I’ve tried my hardest but, being English, I think it’s physically impossible to not mention the weather – it’s been rubbish! I went up to Black Hill on Saturday, which actually involved a significant amount of wading, squelching and swearing rather than running. I do find that no matter how bad the weather, there’s almost always a moment where the rain stops or the mist clears to give a moment of calm where we can reflect on how lucky we are to be able to be out running in the first place. Enjoy it folks.
Here’s the report!
Sean Phillips must’ve forgotten that Chester was coming up and decided instead to enter Berlin, one of the races in the World Marathon Majors. Many eyes were glued to the tracker and he maintained a fabulous pace throughout ticking off the first half in 1:26:45 and coming over the line in 2:53:37. A report from the scene suggest that he finished the race and started eating samosas and drinking hot chocolate and beer, which I’m not sure how to react to. Absolutely brilliant running Sean! Here’s his report:
We arrive on Thursday, so I could get to the expo, maybe when it was less busy. Ha. And have a wee look around. We got the the Expo at about 12, and it… was.. err.long.
It’s in an abandoned airport which was pretty cool. But then the queues start.
The longest was the first where you need the QR code and driving license for a wrist band and bag, with lots of advertisements in. Then you go into the hangers all the way to the end for the second queue, still long.. and they check your wristband…Then there are lots of lines, when you get to the front they check the QR and ID and give the bib (they probably have a very good reason for splitting the staff among 3 queues. But beats me).
At Berlin they don’t give out finishers t shirts automatically – you buy one at the Expo. So it was utter chaos in there – and the queue to get a t-shirt was by far the longest. Some were even wearing the top before they’d finished the marathon which seems bad luck!!.
Saturday is parkrun day! But I had decided not do it (I get too excited) but Vicki was there to get the international. On the U-Bahn we instantly met some scousers (naturally), they were serious parkrun tourists talking about going to Namibia for the run…. when we got to the stop it was the blind leading the blind with a ton of brits wondering who’s gonna get out google maps first.
As expected it was a great atmosphere at parkrun, with 733 instead of 136 the previous week.
After we got back, we did just a few touristy things try to keep the step count down and I had the usual pizza pre mara.
I didn’t get much sleep the night before so it was a good early start to get the nutella on bread (didn’t pay for breakfast so it was a lidl shop and no toaster). Getting to the start was pretty easy and I was there 45 mins before for the inevitable toilet queue.
Getting in to the pen was a bit odd. There was no entrance to the waves (unless they expected us to go to a wave further back and push through thousands of people to get to our wave) so people were climbing over the barriers. IT begins.. always exciting when the announce the elites with Bekele.
It’s a bit unfortunate that one of the biggest tourist sights is in the first 1km, but the Victory Column was damn impressive! Other than that there is not really much I remember about a good portion of the race … like all big city runs a good part of it there were just walls of people.
Having always used miles for distances and Berlin using km, I kept trying to calculate how on/off target I was – I found it pretty useful actually to keep my brain busy and my legs mindlessly ticking over. I knew I was on for my target so enjoyed it! Then km 35 came… upto that point it was drizzly but the heavens started to open which coincided with the feeling of ‘ooo, hurts too much now’ when we also tell ourselves ‘there been too many 5am Saturdays to mess it up now!’
So I managed to keep pushing, then seeing the Brandenburg Gate – again very impressive! – at 41km and Vicki was a great pick me up! To finish in 2:53:45, so ecstatic with that 🙂
Then the heavens really opened.. there is then a good old walk to get your medal then fruit, then by the point you’re freezing the poncho is in sight (fair play that was a life saver). Before exiting you have to take the timing chip off.
Now the timing chip I’d not really seen before, think they might be used in tri..? You have to undo you laces to thread it on.. meaning at the end bending down…eugh. This took time, the helpers just shaking the boxes for you to put the chips in..great thanks for not ‘helping’. anywhoo, a good few minutes later I was out finding Vicki!
All in all. Great race! Shame about the weather, it also feels like the organisation sometimes could have been a bit better – also they need to give away more free stuff!
Right I waffled on for too long, but it’s given my legs good time to recover before heading out for a beer and good food.
Fell ‘n’ Back
That pretty much describes every fell race ever doesn’t it? Well the official Fell’n’Back was in Buxton and set up by Buxton Mountain Rescue. Nick Ham gives us this report (well, I lifted it from Facebook anyway):
Me and James formed the Glossopdale contingent at yesterday’s Fell ‘n’ Back. What a difference a week makes, from the hot sunshine of Lantern Pike to running in a washing machine.
It’s quite a trek from registration to start, then we ‘enjoyed’ another run back to our cars to get them off the pavements because the organiser was afraid of everyone getting police tickets. We were allowed half an hour’s delay before starting. Thanks to that I got to finish in an oasis of sunshine, hot and flustered after trying and failing to remove my smock on the final descent. A modified route had shortened it to 10.5 miles.
Roche Abbey Marathon
An undulating 6.1-mile lapped race somewhere in Yorkshire. Marie Williamson ran this on Saturday and the official post-race Strava comment was “Thank Christ that’s over!” A comment which can no doubt be applied to many situations in life.
Lakeland Four Passes
Four passes? Pah, City strung together 44 passes before slotting that goal in past United last year, surely four is pretty straightforward? Well not when those four passes happen to be in the Lake District. The race involves around 19 miles, 1,600m of climbing, taking in four scenic valleys and their adjoining passes starting and finishing in Borrowdale. Kate Bowden (presumably not in full City kit) ran it this weekend. Here is her report:
This is a cracking route run by Ascend events who opened up this unused LDWA route – closed due to over popularity in the past and I can see why. It’s long enough with enough elevation to be a challenge without being brutal. And the scenery is stunning – whatever the weather. Luckily, aside from running through a lot of water, there was little overhead and the drama of the skies and autumnal scenery was fabulous. It’s a self-navigated route starting in Rosthwaite, heading over to Seathwaite then up Sty Head, over to Wasdale, up Black Sale Pass, over Scarth Gap, Gatesgarth, and finally up Honister Pass before heading back for a cheese pie dinner and pudding. The check points were fab and even had quiche (best running food ever). Ascend offer a handful of similar events, for runners and walkers; friendly, non-competitive, great food, and a huge fancy medal! I loved it, despite some knee pain lingering from the BS – I will be back. (results not yet out, but basically it took ages and I won’t bother checking!)
Do you agree with Kate? Is quiche indeed the “best running food ever”? Answers in the comments.
Classed as an AL (Absolutely Lovely), the Peris Horseshoe starts in Llanberis on a 28km loop with 2,600m accent including the Snowdon Summit. Understandably it ended up the bad weather route so skipped Lliwedd and seems to have dropped down the Miners’ Track instead.
Kasia Osipowicz looks like she had a great race with 5th lady and 29th overall. Chris Jackson raced and reported that it was “wind, rain and proper slippy”. Perhaps he should have taken his poles?
Holme Valley Trail Half
News just in, Adele Metcalfe did the Holme Valley Trail Half yesterday , a two-lapper somewhere in the Holme Valley I assume. Sounds like she won her category – top work!
I just about mustered up the energy to look out of the window and frown at the weather on Saturday morning, but 24 Harriers were stood eagerly on the start line at Manor Park. No new PBs but it looks like William Mather claimed his 50th run – nice work. Rumour has it that he’s going to do the next 50 in one go.
It also looks like Joe Travis took the top spot at the Severn Valley Country parkrun – great running!
The consolidated club report is HERE
Top Mileage and climbing
Perhaps this should be renamed as “who got the most soaked this week”? Well the answer is Kirsty Sharp with 96.6km and Jenny Ross on the elevation taking on 3,990m!
If you see any of the numerous Chester marathon entrants looking like they’re about to explode with energy then they’re obvious struggling with the taper as the race is only next weekend. I dunno, perhaps give them a hug and feed them some pasta or something.
It’s also the Hodgeson Brothers Mountain Relays with the team raring to go (I think).
Tuesday: Run fast for a bit and have a rest, repeat. Something like that will be happening on Tuesday, details from Coach Jeroen soon.
Thursday: Where is the best place to be at 7pm on a Thursday when it’s cold and dark? At the leisure centre of course so that you can do a club social run. Let’s keep the numbers up during the winter months – be there!
Tim Budd appears to be conjuring up a winter time trial series, follow the Facebook thread for the latest.
It’s been a relatively quiet week for racing so did anything else happen? Lucy Wasinski got whacked with a hockey ball and has a bruise, and then proceeded to get half of the Longdendale trail down her sock on Sunday morning. Overall a succesful weekend!
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