Showing posts from 2022

North Downs Way 100

After the debacle of the Summer Spine I made a late entry into the North Downs Way 100 race.  Its actually 102 miles which sounds like no real difference, but I challenge you to think that way when you have done 100 miles and still have a couple to go! This is by far the longest race I've entered in terms of it being a running focused single stage race.  The previous longest was probably the Marathon des Sables long day that came in at 52 miles and my record in a single day stands at 62 miles on the first day of my Coast to Coast attempt.  I'm not counting the Winter Spine Race as its more expeditionary in nature and the assumption that you stop for sleep at some point.  In the week leading up to the race I was profiled as one of the 6 people to watch and was labelled as a 'Wild Card', principally due to my 2.20 marathon time that seems to follow me around.  I knew that I was far from favourite, my fitness being substantially adrift of where I was a few years ago and I

Wenlock Olympics 7 Mile Road Race - 2022

I won the race back in 2019 which was the last time it was held and so I've had the trophy for 3 years.  I didn't really want to run the 2022 edition due to lack of general fitness, having done no hard sessions for best part of 9 months and my back issue was so bad in the week leading up to the race I was often hunched over.  The only reason for doing the race was that I needed to hand the trophy back and it was a 130 mile round trip so I may as well enter if I could physically get round.  I was expecting a bit of a car crash though and so it proved. The weather was about as hot as I've run anywhere (other than perhaps the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara!) and when the race finished it was 26 degrees in the shade.  As the race was in the direct sun it will of course have felt much hotter.  Even in normal circumstances a course PB would have been out of the question. I set off fairly conservatively but I just felt sluggish and had no pace - perhaps not unsurprising having

Summer Spine Race 2022 - Me and the Spine Race Just Don't Get On

Well its Two v Nil to the Spine Race and I write this with the race still in full flow. After dropping out of the winter version of the race in January just after Dufton with a litany of injuries, I decided to give the race another crack to make amends.  I decided to go at my own pace at the start and to keep things nice and slow.  Despite this I was in second place at the point of the start of the Pennine Way proper, with the leader, Tiaan Erwee off at an incredible pace.  I took it nice and easy and everything was so relaxed but I noticed that just after the steep bit of Jacobs Ladder I was slowly catching Tiaan bit by bit with no one in sight behind. I was really enjoying it and got to within 30 seconds of him after about 4.5 miles into the race and then before I knew it I hit the ground and twisted my ankle.  Again. It was all going so well... I instantly knew it was bad.  I got up and couldn't put any weight on the ankle at all for about 60 seconds.  I progressed into a hobble

Spine Race - Autopsy

As mentioned in my preamble the Spine Race is no ordinary event and was the big one I had on the horizon for many months after it was cancelled last year.  This was meant to be the race to finish my running 'career' and what a way it would be to sign off!  I had promised my wife that post Spine I would tone it down. The short story (read spoiler alert) is that I DNF'd - Did Not Finish.  In all of the races I've ever done, this is a first for me, I cannot ever recall having not ever finished a race I've entered.  I've always found a way.  Essentially the race sucked me in and spat me back out in disdain.  This is the story of what happened... The Story... Start to CP1 (Hebden Bridge) After checking in at the Rambler Inn at Edale, I went to my allocated slot to register and have my kit checked.  As always with me, as my number ended in a 1, I had a full kit check but to be honest everything passed without problem and soon enough I was on my way.  That just left a

2022 Spine Race - Preamble

This is the big one. In a few days I will be starting the 2022 Spine Race which is a 268 mile non-stop race that follows the entire length of the Pennine Way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm.  Just to make it even more spicier, it is held in January so you have to face the best that British weather can throw at you and you have to be self-sufficient, albeit there are five checkpoints along the way where you can replenish. I've purposely done zero recceing of the route as I want it to be an adventure, even if this compromises the race aspect.  I do know bits here and there, such as the first four miles out of Edale and the bit that overlaps the Hadrians Wall Path, but in the main most of it will be totally new to me.  This should add to the 'fun', but whether it will feel like fun when lost at 3am having had no sleep time will tell! Frankly, the thought of the Spine scares me in a way that the Marathon des Sables didn't.  Whilst ultra-marathons were a new phenomena to me, the