12th March 2019
Really trying to make an effort on keeping my blog uptodate! as the time in-between is so long I forget what I have or haven't done !
Leading up to the Sunday Cub run I had a good week, with a lovely morning run up to Crook Peak, this time from Kingswood, this worked well after dropping my Daughter off at work in Congsbury. It was a bright sunny morning and I thought quite warm, but found it a little chilly after all, I was just about warm enough, I was surprised to find my car was the only one parked in the popular car park for dog walkers, and I made my way up through the woods, feeling comfortable and once out in the open there was a cool Breeze, but still lots of sunshine I enjoyed my run up to the peak and the views from the top did not disappoint again, I could even see the lighthouse round the corner from where I live white in the sunshine some 10-12 miles away, Hinckly Point sadly also showed up more in the sunshine. I worked my way back down to the carpark, it was really good underfoot and I was able to set a good pace. only 4.75 miles but an enjoyable start to the day.
I managed to get out a couple more times for a steady run including the Park Run, where I was determined not to up the pace, I was surprised that I was still well under 10 minute miles which was my target so as not to overdo it for the Cub run the following day. However it was a very windy day with a stiff headwind on the out leg by the river and sea front.
I was still a little worried about my 'niggly knee' as it didn't hurt but 'niggled' my PF seemed to be behaving, It still gives me some pain but not as bad as it was, insoles, stretching after running and the Yoga seem to manage it!
So Sunday dawned, extremely windy, but dry excepting a few rogue showers! its a good 45 miles plus now down to Seaton and the start, and I had to call in to pick up Rachel my running mate for the day, there were several Burnham Harriers in the event and I hoped to meetup down there. There was also my cycling buddy Rosie doing the event, but! I didn't manage to catch her before the start afterall.
We arrived nice and early due to my obsession with parking and we were sent down a road to park, seemingly miles from the race HQ. last two years we were parked on the seafront, much more pleasant. we made our way to the HQ to pick up race numbers after changing from Grizzly to Cub run, both Rachel and I deciding we didn't have enough miles or hills or time on our feet to complete the 19 miles and 3000 ft of climbing of the full Grizzly, 9 miles and 1500 ft would be plenty.
we then had a terrible shower, just enough in the very severe wind to get us nice and cold as we walked back to the car to prepare for the event. Jam sandwich and coffee the order of the day as it was several hours since breakfast. I decided to take a drink and my lightweight jacket as it was very cold and windy, even though rain was not forecast, you never know, along with a few half jelly babies and broken Dextrasol tablets.
The start approached rapidly and we made our way to the line, trying to position ourselves not to get too far back into the crowds, at least it was warmer standing in the crowd!
After the ceremonies most of which I couldn't hear we were off! down onto the shingle beach, the sound deafening, I was surprised how many there were in front of us, it was a struggle at times with runners in the way !! stumbling etc. I was glad to be off the stones, it seems a long half mile, and much different from the sands of Burnham! sadly I lost Rachel on the beach and even though I looked for her I never saw her again until the finish. In fact I only saw the BH runners once on the road out of Seaton.
Up through the crowds on the first hill, before descending down to Seaton Hole and the first real climb of the 'Bitch' a walk, partly due to the numbers but, mostly because of its steepness.
Descending into Beer is always emotional with the cheering crowds before the climb up to Bear Head through the caravan park, first drink station and the first off road bit, I was surprised how good it was underfoot and seemed less slippery than previous years. we then hit Beer Head and the headwind, two paces forward and on back, it was severe! many runners struggling into it. The descent into 'Seaside' down the muddy track was a real bottleneck but again not to slippery, we had to queue and lost several minutes here. Next was the beach at Branscombe this time they were send Cub runners through the river, it was very cold and knee deep, taking your breath away, my feet and legs were now very cold! I was to discover that they never really warmed up and I am convinced affected my performance over the last few miles, I also had pebbles in my shoe, but I was too lazy to stop and remove my shoes to empty them.
Branscombe beach is always a real challenge, at least half /three quarters of a mile of shingle, but at least there was a tail wind along here, most welcome!!I was in a line of runners, unfortunately the people I was following, were very irritating as the kept stopping to chat, change direction etc, meaning I lost my momentum. the muddy undercliff was next, before the 'stairway to heaven' which is always slow and steady a walk! as we came out of the undercliff, the wind hit us once again, fortunately behind us! across the fields and down once again through the caravan park, where there was free beer!! and the cheering crowds of Beer, before the stiff steps up and over Beer cliffs, a steep descent with the finish line across the bay led us to the final steep climb up through a footpath to the road and the road to the finish, through the park before descending down to the finish line! I have to admit the final few miles my legs were feeling it and I was getting slower, never really warming up after the cold of the river crossing, I was pleased to finish my watch said 1.45.27 the official time was 1.49 the nearly 5 minutes difference reflecting the queueing at various points. I was pleased with the time as it was inline with my previous runs, and given my first Cub Run was in 2011 I hadn't really lost a lot of time, not too bad for a late 60ish runner ! I collected my goody bag, banana, rum!!! and flapjack. I waited to cheer Rachel in feeling very guilty we hadn't managed to run together. I finally net up with Rosie and her boyfriend, finishing 5 minutes ahead of me! the Burnham runners Clive and Tracy were a good ten minutes ahead, sadly I didn't meet up again, but it was very cold in the wind, Rachel came in another ten minutes behind me and like me still cold from the river crossing.
Once again a lovely day out! will I be back next year, of course I will! in preparation for my big birthday the following year !
Yoga the following day was good for my PF and sore calf muscles, I had forgotten my insoles for my shoes to stave off the PF, still a great day, nice to meet up with Rosie and Rachel and also to be part of [but not much] the Burnham Harriers team! 199 th out of 529, still life in the old bloke yet!!!