Nottingham Ultra 50km

After the joys of Saturdays TT with the lads and Rach it was time to focus on the matter of 50kms across Nottingham.

Spent the evening with Beejay and family and headed out for a nice Italian. Important to have good food the night before. 3 Course meal was probably not totally sensible but the mistake of having Beef Bolognaise was to haunt me all day today.

Got up this morning and felt a little bloated but ate a good pre race breakfast and took care of the usual things. Drove to the start arriving with around 30 minutes to spare. Collected my number, met a few people(Hipps,Hellen and AnnaF). The race briefing and confidence in route marking along the Robin Hood Way meant I decided not to carry a map !!!!!!

The plan was simple enough just spend the day running between 7 and 8 min miles and all ok. Well NO actually !!!

I made it to check point 1 running smoothly in 4th place and thinking that everything would be fine, just one thing troubled me. I seemed to be peeing rather too much. Oh well these things sometimes happen.

Heading off to CP2 and a lovely bit of road meant my speed stayed firm but then I realised I had not seen any markings for the course, trying to improvise I picked up so other trail signs for Nottingham but this was no good, soon Tim and I were standing reading his map to no avail as neither of us really knew the area. Disaster struck for Tim when a dog jumped at him and cut him around the rib cage. While standing after this moment we saw the golf course and doubled back along the main road crossing the railway and finding the check point from the wrong side.

The journey to CP3 was real countryside and for a long time I was in total control the ongoing bladder issues were a pain but my new K-Swiss Blades were working well and the suface was good to run on. Getting close to the next checkpoint I picked up the BIG X which mean turn left and was bounding along but then it went wrong. NO MARKERS and no map I was proper screwed. I checked out two routes but no clues. 3 other runners appeared and although not correct we managed to albiet from the wrong side appear at another checkpoint. I was not happy at this point as I was just giving up time and although not racing hard I wanted a workout.

I headed off to CP4 stopping again for gut issues but on the route, nothing to report here as for only the 2nd time I made it to a checkpoint without getting lost. With 6 miles to go I was confident of making it to the end quite smartly.

The route to the end is not attractive and is largely a mixture of housing estate and town centre apart from one section in Wollerton Park and oh did I suffer here. I just could not see any signs anywhere and in the end resorted to asking people how I get to the castle. You would be amazed how many people do not know. Eventually I found a route out of the park and basically headed down the main road to the town centre. Again I asked someone for directions and to my distress at 1300 they were drunk. I did get a direction and carried on finally arriving at the finish, yes you guessed it from the wrong direction!!! I ran through down the hill a little and back through the finish. 3rd place but nearly 4hrs and 29 minutes of running!!! I bet I spent 30 mins standing still.

Conclusion: The course was not quite as well marked as they hoped with many signs too small or obscured and in some places not there at all. I should have carried the map !!! I need to pay more attention at briefings. I got a good workout from a time on feet point of view but missed out on the pace and time I wanted to run. My K-Swiss Blades are comfy and don’t hold stones so have great potential as a trail shoe until I can get them to give me a trail pair to test.

I am happy enough :¬)


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August 2010
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