Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Blackamoor and more

Before the Blackamoor race at Totley
I have had three races in the past few weeks, first was the Blackamoor Chase Fell Race in Totley, which was a counter in the GVS summer fell series.  

I enjoyed this race considering the distance - 9.5k, it was difficult considering it was a category B race.  There were peat bogs, moorland, a short road section and we were glad we remembered our midge spray as part of the route was through woodland and the gnats were horrible, I had to concentrate on keeping my mouth closed and breathing through my nose as they were everywhere!  At the end people were finishing with little black bugs smeared on their sweaty faces, like flies on a windscreen - yuck!

The finish on this race was exciting as it was around a large field and the funnel was uphill, I managed to outsprint a Totley runner which was quite satisfying!

I finally got into the top ten ladies in a fell race (excluding the Thomas Theyer race, where I was third) and came 9th Lady out of 41, I was fourth in the ladies category in a time of 59:08.  Taking into account our combined times, myself, Julie and Linette were 4th ladies team overall, which we were pleased with.  

The photographer was crouched down and took me by surprise - v. unflattering angle!
Photo courtesy of 

The second race was another counter in the fell series, the Wormstones Fell Race in Glossop, a 4 mile A category race.  This was my fifth race in the GVS fell series and, as it is 5 races to count and with only 3 to go, if I won this one I would have won the Ladies Fell Series with five 1st places.  In the men's competition, Tom Jackson was starting this race in the same position as me - with four firsts he only needed one more to take the series title.  Tom reminded me of this before the race and I told him I wasn't thinking about it (but I was really!).   
Photo courtesy of Shaun Priestley 

After the race at Wormstones
This was what I would call a "proper" fell race, with a long hill, numerous deep peat bogs, and rampant heather! 

There was a proportion of single file racing which was tough and I had a Pennine lady breathing down my neck all the way up the hill.  When she could, she bolted past me and the two men in front who had been holding us up.  I decided to stick with her, being a local I thought she would know the land well and it paid off, as after the nab at Wormstones, it was a bit like pot luck getting down!  

Fortunately, the Pennine lady was like a fell pony, jumping through the heather and finding a good line down.  I followed her hot on her heels!

After the technical section there was a rocky road track which was horrible, it hurt my feet and I felt I couldn't get my pace going properly.  The Pennine runner pulled away from me out of sight and I suffered from a stitch as I prayed we were near the finish!  

I knew I was leading GVS lady and just needed to hold on until the finish.  I had a few sneaky looks back to see if there was any competition imminent but couldn't see anyone until Brian, another GVS runner passed me.  

I managed to keep going and the finish was a downhill track which came out back at the pub we started from.  In the end I was 7th Lady overall, 1st lady strider and 42nd overall in a time of 42:31.  I was really pleased as my win meant that I had indeed won the series and my aim of the year was to try and be competitive in this series so that's a box ticked!

Cheadle 4
* At the start
* Near the start
* At 1 mile
By complete contrast, last weekend was the 40th running of the Cheadle 4 Road Race.  

A counter in the main club Championship series.   I knew that this one would be tough for me as I haven't done any road running all year, except the flat Birkenhead parkrun and I don't like road running at all!   The race was an hour from home in Cheadle, Staffordshire.  I drove Brian, James and Julie to the race and we all felt that this one would be tough, especially when everyone kept mentioning a hill!  

It turned out to be good training as the pace was really fast!  My legs decided 5k would be fine but 4 miles was pushing my luck at that pace!  I stuck with Julie for most of the race but after 5k I was done and she ended up pulling out 40 seconds on me to take the 60 points.  I was 12th lady overall out of around 80, 3rd in the ladies category and second lady strider.  I was really pleased with my time of 30:29 which put my average speed at 4:47 km.  I definitely need to do some longer speed training sessions!
* At 3.5 miles

These last few months have all been focused on preparing for my first triathlon this weekend. I have been doing run training sessions, races, Total Immersion swimming practice and lots of biking - both road and MTB. 

 I have really enjoyed the variation in training and am planning on keeping up with the swimming as a regular thing.  I really want to improve my front crawl and full stroke TI will help with that hopefully.

There will be a separate blog documenting the triathlon to follow. 

Until then, wish me luck and happy running!


* Cheadle 4 Photos courtesy of the brilliant Bryan Dale of 

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