Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

August 25, 2010

23rd Smuggler's Trod 25mi. 28 Aug 2010

The Smuggler’s Trod in Robin Hood’s Bay, was my first chance to visit the East coast of England. The drive over the North Yorkshire Moors was lovely, as the heather was in full bloom at sunrise as we arrived for the start of the race.

We had a lovely day for it, and the course wasn't too hilly, or too wet. I got around in 5 hours flat, with the requisite heather scratches on my legs and wet feet from the bogs. In a few places, the trail went through ferns that were taller than my head, and growing over the narrow path. I felt for a few minutes, as if I had been transported to the Amazon jungle. It was very dry from what it could have been, as the locals I chatted with along the course shared stories of knee-deep bog-slogging in previous years.

The final few miles were a beautiful downhill section, all the way from the tall radio tower hill heading north along the coast, then all the way down into Robin Hood’s Bay. Sadistically, it was then a very steep climb up through town to the final checkpoint. There were plenty of visitors shopping the streets, so as I was forced to walk the last section, at least I had people to watch. Amazingly enough, a couple of friends from the Reservoir Runners had finished the shorter version course much earlier, and had walked back down the hill for a drink. They cheered me on to the finish, while drinking a beer outside a pub!

I had pushed my pace all through the race, and felt very vindicated for doing so, when the skies opened just 5 minutes after I finished. I got to watch everyone finished after me coming in soaking wet, while feasting on pork pie and mashed peas in the start hall.

August 13, 2010

Lakeland Olympic Triathlon 1 mi Swim, 26 mi Bike, 6.2 mi Run 14 Aug 2010

My first Olympic race in many years, was up in the Lakes district. Although it was pouring rain when we drove out of our driveway in the morning, by the 1 p.m. start it was sunny and even slightly warm. The water wasn't, though, as the swim in the deep lake was in 61 degree water! Even with a wetsuit, the cold temps hit me fast, and my feet, hands and face felt totally numb. By the finish of the swim I wasn't sure if I would survive it, but somehow pulled myself back around to the finish, and staggered up the ramp to slowly pull off my wetsuit with numbed fingers.

The bike route was mostly sheltered from the winds by the Lake District hills, and it was a very fast, flat course. With rare sunshine hitting my face, I was back around to the second transition faster than I hoped.

Then it became apparent that the race organizers had saved the hill for the run, instead. Shortly after transition, the incline started, and continued for almost two miles. Granted, it was never very steep, but I hate running up hills, and had to walk on short sections of it. By this time in the afternoon, it was actually (dare I say it?) hot during the run, and I found myself pouring water on my head at the water station to cool off.

But, I finished under three hours for the Olympic distance, which was a personal best for me. I’m sure getting a speedier bicycle in the interim had something to do with it, but I’ll take speed where I can get it. :)

See my photos here