Sunday, 2 January 2011

2010 in Summary

Rodney's Pillar Race

Key events:
  • Completing the Exe to Axe race in April;
  • Joining Mercia Fell Runners;
  • Starting to record my training and racing properly (mostly by use of this blog);
  • Completing the Stretton Skyline race;
  • Repeating the Passing Clouds race and improving significantly from last year;
  • Running a really controlled and quick Wrekin Wrecker;
  • So many joyful and extraordinary experiences whilst out training;
  • Starting to run socially on Tuesday nights.
  • 06/02/2010: Titterstone Clee [AS: 2.5 miles, 750'] - despite descending too far to the left and having to traverse a boulder field, I finished in 0:32:41 (70%), 01:42 faster than in 2008 (0:34:23, 63%).
  • 24/02/2010: Burway Burn [O: 2 miles, 1,000'] - so hard; uphill all the way in snowy conditions from the church to the top of the Burway. Magical jog back down though (0:23:30, 75%)
  • 28/03/2010: Lilleshall Monumental [Trail 10k with probably about 400' of climbing] - finished strongly in 0:57:23 (74%), and Rachel and Georgia participated in the fun run.
  • 04/04/2010: Exe to Axe [BL: 21 miles, 4,400') - travelled down the previous night and ran a good first 13 miles, but faded badly on the hills after that. Completed in 4:44:04 (64%).
  • 12/05/2010: Caradoc Classic [AS: 3.5 miles, 880'] - good climbing was spoilt a bit by a poor descent (0:36:34, 69%)
  • 16/06/2010: Rodney's Pillar [AS: 3.9 miles, 950'] - struggled on the road from the top of the main ascent to the bottom of the summit slopes, but a good quick descent (0:36:17, 65%)
  • 23/06/2010: Pontesbury Hill Race [AS: 3.0 miles, 1,160'] - generally a bit slow and a very poor descent, probably my weakest race so far (0:32:19, 64%)
  • 25/08/2010: Ragleth Inn [AS: 4.0 miles, 1,240'] - hard going on both ascents, slow on second descent because of horribly wet conditions and the wrong shoes (0:47:39, 63%)
  • 12/09/2010: Stretton Skyline [BL: 18.7 miles, 4,450'] - early start, good until Gogbatch, dreadful ascent to Mott's Road, reasonable finish to hold position (4:16:34, 68%)
  • 10/10/2010: Breidden Hills [AM: 7.0 miles, 2,300'] - a good run, helped by much more aggressive descending and a reasonable recce - good tactics near end (1:27:30, 68%)
  • 24/10/2010: Passing Clouds [BM: 9.8 miles, 1,850'] - another good one, sustained effort, took places on ascents and descents, fell coming off Roaches but no damage (1:47:27, 71% compared with 1:58:14, 65% last year)
  • 21/11/2010: Wrekin Wrecker [AM: 8.1 miles, 2,400'] - good controlled run, took lots of places on scree gully descent, had a bad time on the run out to Goaty but otherwise ran well and descended fast (01:31:24, 71%)
  • 28/11/2010: Time Trial [O: 9.0 miles, 1,730'] - a wonderful but very chill morning, ran as a pair with Paul Flinn also of Mercia FR, slow section past Bridges, but fast descent to Stiperstones Inn (1:40:23, 74%)

Adidas Kanadias for most runs. Inov8 Mudclaw 330s for mud and wet grass - really helped for Wrecker but blistered left heel. OMM bumbag is good except for the key loss incident at the end of the year. Montane Atomic DT cag is good although I do get condensation. Need a good windproof really.


Only the aforementioned blister, and occasionally sore achilles tendons. A couple of grazes from Passing Clouds and a lot of gorse dug out of my arse after the Ragleth race. Soreness after running on the road is not so bad when I use trail shoes, so the Omni 8 road shoes are now retired.

High Points:
  • Every single time I put on my running shoes and leave the car, home or work.
  • Amazing runs in the snow on the Long Mynd, particularly at night.
  • Descending the scree gully at the Wrecker.
  • Fantastic lighting and fierce or impressive weather (several times).
  • All the people I've met - you know who you are, but particularly Keith and Pauline Richards, John Nightingale, Andy Davies, Mark Agnew, Steven Cale, Helen Skelton, Al Tye, Paul Flinn, Charlie Leventon, our race organisers and marshalls, and everyone who reads this. Thank you all.
Low points:


I'll post something on this year's plans soon, but see the racing "menu" I've added to the right sidebar for an idea of what I'd like to get up to this year.

I hope you all have as much fun running in 2011 as I did in 2010.

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