Sunday, September 23, 2012

King Alfred's Torment

A very wet and windy day saw a huddle of Maiden Newton Runners shivering on the start line at the beginning of this scenic, hilly 7 mile race.

There were some very strange marshals out in those woods today!

Zoe shows her speed.

Go Charlie!

Maiden Newton Runners win the Ladies Team prize!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Charmouth Challenge

Race report by Dan

I was very disappointed to be stranded in Cattistock by flooding on the day of the Charmouth Challenge, so it was great to hear that it had been re-scheduled. I turned up a day early by mistake, but decided not to recce the route, so as to avoid unnecessarily tiring my legs (I think I heard this advice from Dave's mate, Mr. L. Notbother). No recce needed, the course was well marked with marshalls at the right places and even two water stations. I kept far too close behind Martin and Lin at the start, but they must have been running a tactical race, because I had enough energy to hit the first hill fairly hard. Once it levelled off, there was a flat section, with long views and I could still see the front runners, perhaps only 500m ahead! 

There were more hills, and I found myself occasionally being overtaken on the medium climbs, by people that I would then overtake as they walked on the really steep bits. There were some dastardly steps that break the stride and make running very tricky. My legs were burning at the top of that bit...I would probably have been quicker overall if I had walked, but there's some satisfaction to keeping on running and not giving up.
Normally I'm one of the more reckless at descending, but some of the runners that charged past me on the steepest descents must have had even more of a death wish. These were the same ones that I ran past going uphill. This felt very odd - normally it's the other way around.

There were fantastic views, and I could see sails off Lyme Regis. Some friends from Sutton Bingham sailing club were out there racing. It felt quite breezy on top of the hills, so I expect that the serene white triangles in the distance probably belied frantic scenes of spray, capsizes and 'nautical' language.

About a mile from the finish I was overtaken by an athletic looking figure, who blasted past me, then settled into about the same pace as mine, 20m or so in front. When I saw the finish line flags, I thought I may as well try, so sprinted as quietly as I could. He saw me about 3 seconds from the line when I was a meter behind, and sprang to life. The finish line was quite narrow, and we 'crashed' across it, nearly taking out the timekeeper. They 'clocked' him first, but it was a close thing. Turns out he has done the OMM, an event that I am very tempted by. Well if he could do it... On the other hand, the OMM requires good navigation, so I don't think finishing behind someone that's done it in anyway indicates my readiness.

1:14 by my watch. Did not check the results, but by the look on Martin and Lin's faces, I think they probably did the club proud.