Today was the day. I have been training for a while now, and this was essentially a training run for next months full marathon.
I started the day well, woke up in plenty of time, ate porridge for breakfast hoping this would fuel me well for the run.
I set off and reached the venue quite early, to give myself enough time for registration and a loo break.
Pre race, I was enjoyed in the sunshine, but the breeze was not mixing well with my hair 🙂
I knew the race was going to be hilly, but the size of the hills was a surprise. The next photo is of the first hill, which was almost immediately after the start (after running a bit of flat along the front)
We all set off and i felt good! I ran that first hill, the steep path in the picture above, but there was a gate at the top so had to stop to go through that. Still, off to a great start.
The route was mostly off road, so the different terrains added an additional challenge. Most of my training has been completed on roads, so smooth grounds.
One of the great things about running off road, and up hills of this size, is that you get to experience views like no other! I was not aiming to set a great time today, so I did take a couple of breaks to enjoy the views and take a couple of photos, see below:
All of the climbs, however, took their toll on me. By the time I was about 5 miles into the run, my legs were screaming at me. Then came the cruel twist of the route, the 10k runners could run down the hill to the finish, the half marathon runners had to complete another loop! This hurt, as the steepest climb of all was within this loop.
The second time up this hill was when my thighs decided to make their presence known. They were not happy at being treated this way, and my right thigh decided to keep screaming at me for the remainder of the run, on the brink of cramping the entire way to the finish line.
There were sections of the route where you were running next to people going in the other direction either in front or behind you on the course. This is a great idea, as it gives you the opportunity to encourage others, and it also means other runners can give you encouragement as well.
Eventually I crossed the line and collected my medal :). The route wasn’t quite 13.1 miles, strava put it at 12.6 miles for my tracking, so about 1/2 mile short. I’m not sure if I would have been able to complete any further though, this was the most drained and empty I think I have ever felt after a run, so I need to step up the training to be in shape to complete over double in September!
My overall verdict is that this is a cracking route, in a beautiful location, but with over 2,500 ft of elevation gain it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an easy run.
Strava report is below: