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Thread: New AL race in Shropshire

  1. #11
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Looking forward to the 2nd running of this race on sunday. Could potentially be quite warm.

    Quite relieved that they are running it in the same direction as last year. After the hash i made of some route choices last year, i didn't want to contemplate trying to do it in reverse!

    Due to the aforementioned route cock-ups, and hopefully an improvement in performance, i'm hoping to knock some decent time off last year.... famous last words...

  2. #12
    Senior Member Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    good luck!
    I'll be up at Clough Head.
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  3. #13
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    Good luck up in the lakes Dave!

  4. #14
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    Another fantastic day on the Shropshire Fells. I think anyone who was out and about today, or racing elsewhere, will know how tough conditions were today. It was like an oven.

    I assume due to the English Champs clash, it was a smaller field of about 40 on the start line. In a change from last year, most of the speedsters took the runnable alternative up the first climb. I stuck with last year's steep route and was 2nd up going that way, and 6th overall at the top.

    Managed to nail the navigation this year, and only a minor error dropping down to the next checkpoint, two Valleys over, and I was then in a battle for 8th/9th/10th, which is pretty much where I stayed until the finish.

    The long run back past the glider club, down to the road and back up to Pole Bank, was real torture in the heat. One of the guys dropped off the back of us, but a Mercia guy was too strong for me and pulled away a short way down the final descent. I did see Athers of this parish bent double at the final checkpoint, a couple of minutes in front, and wondered if I could pick up another place, but he obviously recovered well as he finished 3 mins ahead, and to be honest I was relieved there was nobody near behind me as I was a spent force by then.

    Finished 9th in 2:33..... had hoped to knock off more time than that (last year was 2:45), but given the conditions, and the fact that most people were slower today (winner Pete Vale was 7 mins slower and I was only about 20 mins behind him), I don't think I could have done much more today. But there's definitely still room for improvement, especially over the final section back from the glider club.

    Great course, mix of hard-as-nails climbs, navigational choices, and some long runnable stretches.

    Results...

    https://www.merciafellrunners.org.uk/node/3047


    Pete

  5. #15
    Senior Member Athers's Avatar
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    Good running pete. Sounds like you had a good day on the Shropshire hills. It was glorious up there...when i managed to lift my tired head and look around me. i didnt really enjoy my trot around. I was a good 20 mins slower than the previous year which i think was down to a combination of racing Ras Y Moelwyn the day before and the temperatures but i kind of expected to be. I had actually planned to go easy but as always i struggle to hold back in a race situation and managed a good 10 mile along side Simon Adney but let go with a huge bang on the run/walk up the track to pole bank. I ran down Ashes Hollow towards home in complete auto pilot and happy to just finish in one piece really. Went straight through the finish and on to the pub, number still pinned to me and ordered a pint of cold cider. A drink had never tasted so good. Cheers and well done.
    "You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back"

  6. #16
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Thanks Athers....

    Yes i was somewhat surprised to see you only a few mins in front. Admittedly I've improved in the last 6 months, and the last couple of months especially it seems to have come together for me, but i suspect on a normal day i'd never be that close to you... But your 'bad' day is still ahead of my 'best race ever'!

    I may live to regret the effort as well... compare Jim Tinnion preparing for the C2C next week by walking the course in over 4 hours, with my preparation for UTS100 by hammering round as fast as i could, getting sunburnt and blistered... i think Jim's experience will win over my enthusiasm!

    One thing i have learnt from being nearer 'the front end' in the last couple of races, you can't take the foot off the gas for even a minute or there's someone on to you... After the first descent on sunday i took it easy for a minute or so and let the first lady come past me on the narrow path (well i didn't exactly have a choice), and thought, no worries, i'll catch her back up in a minute. Not a chance, she was gone. Same thing happened the other week with Mel Price and a couple of blokes who came past me, i let a 100 yard gap develop and it was game over.
    Last edited by Travs; 08-05-2018 at 01:55 PM.

  7. #17
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    Back to the South Mynd Tour on a stunningly clear day, not quite as hot as last year, but I finished the race sunburnt, dripping with sweat, and my face/eyelashes/cap absolutely caked in salt...

    The inter counties yesterday looked to have taken some of the potential contenders away... indeed 45 mins after I finished, the leading lady had still not come through the finish...

    As usual, took the tougher but shorter route up the first climb... reached the top in about 4th, then made a bit of an error... I knew the optimum route to the next cp, two valleys over, but in my haste, I followed the leaders on a route I did not entirely know, and it certainly wasn’t optimum in my eyes... they probably have the ability to drop 3-4 minutes and then make it up again, but I certainly don’t... by the time I reached cp2 I was in 13th...

    The only consolation being that I had taken a couple of guys with me.... one guy who dithered a little on the very steep descent, never to be seen again, and my arch-nemesis, Mr Jeggo from Springfield...

    Myself and Mr J then set about pulling some positions back, which basically entailed absolutely hammering the climbs, and hanging on across the long easier sections... by the time we reached the furthest part of the course we were in a group of 4 in 8th-11th.... we soon dropped the other two, and I turned my thoughts to dropping him too... unfortunately this wasn’t easy.... I’m marginally stronger on the climbs, but he was the stronger runner... eventually he pulled out a good 45 seconds on me along by the glider club, and I couldn’t pull it back on the final climb, and I expect he beat me by a couple of minutes... 9th in the end, 2hrs30, a pb by 3 mins but should have been more, and more disappointingly I reckon my nav error probably cost me at least two or three places overall.

    A great race... a real mix of nav work, steep climbs and some real long runnable sections... the constant drops from the hills down to valley/road level are tough mentally, but are required in order to achieve the AL status.

    A must-race for me every year...

    Pete

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