Tuesday 7 July 2015

Boconnoc Multi Terrain Race Event 22 (A bad day in the office)

After what was a busy June in regards to work and holiday, June lacked in races for me. I can almost hear the little violins being played as I write this hehe!

Now having only done one race at Bude, Cornwall (Event 21) before going away on holiday to Kos I was really looking forward to toeing the start line again at an event in Boconnoc, Cornwall. Having to work lots before and after the holiday despite getting runs in, the quality of training around work hasn't been a good as I'd like to be honest. I should remain positive though take away the fact I am still running regardless.

Anyway there was an event down in Cornwall not too far away that I heard about ad fancied giving it a go. It was a Multi Terrain race around the beautiful National Trust Estate in Boconnoc and as I could enter on the day I thought I'd go give it a go. It was ideal for me as it was an evening race so allowed me to pick my boy up from pre school and drop him off to the wife at her work on my way to the race.

Event 22 - Boconnoc Multi Terrain 5 Mile Race

I was feeling good in my self for this, on my way to the event traffic was good so little stress or panic. The weather was really good with very high temperatures even in the evening. The UK was having a good spell of hot weather so I knew the course was going to be pretty dray around most of it if not all. You never quite know with multi terrain/trails how they will be under foot if in shelter of trees and knowing the estate I knew the route passes through some wooded areas.

I arrived in good time and finding the event was pretty easy well marked along the way and ample of parking which was marshaled by the volunteers from the St Austell Running Club who were laying on the event.  Registration was simple enough, the usual fill out a form pay your money with a little extra for on the day and it cost me £12. I was given my race number and off I went. Being a Cornish event, I got to catch up with my good friend and some of his Carn Runner friends as well some Mud Crew legends of Andrew Ferguson (recently smashed in West Highland Way Ultra) and Jane Stephens (recently smashed in the Classic Quarter Ultra). It was nice to chat to them and catch. Up these runners have been very supportive of what I am doing and it proves what a close community the ultra running world is.

Craig and myself
 So after the fun run for the younger runners had finished it was out turn. We all mustered on the start line for a quick safety brief. The weather was still sunny and the temperature was still very warm I would say borderline roasting to be honest. I was in two minds knowing how I am with heat and hydration to wear my inov8 race vest but I thought otherwise. I carried a Lucozade bottle with me and I knew there would be at least a water stop around the half way mark.

We set off and went down hill from the start via a tarmac section. It wasn't a long section of downhill as once we turned right along the start of the various terrains it was the start of a slight incline. The terrains changed from trail, gravel, grass and undulating underfoot. It weaved us around a section of woods and across a small river crossing. The river wasn't very deep but enough to get a little wet. With the heat it was refreshing on the feet. Soon the incline increased in climb and it became a lot steeper. The hill or incline wasn't a short one either it went on right until 2.3ish miles before eventually leveling out. By now I had gone through some slightly soft muddy patches in the sheltered sections of the woods. Despite being in these sheltered areas is was still very warm and close.

Boconnoc Estate
 I soon reached the water station, manned by some ladies and children.The kids were picking up the dis-guarded cups and the ladies were handing the cups of water out. The route then dropped down hill slightly before coming out at 3 mile mark for a short period of tarmac. Turning left off the tarmac through woodland once more along the trails. The trail was again undulating underfoot and it rolled up and down as you went, with another downhill section at the 4 mile part it was soon another climb back up as you headed toward the finish. With about 3 hundred yards to go it was downhill with the short uphill finish to where we started.

Trail through one of the wooded sections
 As runs go for me, it was a bad day. I was not feeling the love at all. I struggled even with the 5 miles. The course was great, it had it's challenges that make it a good multi terrain course and yes the weather was warm, but this was not an excuse for my poor performance. My body was just in love with it today. My head was loving it though, it enjoyed the course and the scenery. The event is well organised, well marshaled. I guess maybe my body was out of race form as it's been used to racing pretty much every other weekend up until June.

Not sure why, it felt like this for me to be honest even during the drive home I was kicking myself. Yes I have had slower times in other events some due to supporting another runner, some because I fancied just taking it easy. This time was neither it was my body holding back for some reason. I will put it down to being out of routine for now. I've another event Thursday night so will see how it goes then.

I recommend the event I was the only member from my club to go to it, which surprised me a little as it wasn't that far to go. Hopefully more hit it up next year. I am not a fan of the baseball cap memento to be honest though, the fun runners got medals and I like my bling to hang up but that's just me. I will do this one again and recommend people to do it though.

Baseball cap finishers momento
 During this event I took my first pair of Hoka's out for a test run. The conditions allowed me to get away with road shoes, so this was a good opportunity to put some miles in them.  The reason I wanted to give Hoka's a go is because especially on road runs over distance I bruise the bottom of my feet easily. I wear lightweight shoes like Saucony Kinvara's but over long distance and not being an very quick runner my feet take a pounding and suffer for it. So not sacrificing lightweight for big amounts of cushioning I chose Hoka Clifton's. They are 215 grams which are slightly light than my Kinvara's at 218 grams yet they are amazingly comfortable under foot and feel like running on cushions. They look clumsy but take my word they are far from it. I am looking forward to putting some miles in these and hopefully this will be a solution to my comfort issue. First impression for me are only positives and that the shoe seems to be a good one.

My new Hoka Cliftons

Well 22 event out the 37 target completed 15 to go. It's also getting very close now to the main event on 3rd August. Excited but nervous as well.

Thank you for reading

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