Wednesday 10 June 2015

Event 21 - Bude Lifeboat Run - An evening in the Cornish Sun.

Hello readers,

We're now half way through the year, and I'm half way over my target goal of 37 events. With June being busy for me with work and going away on holiday (or as I call it Training Camp) there is little room for events. However mid this week, two events in the evening provided me with an opportunity as I was working days and not nights. I either stayed local and run a 5K event (one I had already run in May) or travel just over an hour away for a multi terrain 6 mile event in North Cornwall. I chose to travel for an event I had not run before as I like to try new events out.

I finished work, picked up fellow club member Jason and made our way from Plymouth to Bude. The trip wasn't the greatest, with road works, single roads and rush hour proved despite leaving early enough it would still be a little close in timings getting there. We both still had to register as we chose to enter after pre entry had closed.

Me and Jason went on a road trip
 After arriving at the Race HQ, we were informed parking was down the road in a car park with a small walk back to the Race HQ. We arrived at the car park to be informed it was pretty much full and that we may have to park even further away. Being someone who doesn't like leaving things too late, there was no way I was going even further away from Race HQ. So I found a place to park (just about) and made our way to registration. It was already very busy with the junior fun just starting and the main race runners gathering, registration was busy. With limited entries to 300 runners, by the time I got to the registration desk via queuing they had run out of numbers and had to go find some more. Obviously they were expecting only 250 runners as they found spare numbers for remainder of entrants. They had in fact 342 runners which was a record for the event. They had run out of safety pins for runners to pin their numbers on. Usually I carry my own or my race belt but I had forgotten both in the rush in the morning to get ready for work and through everything in my kit bag.

Luckily I had seen one of my good friends Craig who runs for a Cornish Club called Carn Runners (another bunch of mad socially friendly runners) who had spare. Craig's friend Vinni had some Carn Runner bib clips as well, and offered me them. So I ran in my club vest with Carn Runner race number clips. Maybe I should have a second claim with their club!

Me and good friend Craig
 The event was starting and finishing at Bude Rugby club, which provided ample facilities of changing rooms, toilets, baggage drop and Burger stall.

Fellow Muskies Darren, Jason and Joanne
 Event 21 of 37 - Bude Lifeboat Run

The event itself was a 6 mile (ish) course. It was part of the Cornish Multi Terrain Race Series (MTRS) which would earn runners points or whatever through the series if they ran all the or some of the events. As it's not part of Devon's series it didn't really effect me in that way.

The weather was great, sunny quite warm with a breeze in some parts. I didn't know to much about the route, some mentioned it was flatish. However knowing multi terrain events in the South West as I do, I doubted it would be that boring.

As previously mentioned the start/finish was located at the Rugby club where Race HQ was located and all the runners gathered at the start line. The hooter started and it wasn't long before the fast runners were screaming off. We did a half lap of the rugby pitch before leading out of the grounds and along a wide foot path along the canal/river. The sun gleaming down made it a very pretty mostly flat (it had the odd incline) route along the canal with rowers paddling a long. The path soon leads through the countryside and for the first 2 and half miles it was tarmac. I was wondering where the multi terrain was going to come into it. Not long after the first drink station appeared where I didn't take any water on mainly due to wearing my hydration race vest. I had learnt in the past in warm/hot weather that some times, drink stations just isn't enough for me.

Canal path
 Then the multi terrain came in to play! The route lead us up hill through a field, the climb was reasonably steep but it soon leveled out at the top. The ground turned from hard dirt track to a rocky lumpy one. Due to being multi terrain, I chose to go with a pair of my Inov 8 Roclite 295's instead of Road Shoes. I could've got away with road shoes, but I was glad on the lumpy rocky dirty part just to have that little bit of grip and traction.

This route soon lead us through some amazing corn type field along a track which headed towards the coast, with the sea in view it was breath taking. I think that to me is why I have learnt to slow down and enjoy races. Those going all out, focusing on PB's or trying to win sometimes miss out on the things that make events such as this type of views.

Some view!
 Unfortunately this wonderful view had to end as we turned right up well worn tractor track up another hill. By the time it was due to head down hill it was just over 3.7 miles and soon heading back down on tarmac through a farm back toward the canal. Just after 4 miles we hit the same water station as before.

We headed back along the canal path but the first part was on the opposite side to the outwards part. We turned and soon headed onto the path we started on. As I hit 4 and half miles I picked up my pace slightly, up until now I haven't really felt the run. I hadn't eaten since lunch, rushing about after work and shattered from early start also at work just made it feel a little off. However I upped my pace as I still wanted a nice strong finish. I started to over take other runners as I approached 5 miles and soon as we headed towards the last part towards the finish I turned it up. I crossed the line in just over 55 minutes which I was pretty happy with and deposit how I was feeling I had a really enjoyable run.

 Did I make the right choice of running in this event over the local 5k? Yes, for £10 I had a really beautiful course to run on, it was well organised, money went to charity (RNLI), a medal and a goody bag which included a bottle of beer which put Plymouth Half marathon to shame.

Goody bag
 It really was a good event, and one I recommend, to avoid potential disappoint next year I recommend pre entering. The event is obviously popular and will even especially if the weather is good once more may hit it's limit.

Kit choice for this event, X-Bionic Trick top, X-Bionic Running Shorts, X-Socks Speed Run 2.0 socks. I wore my Sunwise Canary Wharf sunglasses which were definitely needed. Inov 8 race ultra vest for hydration and Inov 8 Roclite 295's shoes.

So what's next? I'm off to Kos for a week and looking forward to running there especially as there are some nice looking mountain trails near my hotel which I will now call base camp. I arrive back in the Blighty at 3am to which on the way home I will be racing a 10 miler for event 22 of 37

Thank you for reading!

Monday 1 June 2015

Half way through the year and I complete 20 events - Bristol 10K

So another busy week really, with the Beach 10K earlier in the week and two events this weekend!

I had to pop up to Shawbury, Shropshire to visit the in laws and celebrate a family member's 40th Wedding Anniversary. Knowing how busy with work and a well earnt family holiday in June was going to be, I had to fit in some more events before the end of the month. 

Shawbury which is just outside Shrewbury in Shropshire has a parkrun every Saturday. This is one I've already done before with my brother in law.

Event 19 - Shrewsbury parkrun. 

I won't go into too much detail about the event as I've already covered it before, however as I was running it alone (my brother in law Paul chickened out) I was able to run it for myself. I was going to set out comfortably and see how things go. 

The weather was perfect, and I set off. First mile was nice at around 8 min 30 mile pace. The next mile I picked up the pace again with around 8.15 min/mile pace and finish strong but not even blowing with 7.47 min/mile pace. 

Without giving it large I finished in 25 min 27 secs without blowing out of my arse.

The next morning meant I had to get up at 4.30am for the drive to Bristol so I could run in another event on the way home. Leaving at 5am allowed me enough time to get especially as they had closed roads of some made getting to parking a bit more of a pain.

Event 20 of 37 - Bristol 10K 

I entered this not long after I knew I had to go up country. It cost me £27 to enter, which for a 10K isn't the cheapest but it isn't that bad when you look at what is provided. about a week or so before the race, they sent me the race info pack which included my disposable timing chip, bib number, race info and bagage tag.

Race info booklet

I arrive at the park & ride which was the better option, than try to park in the city centre, although it was a bit of a nightmare with road closures getting there and arrived at the start just after 8am. According to the race info booklet the pen for waive 1 for white and red bib numbers opened at 8.30am. They lied like a hairy egg as they didn't let us in until 9.05am which only allowed 10 mins until the closure of the pen time. There was one other club member racing but alas I didn't see her before the race to get a club photo.

Start/Finish line
Waiting for pen to open!
Eventually I made it to the start pen for the red numbers. We were on the right side of the start the white were on the left. They gave you your coloured number based on the estimated time you put down for finishing. White & Elite were on the left side of the start line, who were starting bang on 9.30am. We were going a few minutes after the white had started with the yellow and green in waive 2 heading off at 9.45am. There were about 12,000 entrants altogether so this 10K wasn't a little local event. It was the Run Britain's 3 race in it's Grand Prix series. There were some top names racing including the Cornish Maid Emma Stepto and a couple of Kenyans.
Starting Pen
The race started and the Elite and white numbered runners were off. I was followed suit not long after and we headed outbound. The streets were full of supporters on either side of the route, where the atmosphere despite the over cast weather was great.

I felt my self taking off too fast down the first half mile. I hate doing that, and recently have been good not to. So I calmed down and settled into a comfortable pace.I was going to run comfortably and increase pace gently as I go along. I like a negative split and to finish strong. I enjoy events more that way compared to positive splits.

The route was pretty much flat with the odd slight incline here and there. It took you out towards the Clifton suspension bridge. As I got to 2 miles the elites already flying past the other way around 3/4 mile mark. They were shifting. We turned around at about 2 and 3/4 miles and soon hit a well stocked water station at 5k. Despite the a gentle spit of rain, the weather was still warm and sticky. I past through the short tunnel we came through on the out leg and the "Oggie Oggie Oggie" cheers rattle through the tunnel. 

After the 5K I continued with the race plan and kept a comfortable pace going depsite slightly increasing it each mile. 

Here are my splits:

1) 1m - 8:54(8:54/m) 
2) 1m - 8:57(8:57/m) 
3) 1m - 8:45(8:45/m) 
4) 1m - 8:25(8:25/m) 
5) 1m - 8:12(8:12/m)
6) 1m - 7:48(7:48/m) 
7) 0.31m - 2:22(7:36/m) 

As I entered back into the city centre the crowds and the atmosphere picked up again and lots of cheers were being given, I pulled over to the side as I ran and started giving as many high 5's to the children as possible. A lot had been standing out in the poor weather for a while now so wanted to give something back. 

I  soon made the last turn and down the finish straight with a sprintish (not full sprint due to amount of runners) until I crossed the line in 53.24 which all not a PB it was a season's best without really trying. It was a bit of a walk back to Millenuim square, along the way you picked up the various finishers items.

The event was very well organised, well marshalled, great atmosphere and well you look into it, worth the entrance fee. You received a nice medal, water during and after the race, space blanket, tech t-shirt (Plymouth Half you had to pay £18 for one on top of entrance fee!), a good goody bag with the usual fliers and tit bit including coconut water (which isn't cheap in the shops). So another event and a recommendation for this mass entrant 10K

Goody Bag
The kit I wore was X-Bionic "Trick Top & Running shorts, X-Socks Run Speed Two socks, Sunwise Canary Wharf Sunglasses. Shoe choice was my racing flats Brooks T7.

So that was event 19 & 20 of 37 which takes me over half way towards the target goal. Thank you for the continuing support as I type this I have raised currently just over £700 towards the £2,000 target.

If you fancy donating a little bit of money please do My Just Giving Page

Thank you for reading!

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