Saturday 9 June 2012

Glen Rosa Horseshoe

Results | Garmin Track | Race Details

Glen Rosa was my first hill race back in 2000.  In the past 12 years I've managed about 690 more races.

Glen Rosa Route 2012
I set out along the first 4 km of trail chatting with Russell Small at first, and then just settling in behind him, trying deliberately to take it easy. On the first steep climb up Beinn a' Chliabhain we caught up with Michael Reid, with Konrad Rawlik not that far in front. I tried not to trash my legs by working too hard. Just as the ridge eased off Alan Smith suddenly appeared on our left, perhaps 20 metres ahead, having taken a different line.

The summit ridge was misty, so I didn't recognise the descent into Coire Daingean, and perhaps strayed too far to the left. Although that line took me down pretty smooth ground. I could see Alan Smith ahead taking a high line through the heather, but I decided to drop low onto more runnable ground, and managed to overtake Russell, Michael and Scott Umpleby who were all thrashing through deeper heather above me.

I decided to contour straight across to reach the decent path on the other side of the burn, and then ran up the path to the steep steps to stay ahead of Michael, Russell and Scott. They did however all catch me by the summit of Cir Mhor and we all turned more or less at the same moment.

Once we had dropped back down the steep steps, Scott and Russell took a lower path, whilst I lead Michael across towards the Glen Rosa Slabs, only to chicken out when we got nearer, and we ended up dropping steeply through heather and rocks to flank underneath them.  This wasn't too bad since it took us to a good trod which lead to the Saddle. I'm sure there is a quicker higher line across the slabs, if I could just manage to recce it one day.

After the Saddle, I set about closing down and passing Russell and trying to make some ground on Scott, but he simply disappeared before the summit of Goatfell, so I wasn't quite sure if he was still ahead.  The descent down the Goatfell never gets any easier and requires constant concentration to avoid tripping and shredding yourself on the rough granite. Once I'd reached the new wooden bridge, I was fairly sure nobody would catch me.  I ramped it up to a reasonable pace, but then realised Adam Anderson was only about 20 metres behind me, so I suddenly had to find a couple of extra gears for the last kilometre of forest track.  Plus the last couple of fields seemed more lumpy than usual, and we had a couple of extra gate crossings just to help bring on the cramp!

I was pleased enough to finish 9th in 2:54:03, given that this was my first long hill run of the year.

Finlay Wild was the race winner by more than 16 minutes, in a new course record of 2:18:20.

Monday 4 June 2012

Austwick Amble

Activity on Garmin Connect | Results

3rd race in 5 days, after Dumbarton 10k and Dallam Dash 10k on Thursday and Saturday.

Route map for Austwick Amble
The event started in the centre of Austwick as part of the village's annual Street Fair and Cuckoo Festival.

The route followed a tarmac road for the first 800 metres before branching off to climb across fields to reach a flat shelf on the side of Ingleborough. Just around the halfway point we turned and descended through a tricky section of limestone which I should have recognised as part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route.

I was briefly caught by a Settle runner around this section but managed to find enough on the run back to hold off any further challenges. I finished the 12.4 km route in about 56:51, for about 6th place.

Ellie completed her longest run since London Marathon 2011, to finish in just under 70 minutes.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Dallam Dash 10k

Results | Activity on Garmin Connect

Looking at the depleted startline of 48 runners, I thought I might be in with a shout at winning this one. Especially after running 35:25 at Dumbarton on Thursday night.

I set off reasonably quickly, leading for the first 800 metres or so, and going through the first couple of kilometres in 3:33 and 3:34. However I then started to feel pretty tired and jaded in the heat, and fell back into 3rd place as Dave Wilby of Ilkley Harriers drifted past. Not wishing to drop any more places, I tracked Dave until the 5 mile marker, before making a move on a short uphill section to nip past and started racing the last mile, knowing there was a good final downhill section.  My time of 37:24 for 2nd place was nothing special for 10k, but it was a pretty hilly course, and quite warm conditions for running.

Ellie completed her first 10k since the arrival of Benjamin, posting a respectable time of 45:54.

Ellie at Dallam 10k