to go with the majority and head up hill to control CA which was worth 25 points. It was very steep and involved about 250 metres of climb. Up the first half of the slope I was leaving Steve behind again, which I have to say I was slightly annoyed about as I was feeling good and wanted to push on. Having said that we did overtake quite a few teams on the way up. The control itself was fairly straight forward and we hatched a plan to control DA in the north east. As we descended down to a col I was again leaving Steve behind, but this time on the downhill which worried me even more. The one bit of enjoyment I got though was that I could perform a bum slide down the hill which was fun. I must have descended 50 metres in

Original Mountain Marathon - Overnight Camp

As we finished I was still feeling strong and not near to collapse as I was at the RAB. I was also pleased that the rucksack gave me no trouble even though I was carrying the tent and team food. Just after we finished we downloaded our dibber and went to the camp area. As we had an early start we were also amongst the first to pitch camp. Unfortunately as we reached the field the heavens opened and it was still very gusty. All of the other people already at the camp had the same idea as us which was to pitch tent just behind a stone wall which would act as a shelter. We had to make do a few metres further away. As we began to put the tent up I was beginning to feel cold as my damp clothing was beginning to take effect. I put on all of my spares on top (so my lower layers will dry themselves) and made sure I had a quick snack to eat as I didn't eat anything over the six hours other than a few jellies and a load of lucozade . As Steve was finishing the tent I went to the stream t

Original Mountain Marathon - Day 1

After a 7 hr journey on Friday afternoon we arrived at the Lowther Hills (Galloway / South Lanarkshire ) for the 40 th Original Mountain Marathon. The pre -event camping field was less than impressive being full of liquid sheep shit which got everywhere but other than that was a good event centre with all the facilities close by. For those not familiar with the format of the OMM it is the biggest Mountain Marathon in the calendar (about 3,000 people in total) and involves teams of two to run/walk across mountainous terrain self navigating to each checkpoint (no paths!) with the aid of map and compass. Over the two days each team has to be self sufficient with a remote overnight camp with basic facilities (i.e. portaloos and a stream for drinking water) so all kit has to be carried. This year we were entered in the Medium Score class which involves 6hrs on Day 1 and 5hrs Day 2 to find as many controls as possible. Although we woke up on Saturday morning with plenty of time me and

Penultimate week before the OMM

Since the cross country race last weekend I have felt about as confident as I have ever done since starting running again at the beginning of this year. It was the first time I could really compare where I am at now to where I was last year. Having looked at the results more closely I reckon that I'm running about 5 minutes quicker. Although I'm usually hyper critical of my performances, last weekends race was as close as I have ever felt to perfection. I don't think there was much I could have done to improve my position further. As a result I've been running with much of a buzz all week. As this is the penultimate week before the OMM I've tried to do a decent week but at the same time avoiding doing too much. The day after the race I did a gentle 3 miles but felt a very slight twang in my ankle so didn't do any more. On Monday I did a 7 mile run at a reasonable but comfortable pace of 7.10 min miles. Tuesday was a rest day as apart from anything els

North Staffs Cross Country 2 - Park Hall, Stoke

Since the race last weekend I've done next to no training again during the week. I wanted to make sure my legs have recovered properly from the RAB Mountain Marathon and the Cross Country. I was intending to do a couple of short runs on Tuesday and Thursday but due to laziness it didn't materialise. I ended up doing a 3.5 mile fast run at 6.30 min mile pace on Wednesday though just to keep things ticking over. The second cross country race of the season was held today at Park Hall Country Park in Stoke. The last time I ran there was about 4 years ago and never particularly liked the course, usually finishing around 100-110 th position. The course had changed slightly this time, mainly by extending the length of the lap so we only had to go round twice. Its very up and down with relatively little flat and a few extended climbs on each lap. Its also quite twisty in a number of places so you cant always see that far in front of you. The weather was pretty good, about 15

North Staffs Cross Country - Race 1, Newcastle

During the week my legs were extremely stiff as the after effect from the RAB Mountain Marathon. On Monday and Tuesday it was extremely difficult to walk down stairs and even getting in and out of my chair at work became a bit of an operation. By Wednesday some of the stiffness began to recede and on Thursday my legs were back to normal although I could feel that they were drained of energy. As a result I did not even attempt to do any training prior to the cross country race today. Today was the first cross country race of the season, held at a new location in Newcastle (Staffs). The conditions were near perfect, about 15 degrees with no wind and ground conditions were dry. The course was mainly flat except about two thirds around the lap where there is a steep ascent before dropping sharply back down quickly followed by an even steeper ascent shortly after. It was a bit of a strange course as there were plenty of tarmac paths to take advantage of. For the men's race it was 9.9km

RAB Mountain Marathon Day 2

My legs were still quite stiff but thankfully as I walked around camp a bit they didn't feel too bad. We were one of the last to start and decided to keep things really simple and avoid the stupid risks from the day before. The first control was a steepish climb to a control on Lingmoor Fell. Below is a photo of Steve on the ascent which had a nice track about half way up. After reaching the first control the next one seemed pretty straight forward although in the end was a fairly tricky descent through a lot of bracken. At this stage I could feel that I was in for a good day as my legs were moving nicely. We decided to ignore the control heading west by Blake Rigg as we felt it was a lot of ascent for what would only be 20 points and we began to plot a route that we felt would be achievable and realistic. The next control was just worth 5 points but was dead easy with a short amount of road running thrown in. Only thing of note was that at this point we were beginning to over

RAB Mountain Marathon Overnight Camp

The campsite by Mountain Marathon standards was luxury (incidentally suposedly the same campsite that the 7/7 London bombers did their 'training') - toilets, nice field, showers and rather bizarrely a burger van which most people took advantage of. I didnt have much money with me but thankfully Steve had a fiver on him so we had a bacon butty with a hot drink. Up until this point I was shattered - badly dehydrated, very low blood sugar levels and was beginning to feel extremely cold. I ate a nutri-grain bar plus had an energy gel which restored the balance a bit and put on all the clothes that I was carrying. The problem was drinking the tap water which was very cold, so too much gave me the chills but at the same time I needed to rehydrate. Eventually we found the energy to put the tent up and sort out sleeping kit. What cheered me up was watching Steve with his new balloon bed taking ages to get the balloons pumped up. We then sorted out the stove and began cooking our eveni

RAB Mountain Marathon Day 1

After final preparations we were walking along the road leading out of Coniston onto the famous Walna Scar Road which is anything but a road. It was only very near to the start did I realise that I forgot to put my ankle brace on so knew that my left ankle was in for a severe bashing. I knew I was going to go over, it was just a case of how many times and how badly. After a few minutes deciding upon our general route we ran along the Walna Scar Road at a decent pace before turning off to a well made track heading past Goat's Water. Everything was fairly straightforward to this point and we made our first steep ascent to Goats Hause before contouring round to the control. We made a small navigational error and descended too steeply before realising the mistake and finding the control. We lost about 5 minutes which was a bit annoying but we were still trying to tune ourselves into the map but on the plus side no real damage was done. We decided to head to the next control call

RAB Mountain Marathon Prep

A few weeks ago a work colleague suggested doing one of the fell events organised by Dark & White. It didn't take my fancy but noticed a Mountain Marathon advertised on the same weekend we were going to do pre OMM (Original Mountain Marathon held in last weekend of October) training. One thing led to another and we eventually entered this as a two man team with the intention of it being a good training event. Its a two day mountain marathon held in Coniston , Lake District with a score format - 6hrs day 1 and 5hrs day 2 with a self sufficiency camp in between. From Thursday onwards I was getting the various bits of kit together, forgetting how much preparation is required. Foolishly I was tasked with getting the team food for the event. For the Friday pre -event camp I settled on Hot Dog Rolls, sausages and onion. Except I forgot the sausages. So I went to the petrol station and got some bacon. Unfortunately I then left that in the fridge at home so it was looking like a mea