After disappointingly having to cancel my planned mid week race due to some ridiculous traffic, my attention switched to Sunday's 12.12 race across the Peak District. The official race instructions stated that there was a mandatory set of kit requirements including: waterproof/windproof clothing, spare food and drink, a map, compass and whistle. As my first trail race of this level I followed these instructions to the letter and managed to squeeze them all into my rucksack leaving just enough room for some flapjacks and a banana.
I took a look round at my fellow runners at the beginning of the race and noticed that I seemed to be packing a lot more than others, some only seem to have a water bottle with them. In hindsight I probably should have dropped half of my gear back in the car, but with barely any time before the race I had little choice. As the race started I found myself mistakenly in the front group again and I remained there for the first half a mile before I started to drop back and others started to pull forward. I got the impression that many of the runners had competed in the race before, or were certainly more experienced than myself when it came to this type of race, safe to say I felt a little out of place.
|The view from the top|
Earlier in the week I decided to invest in some new trail trainers. I foolishly decided it was a good idea to place my old pair in the washing machine after a particularly muddy race earlier in the year. It's safe to say they didn't take kindly to this and kind of 'blew up' in protest. There was a bit of a compromise on price and ended up grabbing a pair of Adidas Kanadia TR5s from Sports Direct. I was impressed with how comfortable they felt and well they seemed to handle today's run, but it didn't stop me looking on in envy at other's Inov8s and Salomon Speedcross'.
For the most part I managed to follow the trail without any issues, mainly because I was always able to keep another runner in sight, the two times I went wrong almost led to hilarious consequences. The first mistake I made was after climbing to the top of one (of many) hills I failed to pay attention to which side of the hill the runner in front of me went down. So when I reached the summit I had to guess, and I guessed wrongly and ended up having to climb down the rocky side of the hill, complete with multiple 5 foot drops.
|The true path on the left hand side or my way on the right|
I had made the decision before the race that I would be running it essentially as a tourist. It would probably be a while before I venture across the Peak District again so I made sure to arm myself with a camera this morning and take as many shots as I felt comfortable with. At one point in the race a goat ran out from the side of the track with little warning before running back into the bushes before I managed to successfully scramble for camera. Fortunately my camera was on hand later on when I came across his shy, docile cousins.
|Four legged competitors|
Next year? Maybe. I still haven't decided what my plans are next year, running wise, but I'll certainly be running this race again at some point, only this time armed with more experience and more nutrition.
|Now truly broken in|
This past Wednesday I was interviewed on BBC Lincolnshire for a catchup having recently reached the halfway point of my challenge. This interview was originally planned for last Monday but had to be rearranged after I had to literally run to Jenny's aid as her health took a downward turn.
Take a listen below.
Next week I have the small matter of two races in one day. The Rother Valley 10k in the morning, followed by the Sheffield Man of Steel in the afternoon. I should hopefully be able to acquire a GoPro camera for next Sunday so I plan on recording the second race for everyone elses amusement.
As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.
Distance: 19.85km | 12.33 miles
Official Time: T:B:A
Average Pace: 06:28 min/km | 10:25 min/mi
Goody Bag: T-shirt
View my run: