Saturday, 16 April 2011
The RLF Hunter's Bog Trot 2011
My 1st Hunter's Bog Trot today. There was a big turn out and quite a good Portobello showing with Michael Geoghegan even bucking the current trend and travelling up from the London area for the event.
Looking out the window in the morning Arthur's Seat was all hazy and suffused with a heavenly green glow and I thought how nice it was going to be. Peter's warnings were however that it is a hard race, brutish and short. And so it turned out to be.
Very good to see the hill folk out again confirming that the summer is here. Good to see Louise Provan on the mend after a year out with injury. Even if she did have to beat me...
The famous YP gave us a safety talk before the off, warning of the dangers of "terrible tussocks", rocky bits and gravity. And then we were off. It was quite a buzz racing up the bog where there usually isn't much of a crowd. I was going much faster than I wanted to, and wheezing away. My ready-made excuse was that I'd done too much this week to be much use today. I really didn't want to hurt myself in any way.
The first ascent was the cruelest. I just wasn't used to it. My legs burned and burned. Arriving at the top at the crags didn't feel much better. My legs were very wobbly and I couldn't really push it going down hill. The next ascent was the radical road. People were walking here so I fitted in a bit of running and got past some folk, but knowing that my weak descending would more than likely mean I'd see them again.
At the other end of the rad. road the HBTs had us lose all our height before setting off uphill again to the crags. My legs were actually feeling a bit better now and I fitted in a bit of running on the way up, passing a couple of people - but I lost quite a few places on the final descent because my legs and ankles were telling me that any high jinks and they were going to give way. You really have to listen to that. I've got 53 miles to run in 2 weeks and I don't want a sprained ankle.
So anyway, like most short, sharp blasts, this race feels a lot better when you stop. YP kept us entertained with a spot prize giving while the main results were getting processed. A sample of the prizes - gym bags for anyone called James, a plastic plaque with a dog's head on it, various regional beers for those from different regions, a pink hat for the oldest contestant....it was delightfully potty. I can't remember laughing so hard at a race. Then onto the main results, some top notch runners out today - I can't remember the exact line up, was it Murray Strain, Al Anthony and then our very own Gareth Green? I think the women winners were Edel Mooney, Fiona Maxwell and Catriona Buchanan.
Presumably most of the HBT team are now wedged into the pub for the night.
So, this weeks mileage weighs in at just under 58 miles. My legs are tired. Thinking of doing 20 tomorrow at a quicker pace but we'll see. I'm a bit alarmed at just how tired I'm feeling. I don't have any work lined up at the moment so could just as easily do it on Monday on fresher legs which is probably a better idea...we'll see.