Monday, 16 May 2011

Caradoc Classic Race - 11/05/2011

Going well and chasing Rick down on the ridge (photo courtesy Brian Smith)

Another blog entry, must be another race!

Seriously though, training has been pretty curtailed since the Three Peaks due to the state of my heels, and I also had a sore left achilles after the Bluebell Run which meant I was hobbling on Monday and Tuesday and pretty doubtful I'd make it to the start line for the Classic. However my leg was improved somewhat on race day, so I took the chance and headed over to Church Stretton after work.

I had a nice chat with Rick Robson about his experiences from the Two Oceans marathon he's recently done in South Africa, then registered, applied Compeed, and headed off with Noel Hogan to warm up. I'm glad I managed a decent warm up, it certainly helped loosen up the tight achilles (and calf).

I went off fairly hard from the start and then eased off a little in the field, but worked hard up through the short wooded section onto the fell side and found myself in a decent position. Rick and I were together on the steep ascent and I really pushed on the walking section, particularly either side of the kissing gate. I was still neck and neck with Rick as we levelled out past Three Fingers Rock and forced myself to keep running as much as possible on the rising section of ridge.

Running past Three Fingers Rock
Picture courtesy Al Tye
I passed Rick two or three times and he kept coming back at me, but we were both holding our place in the field. By half way along the ridge there was a bit of a gap in front of me and I ran hard at the last steepish section to try to get a bit of a gap. I just about had breath to say thaks to Jan who was doing the summit marshalling, and then hit the after burner to try to get off the hill as fast as possible. My calf and achilles were giving me a bit of pain, but you can ignore it when you're in the zone I suppose. I was determined not to mess up the steep descent after last year and I think I heard someone shouting me to keep pushing hard, which helped. Two and a half minutes after leaving the top I was at the gate onto the lane...

And then it all fell apart. Half a mile further on than last year.

I'd destroyed my feet on the descent and my heels were absolutely shredded! All I could do in the lane and through the field was to jog along toe striking. I lost about 15 places on a section I'd hoped to be able to run hard on. I was particularly disappointed because I'd had such a great run up to the lane.

Being passed on the lane, my face says it all. I'm hanging in there, in pain.
Picture courtesy Al Tye.

In the end I hobbled home in 32:53 for 76th place and a 76% score. Last year was 36:34 for 96th and 69%. So I should be happy enough having improved by 3:41, but looking at the folk who were around me at the top of the lane, I really ought to have finished in about 31 minutes. I'm not sure why I couldn't just ignore my feet and keep going, maybe the calf/achilles thing was giving me problems as well, or maybe my body was telling me not to take any more pain after the Three Peaks and Bluebell Run. Whatever. There's more to come yet!


  1. Good account Jim - and a good result given the circumstances. Fair play for even starting with those healing heels. Bad pun.

  2. By God Jim, that's the face of pain.

  3. Hey guys - thanks for dropping by. Matt, I had to run because I'd already skipped the Streak and want at least one possible discard from the Series (4 count from 6). Ross - thank you for that. I thought I might just have been being a bit soft but you're right: it looks like I'm burying myself. One of these days I'll hit another purple patch like the valleys weekend...