Sunday, 3 May 2009

Second helping of Stuc

This was my second go at the Stuc a Chroin 5000 Hill Race. (Don't know what's 5000 about it. Could it be feet?) The first time in 2007 I went into it fit from marathon training but with no hills in my legs at all. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite it being 2 weeks after the Lochaber Marathon or maybe because of that as I had the perfect excuse for not doing particularly well and no expectations of myself. The crazy terrain was a welcome antidote to road running and the long trail finish at the end (and the beginning) was road-runner friendly. I remembered getting to the top fairly swiftly and then coming down taking a long time on wobbly quadless legs.

This year I had more hills behind me so really should do better. This unwelcome bit of pressure took some of the pleasure out of the first few miles and I felt a bit rubbish to start with as we arrived late and had little time to warm up. It was (too) bright and sunny at the beginning but thankfully greyed over and in fact managed to snow a bit further up the mountain. At first I felt much too hot and felt better surrounded by cold air.

It was good to see so many familiar faces but maybe not so good, at the risk of sounding provincial, to have so many folk up the hill. It was mighty crowded up there, it being a British Championship race as well as a Scottish championship. We were there despite it being a Brit Champ rather than because it was one.

It took longer to get to the top than I remembered and I rather feared I had run out of steam altogether and that the trip back down was to be a tough one but my legs recovered fairly well after downhilling a bit and I definitely felt better over the last few miles than I had 2 years ago.
I managed to take 7 minutes off my previous attempt which I was pleased with.

The organisation for this event is amazing. There was water available all the way up and down the hill and lots of kind people handing out jelly babies. I don't usually eat anything when I'm running but I did this time and it all went down fine. It must have been really cold for the marshals but they stayed encouraging throughout.

My new Inov8 mudclaws held up well and I'm really pleased with them. I do still feel like I've had a kicking today and my feet have seen better days.

Photos SHR website (Alan Young, Bill Fairmaner), Peter and me.

1 comment:

Gnarls said...

well done at the Stuc, you guys need to come over here and handle some of our big frogs again.

Hope you can make a trip over this year.