Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Skyline Part 2 - 19/09/2010

Nearing the summit of the Lawley

Idyllic South Shropshire view from the bottom of the Lawley back to Caer Caradoc

I know - a recce after the race probably doesn't help as much as one before the event!

But... I enjoyed the Skyline route and wanted to see if I could do a better job of the second half with fresh legs. Given that I also wanted to fit in a decent long slow run this weekend I reckoned this was as good as anything...

Apart from a brief gear faff I managed to run all the way to the kissing gate onto the open fellside of Caer Caradoc, and kept up a decent hiking pace throughout the steep section, breaking back into a run before the summit. I don't think I improved on my descending from the race much, but will use the north slope for practise in future! On the descent I contoured left on a sheep trod just beyond Little Caradoc, and then down to the road at 484 963. This is steep and slippery in places and not as quick as the route I used in the race which trends right after Little Caradoc and descends through a field of bracken and nettles to 485 964 and saves a bit of road too.

I climbed the Lawley much better than in the race, running the last 400m or so to the top and coming down fairly easy. Crossing the fields to Dudgeley Farm was better too, the path clear from the passage of 100 odd runners the previous week.

I had a brief walk at Dudgeley to sort out some gels and swap bottles on the bum bag. I kept running up Gogbatch where I tried staying on the right of the river, but here getting on the road quickly proably saves a minute or so. I walked 300 or so metres up the steep section of the road to the cottage on the right, but then got running again for a very slow grind all the way up to High Park (mostly at only just above walking pace).

From High Park I took the left hand option which seemed long and perhaps not as quick as the straight on option which comes out by Robin Hood's Butts. This needs checking again though - it may all have been perception.

A gentle recovery speed descent from the top of Mott's Road got me back to the finishing field in 2:29:42 for what my GPS app reckons was 11.09 miles and 2,518' of ascent.

An analysis of the splits is quite pleasing in that I ran a fairly steady pace, the miles with steep ascents at 18 or 19 minutes, 15 minutes for the grind up from Gogbatch, 11 to 12 minutes for the flat sections and a gentle 9:30 ish for the descent of Mott's Road. I think this reflects the fact I was fairly comfortable for much of this run and managed to keep my form together most of the time.

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