Notfast Running Club members were out in force over the weekend, and between them, covered a lot of ground.
Andy Pritchett was in Blackpool, for a Half-Marathon imaginatively called…The Blackpool Half-Marathon. Our Man was happy with the run except for the last 3 miles of headwind along the sea front.
1 hour 49 mins is a pretty decent time, given that he was munching a stick of Rock and was wearing a Kiss-me-Quick hat !!
The annual ‘Belvoir Challenge’ has an appeal that few events, if any, in the district can match…perhaps the only rival is the world famous Ponton Plod !
Based at Harby, this well organised event offered a choice of 15 or 26 mile routes that weave around the fields, hills, trails and villages of the Vale-of-Belvoir. The terrain is extremely variable, everything from a bit of tarmac here and there to really tough rocky farm tracks, fit much more for a John Deere than a pair of Mizunos…chuck in ploughed fields, farm yards, stiles, bridges and one or two tricky downhills and you have a perfect recipe for a demanding day out.
Some of the views from the high ground, if you could take your eyes of the ground for a second are truly glorious, and, for the first time in years, this was a Mud-Free-Belvoir Challenge !!…at the Start they even apologised for the fact !
‘Belvoir’ attracts every kind of outdoor person, … from the Tweedy, Rohan and Big Boot Walkers, that wear Jackets with extra pockets on the pockets and zips where you would not expect zips to be, right along to runners wearing singlets and shorts, .. clearly the whole range of people who have fun in the great outdoors…fabulous ! Let’s see how they fared:
26 Mile Route
Caroline Upton 5.14.58
Liz Walton 5.26.42
David Watt 5.26.42
John Miller 6.20.48
Dick Brumby 6.23.39
Edward Casebourne 7.40.10
15 Mile Route
Noel Henderson 2.37.33
Darren Appleton 2.37.33
Gill Beaumont 4.24.44 (Walker)
Bob Oakham 4.24.44 (Walker)
All this looks good…there was a sad episode that nonetheless needs to be reported. Mike Bullock was lying in third place at about the 21 mile mark, having taken on the Marathon distance, with No 2 in his sights when both he and No 2 went off-course by some 4 miles. A Marshall told Mike that waymarkers are often taken away by mischief makers ..( not Mike’s actual description !). It is known that other runners had their day ruined in this way..this writer spoke to one at the Finish.
On a brighter note, Stuart Ashley went to Cromer on the North Norfolk coast to participate in The Winter Poppyline….a mere 52.7 miles no less. This he completed in 15 hours and 17 minutes and his personal account follows here…
Whilst most members opted for a local event this weekend, I broke with tradition having done The Belvoir for at least 12 consecutive years, and opted for a day at the seaside !
I left home at about 7.00 pm on Friday to go to Cromer, had a rather disturbed sleep on the floor of the gym at the local school, it would appear that at every 20 minute intervals someone would decide to go to the loo, clip clop, clip clop as the noise echoed around the gym. Anyway, Saturday arrived, a nice morning but a cool breeze and at 8.00am 128 brave souls set out on The Winter Poppyline. A nice walk on the cliff top path to Overstrand and then inland skirting North Walsham on field paths, tracks and through woods.
After the second checkpoint at 13.2 miles there was a long stretch of 13.7 miles to the next checkpoint at Buxton (no, not the one in Derbyshire) where the beans on toast and the fruit cocktail and rice pudding went down a treat.
It was on the section prior to this 26.9 mile checkpoint whilst on the cinder track at the side of the narrow gauge Bure Valley Railway that disaster struck. I heard the train coming and thought I’d grab the camera and get a quick shot whilst I was still on the move. The loop on the right bootlace hooked itself around the eyelet of the left boot effectively tying my feet together, the torso still going at about 3mph. CRASH – straight to the ground with no warning, prostrate on the ground, no photo of the train, just one close-up of the ground and it was out of focus! ….. and perhaps all the people on the train wondering what this stupid walker was doing spread eagled across the footpath.
Well I did what your supposed to do, picked myself up, dusted myself down, unhooked the laces and got back in the saddle. No major damage I thought but as time went on I realised I had badly bruised my leg and ribs which obviously took the impact and only minor scuffs to the hands which would normally take some of the impact.
Anyway, after the ‘energy beans’ the second half was fairly straightforward and managed to make the finish after 6 hours of night navigation, at times though woods, with footpaths going in all directions, without making any navigational errors.
I was really looking forward to a nice hot shower at the finish but all I got was any icy cold one but it was nice to get rid of the sweat and get into clean clothes. After a further 5 hours on the gym floor where I did manage to get some sleep, I think I was so exhausted, a two hour drive on quiet early Sunday morning roads I was home by 8 am and back to bed for a few more hours.
52.7 miles in 15 hours 17 minutes!!!!