Wednesday, 20 January 2010

2010 plans go awry.

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.
Decisions, decisions.

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.

VFF update.
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 ;-)


  1. looking at your planned diary nick..what a slacker..there must be some midweekers you can add surely ;)
    see you in kendal all being well

  2. Funny you should mention that Dave. I had been thinking I should try one or two evening fell races to see what all that's about. I'm in the FRA now so there's no excuse ;-)

  3. Only a few great events then :-)

    You could always try the Ridgeway Challenge. It's an 85 miles race taking place on 28/29 August. Heard some great things about it and am lining it up myself.

    Hopefully will see you at the Lakeland event although I am doing the 50 mile event not the 100. Maybe next year :-)

    On the VFF's I really feel the muscle soreness as well but then at least you found your benchmark for future runs.

  4. That's a good call Rich - the Ridgeway. It would save me a lot of money and holidays if I did that instead of TDS/GRP. I'm very tempted.

  5. That's a good one Madness. I did it a couple of times when it started from Beverley Leisure Centre. It might be a bit much though after the previous two weekends. A week later and I'd be convinced.

  6. You have got lots of time to recover afterwards though ...

  7. You could try racing less!!! Your schedule looks a little over the top. I bet you would race better if you raced less often (and I know you'd rather race more often but maybe this should be the year of experimentation).

  8. With a list like that Nick (Amazing) It can only evolve.

  9. Danni you're not the first person to have said that. I bet you're right. I feel that if I didn't have an event most weekends to keep me on my toes I'd go to seed. I already am after the extended lay-off this winter (I'm normally only off for two weeks over Christmas). I'm expecting my worst ever performance on The Hebden this Saturday as a result.

  10. I don't know what to say after reading that nick!! its emmense! And you are asking for more races to fill the well good luck with finding more races but I think you'll find you're alrady doing the lot!

  11. If you are at a loose end on the 26th of June, come join us on a Bob Graham Round attempt!

  12. Hmm, BGR attempt. Somehow the very mention of that always makes me want to run a mile (in the opposite direction). It scares me, yet I'm always curious. I'd be a liability as a supporter because I don't know the Lake District well enough.

  13. I was actually suggesting you may consider attempting it on the back of my logistics. I found supporting Mark Smith, that as long as you have one or two pacers who know the lines and the runner does, then the rest of the pacers can be free from route knowledge. There are few people I would offer a joint attempt to, but if you want to come along as a supporter or supported, then get in touch.

  14. Clive, can't work out how to get in touch. Can you contact me other than through here?