Tuesday, 8 January 2008

trimpell 20

i ran this race in 2004 and found it a fantastic race and a great build up for the london marathon.
i am running this race again this march; check it out if you are looking for a good 20 miler.
Trimpell 20 miler 11/03/07

Sunday 11th March was the day of our pre marathon 20 miler at Morecambe. Our B&B was only 3/4 mile from the start so we walked up near to start time.Scott said that because the race was so long we didn't need to warm up.I wasn't so sure. Anyway we were almost changed in the Trimpell centre when the announcer said 3 mins to the start of the race. I squeezed in a few strides and made my way to the start. A few announcements and then we were off. The banter as we set off was the same as back in Scotland but the accents were different, as were the vests. Preston harriers, Bingley and Ellesmere Port etc.

I tried to stay relaxed for the first mile but it seemed a bit fast for a warmup. My race plan had been to try to average 6.30 miles with the first few a bit slower. 6.12 and 6.14 were my first two so I tried to slow down a little for the 3rd but still it was about 6.25. By now there was a group of about 10 runners at least a minute ahead. I reckoned they were doing under 6 min pace and thought it might be a bit fast for a few and I might see them later in the race. The next group consisted of about 5 of us and we settled into a good pace together. I was concious as we approached 7 miles that we still had a half marathon to run and reminded myself to hold back some energy. The views now over the Lune Valley are spectacular. In fact the poet Thomas Gray describes one as having "every feature which constitutes a good landscape". I must have got carried away at this point as I found myself leading our group and we went through the next mile in 6.10 (Oh Dear). Anyway we passed the village of Caton and the last mile on our outward journey was on a dirt trail through woodlands till we came out onto the main road and started the journey home. You could see the other runners through the trees as we headed back. They look to be going quite fast. Better not slow down. Easier said than done as we are now running into a head wind. The 11th mile was slower. I then found myself having a bad patch between 11 and 12 miles not helped by the return of the dreaded stitch I suffered from at Lasswade the previous week. I slowed and moved to the back of our group to try some anti stitch exercises (If anyone sees me running with my arms above my head making strange noises during a race "don't worry", I'm just trying to shake off a stitch). By this time I had taken an energy gel and the stitch had gone for the moment. I kept breathing in deeply and started to feel a bit better and I caught up on the group who had got about 10 yards in front.The next mile was OK and then 2 of the guys I was running with seemed to hit their own "wall" and fell off the pace and I went with the other 2. I reckoned I was about 12th now and unless the dreaded stitch came back I could maybe hold my position.14 miles came and went and I mentally broke my race down into 3 x 2 mile sections. By 16 miles I was in 9th place as we had dropped one of my running companions and caught 2 of the leading group who were paying for their early pace. 17 miles we crossed the Lancaster bridge and back onto the cycle track we'd come out. The last 3 miles were tough and one runner was never more than 10 seconds in front and I thought if he was close at the end I could maybe out-sprint him but had to settle for my position.The last 3 miles in under 18 mins may have put paid to my sprint finish. I crossed the finish in 2.05.51 in 8th place and was pretty pleased.

FOOTNOTE - The Trimpell 20 is a well organised race with brilliant support from the marshals, plenty water stations. Scenic course and lots of prizes. Pity it's so far away as the long car journey back the next day can be sorer on the legs than the actual race! (Any chance of someone organizing a pre-marathon 20 miler in Scotland?)

Report Jarvie Sr.Portobello Running Club

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