Monday, 11 June 2012

Bob Graham Round report

I arrived at Moot Hall just before midnight where I promptly sorted out what to take and what not to take with my pacers. And all important last minute prep of which I probably should have taken more time over this. And then we set off, waving goodbye to about 7 or more people. Looking back it was quite a blur but I was pleased to see friends from Stone and well-wisher’s who were assisting a round about to leave around the same time. The weather was less than perfect but I read and hoped it would change later. As we set off through the rain up towards Skiddaw the temperature started to drop more and more. We weren’t even half way up and I was asking if we were nearly there yet. My pacers were Dave and his mate Ronnie. Truly great guy’s, at this point we were starting to panic. Or at least I was about the weather. We reached Great Calva by which time the rain wasn’t quite as bad and I got just enough of a run in to keep myself warm for a bit. The lower we were the better things were temperature-wise. We reached Caldew river where we came across a small problem, the current was very fast and the river was high. After some negotiation and allot of running back and forth I decided to just go for it. I fumbled across and shouted Dave and Ronnie over. They weren’t too sure still so they ran to the road and made their way to me. Dave and Ronnie at first weren’t to sure whether to continue or not and honestly I didn’t blame them. And I had enough pacer’s for leg two but after some soup and fumbling around they decided to joined us for leg 2.

Now 4 pacers strong with Simon and Julian we headed up Clough head, by this point the rain had subsided slightly from what I remember and spirits were high. When we reached the top there was clag in every direction. We did joke about the view frequently. All seemed well and we were joking and chatting away. Thing’s seemed to be on the up. I had a slight wobble around Seat Sandal, I had some problems eating earlier in the cold and wet. I was basically getting a sugar low. I really, really didn’t want this to happen and not on an ascent, I slowed down slightly and probably too much for and ate a cheese sarny. I already knew I was a few mins down on time and this wasn’t going to help.

I started to pick up slightly reaching leg 3, a small crowd awaited me which was lovely. I stopped for some flapjack and set off up Steel Fell. Now accompanied by Dale, Robin and his two lovely dogs who entertained me by fighting each other for the first 30mins at least (the dogs not Dale and Rob). We reached the top and cruised along for a while. Dale promised me some chocolate for every peak I reached, sometimes the promise was retracted as and when he saw fit but it was a bit of a laugh and great incentive to get my ass in gear. And thing’s seemed to be going ok for a while. I seem to remember seeing another group doing their round, one of which was wearing a skirt he found along the way! Interesting..  After a few peaks I started to really struggle with the descents. My nerves were going and my muscles were starting to tighten. I was pretty much in denial of this at the time but I really needed to have spent more time descending on the fell in training. Going up was always ok but after a while the decsents started to get to me. And of course even more so this started to affect my time again. Lord’s Rake was wonderful and truly scared me with the amount of clag. I don’t mind a bit of a climb, but I couldn’t see anything over the top edge. Which was probably for the best! We dug our heal’s in and slid down to Wasdale on the loose scree. Unfortunately I don’t think I enjoyed this as much as Dale at the time as I started to cramp up but it was still great fun. My brake in Wasdale was short lived. I was getting really behind on schedule. I had 2 mins to down some pasta and get going!

Climbing Yewbarrow was just as tough as I remembered it from my recce. It never seemed to get any easier. I kept asking how behind I was on schedule and no one would give me a straight answer so I figured I needed to put quite a bit more work in. I knew the last 2 legs wouldn’t be easy and I had zero chance of any kind of rest. On this leg I was joined by Julie and Ian who pretty much kicked me into shape and I’ll be honest I needed it. I don’t mind being told what to do I just don’t like failing. And who does.. We reached the top into yet more clag, at times this made for hard navigation but I have to say throughout. All of my navigators were first class so if we did stop to think it wasn’t for long and some even ran ahead to double check. I was still managing some kind of running pace of the flats and I felt ok considering. I could feel my right hamstring tightening and generally felt like I might slow but I tried as best I could to keep drinking and eating. Consumption was becoming a problem again but Ian and Julie were bit feeding me bits of chocolate which worked great. Just little bits and often. I was starting to get myself down a bit with the fact I couldn’t eat but kept it going. I really wanted to enjoy the view of Great Gable but sadly the view was again obscured by the clag. After Grey Knotts I really started to push, I had to make time in order to finish.

I ran straight through Honister on to leg 5. By this point I wasn’t saying much and just trying to get the job done. When I reached Dalehead, again in the clag I thought it was a house. I guess I must have been quite depleted. The steady rolling hills felt like a god send between Dalehead to Robinson. I was making time and felt like I could run the road section. My support said I could walk some of the small hills on the road to Moot Hall, I did for the most part but managed to run some as well. I was in quite allot of pain but determined to make the cut off. When I reached Moot Hall I touched the door and crumpled in a heap. I got there with just 4mins to spare.

In no order THANKYOU!!!!!!!!!! You were all amazing. I’m sorry for going quiet, not eating, slowing down, being a wus and or being grumpy. Thankyou for feeding and looking after me: John, Alison, Dale, Den, Tracy, Simon, Dave, Ronnie, Julie, Johnny, Julian, Ian, Robin and dogs (forgot their names, sorry), Ben, Amy, Helen, the near 50 people at Dunmail supporting other BGer’s and me, random drunk kids at near midnight cheering me in and anyone else I might have missed.

Carb loading

Faffing with gear before the start

View of Grizedale Beck

Grizedale Tarn off Dollywaggon

Grizedale Tarn off Dollywaggon

Grizedale Tarn off Dollywaggon


With Dave Swift ascending Fairfield

Fairfield Summit

Fairfield Summit
Fairfield descent

Seat Sandal ascent

Seat Sandal descent

Heading for leg 3


Steel Fell ascent

Heading out for leg 4

Honister from Dale Head ascent

blurry run in towards Moot Hall

The end!

Thank's Simon and John for the photo's.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Marlborough Downs and Riga Marathon

Just a few notes. I should write more but I have way to much on my plate at the moment. To summarise, in short: new door ££££, boiler problems ££££?? awaiting quote.. New door not finished, probably due to rain.. EVEN THOUGH I'VE PAID THEM!!! Slight problem with a canvas I sold.. Something else. I forget too many phone calls.. No running.. Must taper..

Any way, running:

Great, ran with Mark who did his famous negative split which knackered me but felt good overtaking people even in the last mile of an ultra! No pb but Mark and I got 4th and 5th. I let him have 4th as it's his first. Even though that would have been my first 4th ever. But still I was 5th last year and I'm sure i'll get there. It's best not to be greedy :)
Mark and his kitchen sink bag :)

After my terrible run in London I decided to try for a negative split or even split after Mark's influence. And honestly I didn't want to hurt myself this close to my BGR. So I did it and it felt great, again I was over taking people in the last mile still. I think there's allot to be said for going out steady. Here's my split:

I lost the link for the Riga photos.

BGR next :)