Monday, 6 June 2011

Shires and Spires Northants Ultra 35. 05/06/2011.

Race 7 of 12 in the Runfurther series.

This was my first 'Go Beyond' event and my first visit to Northamptonshire. It's always nice to discover new parts of the country. New running events make it possible and Go Beyond added a different slant to what I'm used to. The experience was rather good.

The 35-mile route was flat to undulating with plenty of road, track, trail and fields and the occasional stile. It goes without saying that the countryside was gorgeous - not difficult to achieve in this country. We are truly blessed. It was more runnable and much faster than I'm used to, and tough to achieve the expected speed after last week's Hundred. Once again the ground was dry and rock hard. The shrinkage cracks in the fields of rapeseed and wheat we crossed looked as though an earthquake had struck. We had to run carefully across the 'knobbly crevassed concrete' to avoid twisting an ankle.

For 35 miles in my usual events I would expect to finish in 7 hours plus. This time I managed 6:23, such was the runnability - not bad a week after a surprise Hundred performance. Without the Hundred in my legs (which I must say I did not feel) I might have been 10 minutes faster, but I'm not complaining. In fact I'm pretty chuffed to be feeling so fit and well at the end of quite an intense month of weekly Ultras. The Grand slam is well on track. I hope it doesn't get undone by the three weeks of business globetrotting I'm about to embark on. We are talking South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, starting tomorrow.

The winner was Stuart Mills with a time of 4:20. I was amazed to see him still there when I dragged in (he even cheered me in). Stuart's a right chatterbox, a bit like me really. When he'd finished wearing others' ears out we chatted for ages about anything and everything related to ultrarunnimg. What a great bloke.
The finish welcome.

I'll be back in time for Race number 8 - Osmotherley Phoenix. Until then there will be a news blackout.
Pictures are here.


  1. Nick, I'm still limping around from the Hundred and wondering how many weeks it will take before I can run again. Can't imagine doing another ultra the week after!?!?! Well done, the Grand Slam should be much easier from here on out! Have a great time traveling the world!

  2. Cool, looks like a good one, is that Alison in the bottom picture? Looks like a bat I can see there. How did this feel after the Housman?

  3. Well done Nick - another good race. Glad to hear that the chocolate soya milk fuelling is working for you! Ali

  4. great time especially after the 100
    see you at osmoth

  5. Dawn, not sure about that. L100 followed by LToB is going to be the toughest.

    Roger, indeed Alison was there. She left me for dust (dust being the operative word) in the last couple of miles, though she hadn't done the Hundred the week before. Nevertheless she is running well, though.
    It felt normal to me, like any other event - no apparent leg tiredness, though I suppose I must have been slowed by 10 minutes or so even though it didn't feel like it.

    Ali, you imparted a gem of ultra fuelling.

    Dave, see you at Osmotherley. I hope you get that weather sorted out over there to give us the normal Phoenix conditions. I'm acclimatised to 30 plus degrees now. Anything less will see me handicapped.;-)