Oh dear. My best made plans for 2010 seem to be falling apart around my ears.
1. In the first year when we foreigners have to use this entry route, I fail to get picked in the Western States Endurance Run lottery. I won’t be jetting off to Northern California in June for the first time in five years.
2. Winter weather has resulted in the postponement of my first two events this year so far and disruption to others.
3. The Devon 100, which I was due to be plodding in April, has been cancelled.
4. Business travel commitments that are emerging from the woodwork at this very moment are threatening more events.
5. And now for the most unexpected blow of all: I learned yesterday that my application for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc has been refused. WHAT? There must be some mistake. I have more than enough points to qualify me. Perhaps I ticked a wrong box and the ‘computer said no’. I emailed the organisation for an explanation. Apparently there was a draw and our group was not picked. That’s some difference compared to last year when they opened entries again because they were under-subscribed. Ultra Running popularity has gone stratospheric.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’m told I can transfer my registration to “Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie”, or TDS for short. It is ~105km with 6.7km of altitude change compared with ~166km with 9.4km of altitude change for UTMB. So, a mere walk in the park then ;-) With this shortened event I might just have some energy left to run my favourite Bullock Smithy Hike the weekend after, but something tells me that will be most unlikely.
There is another possibility as well on the same weekend – Le Grand Raid des Pyrenees. It's another 100-mile mountain race that has been described as being even tougher than the UTMB.
So, the tattered remains of my schedule so far for 2010 look something like this:
Sat 09 Jan - The Tandem - 28mi. (postponed to 20 Feb)
Sun 17 Jan - Two Crosses Circuit - 25mi. (postponed to 21 Mar – can’t do)
Sat 23 Jan - The Hebden - 22mi.
Sun 31 Jan - That’s Lyth - 23mi.
Sat 06 Feb - Rombald Stride - 23mi.
Sat 13 Feb - Anglezarke Amble - 24mi.
Sat 20 Feb - The Tandem (rescheduled) - 28mi.
Sun 21 Feb - Beacon Bash - 21mi. (can’t do this now)
Sat 27 Feb - Myrtle Meander - 24mi. (can’t do due to business travel)
Sat 06 Mar - Troller’s Trot - 24mi.
Sat 13 Mar - Wuthering Hike - 32mi.
Sat 20 Mar - Hardmoors 55 - 55mi.
Sat 27 Mar - (rest)
Sat 03 Apr - Manx Mountain Marathon - 32mi.
Sat 10 Apr - Calderdale Hike - 36mi.
Sat 17 Apr - (any suggestions?)
Sat 24 Apr - (Devon 100 cancelled – alternative suggestions?)
Sat 01 May - (any suggestions?)
Sat 08 May - The Fellsman - 61mi.
Sat 15 May - Marlborough Downs Challenge - 33mi.
Sat 22 May - (rest)
Sat 29 May - Heart Of Scotland 100 - 100mi.
Sat 05 Jun - (rest)
Sat 12 Jun - Swaledale Marathon - 23mi.
Sat 19 Jun - (any suggestions?)
Sat 26 Jun - (WS100 denied – alternative suggestions?)
Sat 03 Jul - Osmotherley Phoenix - 33mi.
Sat 10 Jul - White Peak Walk - 26mi.
Sat 17 Jul - (rest)
Sat 24 Jul - Lakeland 100 - 100mi.
Sat 31 Jul - (rest)
Sun 08 Aug - Long Tour of Bradwell - 32mi.
Sat 14 Aug - (any suggestions?)
Sat 21 Aug - (any suggestions?)
Sat 28 Aug - (UTMB denied – TDS or GRP as alternative?)
Sat 04 Sep - (rest – resist the lure of the BSH!)
Sat 11 Sep - Pumlumon Challenge - 26mi.
Sat 18 Sep - High Peak 40 - 40mi.
Sat 25 Sep - (any suggestions?)
Sat 02 Oct - (any suggestions?)
Sat 09 Oct - (any suggestions?)
Sat 16 Oct - Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham - 50mi.
Sat 23 Oct - (rest)
Sat 30 Oct - Snowdonia Marathon - 26.2mi.
That’s as far as I’ve looked so far.
Boy, those fivefingers give you a right good work-out. I ran to work in them again on Monday and they got their first dose of mud, which squelched up between the toes. It felt wonderful at the time (the running, not the mud – although I don’t know ….). I thought I might have got away with it with the muscle trauma, but no. By Tuesday morning my calves were feeling sufficiently worked-over for me to run in my normal running shoes. As the day progressed the Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness began to make itself known in no uncertain terms, such that descending stairs was painfully laboured. Today they are plain trashed. Somehow, running (in normal shoes) is less painful than simple walking.
At the moment I can only manage one VFF commute per week. I shall persevere until I can get my muscles adapted for the daily commute run without any issues. I can’t wait for that to happen. It’s a great leg, foot and core strengthening exercise because of the way you are forced to run. Once I’ve acclimatised I may struggle to get my trousers on, such will be the circumference of my calves ;-)