Sunday 29th July
Cotswold Lake 62 Standard Triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 8.5km run)
|Sam Upton||2:34:51||35:28, 1:22:12, 33:02|
|Second fastest run leg of the weekend|
|Jen Horsman||3:17:06||35:29, 1:36:21, 61:00|
|First standard distance triathlon|
Ride London Surrey 100 (100 miles cycle)
Cotswold 24hr report
Saturday 28th July
|Graham Le Good||21:29|
Eden Project Parkrun
|Lucy Garrod||23:23||1st Lady|
Northala Fields Parkrun
|Judith Le Good||28:04|
Challenge Prague – Half Ironman (1.9km swim, 90km cycle, 21km run)
|Frankie Snare||5:06:04||31:11, 2:39:31. 1:45:50|
Iffley Festival of Miles
Friday 27th July
SOAR Summer Mile
6 years on from the opening ceremony the thunder and lightning greeted us at the Olympic Park. Tucked to the side of the Olympic Stadium and next to the Orbit is the London Marathon Community Track – originally the warm up track for London 2012.
After weeks of no rain, the heavens opened just as we arrived at the track. The banners and flags got blown down but the spirits were kept up by the trackside DJ. Just as I decided to take the plunge to warm up, the rain eased but the lightning was still slicing across Canary Wharf in the distance.
There were 12 races on the card, each progressively getting faster covering people from 11 minute milers all the way up towards the magic 4 minute mile mark.
I took to the startline in heat 3 with 19 other people so it was a bit hectic around the first bend. Midway through the 2nd lap I was running alongside a pacer. I had enough breath to ask what pace he was running: 85 second laps. It didn’t feel like it and as I felt in control I decided to push beyond the pacer. At the bell I through everything into my legs and pushed as hard as I could down the home straight
It turns out the congested start and lack of confidence to run past the pacer meant I was just a second outside my PB but the free beer at the finish helped me celebrate my first “track season”!
Anyone fancy a running night in London next year?
Thursday 26th July
Mota-vation – Race 4 – Combe II
|Tony Lock||25:59||3rd VM50|
|Lindsey Smith||29:37||2nd VL45|
|Graham Le Good||30:42|
|Judith Le Good||39:36|
|Hannah West||43:05||2nd VL65|
Wednesday 25th July
Cheltenham Midsummer Open – 400m
|James Currah||55.2 s|
Sunday 22nd July
National Aquathlon Championships – Peterborough (750m+ swim & 5km run)
|Graham Le Good||1st VM65||Gold Medal|
Windermere Wild Swim
Saturday 21st July
|Graham le Good||22:10|
|Judith Le Good||28:19|
|Ian Fowler||32:06||50th Parkrun|
Hornton 6 Mile
|Lindsey Smith||42:15||3rd Lady, 1st VL45|
Bourton 1 mile Challenge
|Sally Howard||6:19||3rd LV40|
Race to The King – Ultra Marathon
It’s been a few weeks now since Rachel Stanley-Evans and I completed the Race to the King (RTTK) Ultra Marathon – all 53.5 miles and 6,000ft of elevation. Having had time for the dust to settle and reflect a little on the race, I thought you might like to know a bit more about how we got on – as I’m sure some of you are interested in doing one in the future!
We arrived at the start of the race excited and ready, having trained well in the months leading up to it. But we also had the usual race day nerves with just a touch more apprehension bearing in mind neither of us had ever run that far in one go before. And it was hot.
Rachel and I started pretty much at the back of the pack of 650 other runners and spent the first few miles passing quite a lot of slower runners. All of the time I was thinking that perhaps they knew something I didn’t! But hey we had a plan to run at a certain pace on the flats and downhills and walk the steep hills – so we just stuck to the plan. This plan got us to the halfway point in 40th position and feeling OK.
Whilst there were plenty of official pit stops offering everything you could ever need, we didn’t really stop at them as we had a secret weapon at our disposal in the shape of Rachel’s brilliant family and Lindsey. Our ‘crew’ kept appearing at regular intervals with all of our food and drink and motivational one-liners that truly made all of the difference. I think they put as much if not more effort into chasing us around the countryside that day than we did running it.
When we passed mile 33 we were both into unchartered territory having never covered a distance longer in one attempt and whilst we both had ‘ a couple of wobbles’ we stuck together and just kept grinding out the miles.
At various points along the course there were signs which simply said ‘there is more in you’ . I had been dismissive of this slogan until later in the race when it dawned on me that actually it was true. That’s not to say it suddenly gets easier but there is certainly a state you get into when you realise that your body can just keep going and all that you have to worry about is telling your brain to do the same – simple!
So, we continued to pass people and by the time we jumped/fell down the steps to the finishing line at Winchester Cathedral we had completed the RTTK in 9hrs 31 mins and were placed 21st and 22nd out of 656 non-stop runners. Rachel was 2nd Female which was just a phenomenal achievement. One final stat and the one I am most proud of: only 11 runners covered the second half of the course faster than us. Rachel must take the blame for this as she pretty much never stopped running. I on the other hand wanted to take proper breaks at the pit stops and walk for a little bit longer after the hills but Rachel had a very different view and for that I am immensely grateful although it didn’t feel like it at the time.
So, if you want to do one – do it! You won’t regret it. I’m still smiling, even now every time I think about what we both accomplished. I would say definitely run it with somebody and preferably with Rachel Stanley-Evans (sorry Rachel)!
Sunday 15th July
Long Course Weekend – Wales
|Gareth Petts||9hr 12m||2nd overall|
|Swim 2.4 miles||1hr 05min||56th after the swim|
|Bike 112 miles||5hr 21min||4th fastest on the bike|
|Marathon 26.2||2hr 45min||1st in the marathon|
UK Masters Heptathlon Sheffield 14th &15th July
|Jeanette Ashton||VW60||Gold Medal 1st|
London British 10km
High Wycombe Half Marathon
|Tony Lock||1:29:51||1st MV50|
Gran Trail Courmayeur 105 km – Ben Lonsdale
I’m still on the hunt for a finish at Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), which means more qualifying points are required. With that in mind, I joined the back of the joint start pen for the 55 and 105 km events at the Gran Trail Courmayeur, on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, on Saturday. All I needed was a sub-30 hour finish in the 105(ish) km event to get my points, but the race has such a generous cutoff for a reason. It has 7000m gained, and the same lost, with much of it being very technical (fixed ropes provided and crampons compulsory kind of technical); finishing isn’t guaranteed, particularly with only 1 uninjured run under my belt since early March.
We were briefed that mountain guides would man certain sections, and that if we were told to put our crampons on, it was for good reason, with a lot of snow on the high ground (topping out about 3000m). The weather was due to be sunny with cloud (perfect for most of Saturday in the end) with some rain overnight but no storms(!). With crampons taking up space in my smallish race vest, I packed gloves, waterproof trousers and a thin hoody on top of the other compulsory kit and a lot of food, leaving out my insulated sweater.
The first 4 miles was downhill on groomed single track or road, being my only miles that were sub-14 minute. The start of the climb saw the race start properly, with zigzags climbing through the trees. As a somewhat overweight runner, I’m realistic about my chances in most races, but this one was all about gaining the UTMB points in as scenic a setting as possible, and the first of three (different) loops absolutely provided scenery. A long climb to 2000 metres+ saw us traversing clifftops/bottoms, snow fields and some quite exposed sections, before reaching a beautiful rifugio with spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif. A quick refill of soft flasks and some chocolate, orange slices and crackers pilfered for the next leg, it was on to a section with ropes provided, dropping past some thundering glacial waterfalls, during a very technical 1500m descent over almost two hours (for me).
I met a Brit expat with an impressive ultra distance pedigree, and swapped dits with him throughout the 8 mile climb from the ski resort of La Thuile to the exposed Col Youla as we headed out on Leg 2. While my legs were feeling strong on the descents, my legs, lungs and head were struggling to cope with the steep grassy climbs. Reaching the higher technical section though, the excitement of being in the no fall zone masked the lack of fitness, and I found myself picking up pace on the long exposed traverses. By pushing these sections, I managed to stay 2 hours or more inside the cutoffs.
As I bimbled down from the highest peak on the course, the rain that had threatened earlier started in earnest. By the time the epic thunderstorm we had been told wouldn’t happen arrived, we were making our way down the rubble slope from the exposed ridge, and so enjoyed a mix of hail, rain, wind and sheet lightning and thunder overhead. The dark cloud brought night earlier than expected, and with the storm still in full swing (about the time the winner finished) a lot of runners opted to drop at this point rather than climbing back on to the ridge with the storm in full swing.
The storm eased as we headed towards the check point by the start however; I grabbed a ten minute power nap before yet another technical descent in the dark, waited for Ben (the guy I had run with earlier) then set off up the first steep thousand vertical metres of the third loop. We were both hallucinating rocks and trees as various things (my favourite being the Trump Balloon) until we topped out and started the long traverse with, as the sun came up on day two, spectacular views of the back of Mont Blanc.
We had left Courmayeur with more than 2 hours in hand, but had both slowed right down on the climbs, so we were both concerned that over 26 hours of moving, including heat and hail, would stop us getting to the finish. We cracked on up the final pass, discovering that we had enough time to take the final challenging and at times dangerous descent, including a number of snow covered torrents, at a sensible pace without putting a finish at risk. We jogged down the high street to applause as 28h30 approached. It appeared the plaudits were mainly from faster runners who had finished, showered, eaten and had a full night’s sleep while we slowly followed behind them.
Happily, the finish was right next to an Italian ice cream shop…
Marathon Challenge – Radley on Sunday 15th July
WRR Seniors defeated the juniors by 30 secs in the marathon relays in a close contest. The lead changed several times right to the last lap. A new record for both teams.
A great day out for all
Saturday 14th July
Amager Strand, Copenhagen Parkrun
|Graham Le Good||21:42|
|Judith Le Good||26:55|
Thursday 12th July
ITU World Aquathlon Championships, Elite and Age Groups, Fyn Denmark (1km swim, 5km run)
|Graham Le Good||42:13 (19:51, 20:45)||VM65 Bronze Medal 3rd & 1st GB|
Sunday 8th July
|Jade Hewlett||52:16||2nd Lady|
|Graham Le Good||53:05|
|Lucy Harris||54:26||3rd Lady|
|Judith Le Good||71:11|
Adderbury Half Marathon
Saturday 7th July
|Graham Le Good||20:57|
Brighton & Hove Parkrun
|Judith Le Good||28:53|
Tuesday 3rd July
Cheltenham Open: Mile
Sunday 1st July
|Graham Le Good||48:07|
|Lucy Harris||49:12||1st Lady|
|Judith Le Good||61:28|
Didcot 5 Mile
|Chris Colbeck||28:56||1st MV40|
|Isabel Stubbs||33:36||3rd SL|
|Lindsey Smith||34:09||1st FV45|
Monmouth Challenge – 7.5 miles
|Sally Howard||56:37||1st Lady|
Monmouth Challenge Aquathlon – 1km swim + 12.5km off road run
|Fraser Howard||16:32 swim + 53:32 run||1st|
Lake Windermere Triathlon
|Standard Distance (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run)|
|Sprint Distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run)|