Sunday, 27 May 2012

Backward running! UK championship in Manchester! Bizarre, completely bizarre.... but another one that I can't wait to go back and do again. This time 6th female overall..... but considering that I hadn't had a go before, I can only get better! The longest mile in the world.... when going backwards! What I did learn is that you can get 'wobbly knees'.  When you run backwards you can get uncontrollable wobbling of the knees and means that you need to do is sit down as quickly as you can before the knees do it for you! I did have to check at one stage!

Great fun though!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Nuts!  Completely nuts! Pen-y-fan 18 miler. When I first got the joining instructions it didn't occur to me that the 'race' was anything other than 'last one to the top and back buys the beers!' It was only when I plotted the check point grid references that it became very clear (10pm the night before the race), that I had to return to the summit three times - a total of 5247ft elevation and similar loss.

In true Welsh fashion, weather on the day was cold, foggy and damp which made the 4am car journey a little hard. The briefing at the base was a little surreal - standing amongst extremely fit men and females (who did not declare their military backgrounds until after the race) definitely brought out my drier side. If we were playing 'spot the difference or odd one out' the game would have lasted about 2 seconds. Stunningly, a very kind gentleman came up to me and pointed out a path that cut out the third and final trip to the top .... just in case!! ;o)))))) Set me up for the race like a treat!
Vis was about 2m at the top so there wasn't any 'lets enjoy the views to forget the pain'.  Nose to the ground all the way!

I have to say that the day was uneventful, bar the jippy stomach and cramps that found me running to the toilets without stopping even to pick up a medal at the finish. In short, it's something that I just don't want to experience again although on the positive I am more than sure that it got me to the end just that little bit quicker. Returning next year should confirm this.

It did get a little bit exciting at one stage as I was 4th female and as I had over taken I was in a good position (third female was just ahead) to get into the 3rd position.  Unfortunately, I went on a 1/2 hour or so jaunt on the other side of pen-y-fan ..... before retracing my steps  in order to get back on track.... that cost me dearly and in fact at the end of the race it turned out that the pair of ladies that I had pasted earlier kept to the right track and passed me without me even seeing them. Very frustrating!
So, it was 5th female and 22nd overall (male and female). So, I was really happy with that and completely unexpected too.