Sunday, 7 April 2013

Allendale Challenge 6th April 2013

The Allendale Challenge fitted in very nicely as part of my training plan for the Highland Fling on 27th April. This is an event which I have never competed in but it had the right distance and more importantly would be the right amount of time on feet (around 4 hours).

It was a beautiful day in Allendale, clear blue skies, bright sunshine, very little wind and a moderately balmy 5 degrees! I duly registered and was notified that the route had to be altered due to 7 foot snow drifts. Instead of 25 miles it would be approximately 23 with over 3,000 feet of ascent.

We set off at 10am, 2 hours after the walkers. The first few hundred yards were downhill from the town square but it wasn't long until we began the climbing! The next few miles were pretty much uphill. I settled in to a group of three at the front of the field and felt quite good. Pace was ok bearing in mind the amount of ascent and the distance we had to cover. At about 5 miles I pulled away and for the next 15 miles I was on my own - apart from weaving in and out of the walkers once I'd caught up to them. The walkers were sticking to a trail of compacted snow which made life a little more difficult for me as I was side stepping into a fair few inches of soft snow. This was energy sapping and would prove costly. Great support from the marshalls and also some words of encouragement from the walkers.

In hindsight I should have probably kept with the other front runners, but I was going my own pace. If I had held back maybe I would have had something at the end. Pretty lonely as the lead runner always thinking that I was going to be caught at some point.

After the last checkpoint and around 20-21 miles I was eventually caught. I had nothing left, I bonked big style. Obviously I didn't eat/drink enough and I think the snow was so heavy going in places it just drained me. Runner number 2 passed me with about 1 mile to go. I dug deep and began to run again. Aided by the downhill into Allendale. I made it to the town hall finish light headed and yearning for a seat! 3rd place in 3 hours 24 minutes, a good day's work. Garmin stated 23.4 miles.

I'd like to thank the organiser's for a very well organised event and hope there will be a good turnout next year as it's the 25th anniversary. Results here 2013 results

3 weeks until the Fling, need to work on nutrition!

Happy to be finished!

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