Helsby RC weekly round-up from 1st to 7th April 2019

Hello Green Army,

I’m a little late with the round-up for the week ending 7th April, but we do have a couple of cracking write-ups about the Manchester Marathon and the Lakes Mountain 42 from the week before last.

Manchester Marathon – Sunday 7th April 2019

So first, it’s over to Chris Fitzpatrick for his report on the Manchester Marathon:

“5 green vests turned up to Manchester on Sunday for what can only be described as perfect running conditions, 11c, cloudy, and no wind. I somehow still managed to get tan lines though…ginger skin eh!
As you all know very well, my sole purpose of this race last year was to get a championship entry time for London, which is sub 2.45, and i missed out by 2 seconds. I may joke about it but it seriously annoyed me that i got so close but missed out. So this year, instead of a 14 week training plan, i started on Dec 3rd, and an 18 week plan, and rather than giving up the Guinness, i decided not to abstain and continue to enjoy myself. I’m not going to lie, the last few months have been pretty difficult for me, but the one thing that’s kept me going is being focused on this marathon, and the training has really helped me get through it.
Last year i trained harder, this year it was about slowing my recovery runs down and training smarter, and it’s really helped. The plan for the day was to do the first 10k in around 6-6.10 min miles, then for the next 13-14 hit 6.10-6.15 mins miles. My target was 6.17, and the first half of the race went by and i hit 1.21 for 13 miles feeling really good. This is when the going starts to get tough, but not this year, i got to 17 miles and felt really good still, 18 came and went and 19 as well, so i was then preparing myself for the dreaded 20 mile point, where the wall normally hits you. I hit 20 miles, but nothing, i even went a little faster. The next 4 miles i was expecting my legs to go, but nothing, i was really enjoying this now, passing a lot of tired legs in the process.
The last 2 miles i started to feel it but i knew i was on the home straight, but knowing i had the sub 2.45 well within my grasp i really pushed on and came home in 2hr24m26s. I was over the moon, very emotional, but loved every minute of it, which is the first time i’ve ever said that on a marathon.
Great to hear everyone finished, and some good performances on the day from the rest of the green army, Ian, Rob, Matt and Wiggo.
Good luck to everyone doing London in a few weeks, i hope you all enjoy it as much as i enjoyed Manchester. It may be a very expensive race, but it’s very well organised now, and it’s got the big city marathon feel to it, and is getting more and more popular each year.
Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 05.56.04
Cheers
Fitzy”
So well done everyone who completed the Manchester Marathon and thanks for sending in the report Fitzy. With my preference being for off-road running I usually switch off when people start talking  about road training plans, but your hard work and success even captivated me this time. Well done mate!

Lakelands Mountain 42 – Saturday 30th March 2019

Now over to Jake Holmes and his epic run in the mountains:
image004“A 6am start meant I headed up the night before. Space to sleep on the floor of the village hall/Race HQ didn’t sound the best way to start any race but I figured it was better than a 2:45 get up at home and I’d have ticked off all the pre-race faff the night before. Best guess, I had three hours of broken sleep but the deal did include a tasty bowl of pre-race porridge.image001

There was a great atmosphere at the Race HQ the next morning… 5am or whatever so it was like everyone was in “it’s early so keep it down” mode, but with a real buzz about what was coming up. We headed outside to the start in the middle of Askham, and the surreal quietness of it all continued as Joe (race organiser) stood on a box and quietly said “go… shhh…”. 170 odd runners set off in silence.

Of course, everyone set off too quickly. Or I did anyway. It’s hard not to. How do you start a race with at whatever your ’hilly 42 mile run’ pace is? What even is that? Still, it was too quick.. I’m sure I’ll learn at some point.

The route split nicely into four sections…

Seriously, look at that view…

Leg one was Fantastic, lovely being out so early, perfect weather, gentle climb past the first check point at Load Pot Hill and not technical which let you look up and appreciate where you actually were. Heading up to High Street summit took us close to the edge dropping away down to Haweswater and the most jaw dropping view… it was like being in the Alps! Tourist mode took full hold and I had to stop and take a picture. Combo of the weather, winter sun, feeling good… whatever… I was loving it…

image002

High Street Summit gave the second stamp on the card and head off down to Patterdale and the first big tick. Wasn’t as smooth down as I’d have liked though. It was a long descent and I was trying to keep with the runners around me. The last stretch, a steep, broken rocky path, really beat up the legs and we were only 15 or so miles in. Mmmm…

I’d recced the next section, so it was good to know what was coming. Left the checkpoint with some chatty runners but another sign I might be a bit too high up the field came when a couple of them started talking about attempting the Bob Graham this summer. Right… maybe I drop back a bit? I didn’t have to think about it long before they’d made the decision for me and I had no problem watching them head off.

The grumpy bit…

This was my first stretch of the day on my own… Carry on up just above Grizdale Tarn and at the end, follow the steep rocky path down to Thirlmere and a checkpoint at the foot of Helvellyn. Easy enough… until the fog came in. A couple of minutes earlier, I’d seen a runner ahead take the lower of two paths. I was sure I’d done the higher one on my recce but for some reason followed like a sheep. It put me hitting the tarn square on… I was almost in it before I saw it the visibility had dropped that much! No biggy I thought, follow it to the right and you’re pretty much where you should be… just with wet feet. The thing with Grizdale Tarn, is it’s kind of round, so when you can’t see anything, you’re never quite sure if you’re at the end, or still on the side or what. Talking to one local runner a bit later, he’d managed to walk right round it twice before he found his way off! Anyway, just as I decided now was the moment, the mist cleared and I saw I was right, but in quite a bowl that I had to climb up out of. I could hear runners, that had been a long way behind, high up on the other path and obviously having more fun. Sigh. Climb up out of here then.

Pain behind my left knee made the descent a slow process. I moved my arms purposefully and made sure I frowned to make it look like I was descending quickly but it didn’t help. A couple more runners came past. As I got to the bottom I looked back to see a train of runners taking a route that cut a big corner… that I hadn’t! Wow, this was really a section to forget.

All good again…

I took my time to sort myself out at Thirlmere checkpoint. Reset things, restocked pockets with sweet things and started a fresh up Helvellyn for section three. I remembered on the recce easily passing day walkers on the way up but for some reason today’s walkers were more sprightly. With my new found positivity, I stopped singing ‘the greatest showman’ to myself and pointed out that my 23 miles and a few thousand feet so far, gave them an advantage. That recce knowledge of the path helped loads and I was actually enjoying the ups and caught a couple of the places I’d lost. The summit was a good moment! Highest point of the day. Only one more big climb to go. And that’s on the last leg. However you said it sounded good.  Steep decent initially (ouch) and then easy running into the Patterdale finish of section three. One to go.

The home straight…

The lump in the last leg comes straight away in the shape of Place Fell. Not as high as Helvellyn but by this point it doesn’t need to be! Trig point at the top won the award for ‘gnarliest checkpoint of the day’.image003

I’d been chopping and changing with three other runners over the last hour or so, so ended up sticking with them from here. Random conversations about cheese (we were pretty sick of sweet stuff) and National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation helped past the last few miles back over Askham Fell and into the village hall in 11hours 58mins to a free mug and very welcome bowl of Carrot and Coriander soup.

It’s funny how quickly after the race you start to forget the pain and long drags! I’m sure there was a stretch in the last 6 miles when I was asking myself “is this really how I want to spend my time?” …. “Don’t forget at the end, you might not want to do this stuff.”

image005

It was pretty though…

Last night I signed up to the 62 mile Fellsman in two weeks time.

 

Parkrun

Well done all who took part in a park run on Saturday. Great to see Bish in pole position at Phoenix again. Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s it for now, Remember to keep sending any reports or other stuff you want including to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers,

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

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