Break 3 hours for the marathon
Finish an Ironman
The first 7 months went really well and I ticked boxes 1 and 2 with a perfect race at Washington and a less than perfect, but ultimately hugely rewarding experience at Badwater. In amongst those two races I managed to fit in 15 other marathons and ultras.
Ironman came two weeks too soon into my recovery from the heat of Death Valley and when UTMB got cancelled just a few hours in, I felt like a great year could potentially peter out to an uninspiring end. Obviously if my trainers had been confiscated after BW and I was told I couldn't race until 2011, it still would have been a really great season for me. But Caesars Camp allowed me some closure on it, again a pretty poor performance there but to finish a second 100 mile plus race was important for my confidence and allows me to close off this year having achieved a lot. Actually the results from the race made pretty interesting reading. The front runner disappeared out of site early on and continued to expand his lead throughout. What a great race he ran over a very tough course for an 18:41 finish. For my part I managed to get to 50 miles in 10:03 putting me in 4th place out of 56 runners at the halfway mark. Despite the total collapse, 2 hours out of action at mile 80 and a devastating loss of running ability culminating in a 17 hour second 50 mile split, I still managed to finish 14th. The reason for this was that the course kicked ass way more than I had thought it would. Henk wasn't joking when he said he thought only 20 runners would finish. In the end only exactly 20 crossed the 100 mile mark for a finishing rate of 30%. The girl I passed at 97 miles wasn't able to get the last lap done so was the final drop out from a long race. Here's a couple of me in some quality socks. You may get an idea of some of the terrain here but not much:
|The start (Photo c/o Henk Van Der Beek)|
|CC100 (Photo c/o Henk Van Der Beek)|
|CC100 view up to the top of the Camp (Photo c/o Henk Van Der Beek)|
I learnt so much this year about how to race the really long stuff better and 2011 will give me the opportunity to have the 100 mile race I know Im capable of. Now that the distance is becoming manageable in my mind (as much as 100 miles can ever be a manageable) I'm pretty excited to sink my teeth into Umstead in April.
So now it's into a period of 'rest' for a while. This time of year is really important to me, the last two years I've enjoyed down time between the end of October and Christmas. Its a chance to re-charge the batteries and run for running's sake only. I love moving through the streets/ lanes/ fields at night as winter closes in, but I love also having the option of skipping sessions where I feel like it and taking it easier. Each year it means I'm hungrier to get back into racing in January and with some great races in the UK through the early part of each year I'll reset the goals and look forward to 2011.
There is a good chance I'll run one day of the Druid Ridgeway Challenge in November, Gatliff 50km and Luton in late November/ early December but then again if I don't feel like running on the day, i'll roll over and reset the alarm instead... Running all 3 would give me a nice round 20 marathon+ races for the year.
I had this frame made up last month to immortalise Badwater. I hope I get the chance in the future to get many more of these made but what a great job they did.