Saturday, 8 May 2010

Bollington - Where's Wally

It's common knowledge that you should do a reccie of the course before you race it - especially if you live near the course. This means you can pick the best lines and you know where the hills are. It also means you don't get lost.

I didn't reccie this course (despite living pretty close) and I made the mistake of assuming the four runners in front of me knew where they were going. Unfortunately, three of them were making a similar assumption and the one at the front was a bit uncertain. Anyway, it was a lovely detour and made the race slightly more challenging. We got back on to the right course after a while, but found we were joining the group of runners that we had left behind.

In the end I think I finished about 8th. Those who beat me included: the four who were ahead of me when we went wrong, Simon Bailey - who didn't go wrong and was too far ahead of everyone for us to follow him - and a few people that I couldn't catch after our extra loop.

Using similar statistics to those being applied by our politicians to describe their party's performance in the election: if I assume our detour was about 3 miles, I would probably have won had I not gone wrong. I told Simon Bailey this at the end, and got a laugh.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Crowden Horseshoe - am I suddenly really good?

Races that fall the day after an English Championship counter are great. Not only are they slightly less busy, but the people who generally don't turn up are the top 20% of people in any age category.

Today's race had about 180 starters (I think), and for about 400 metres I was leading the field! This was again due to my normal fast start, but it's not like I was flat-out sprinting. By the summit I was fourth and eventually finished fifth after a bout of exchanging places with the guy who then finished 6th. Here's me trying to maintain my lead on the final descent.

So, have I suddenly become a great runner who can finish 5th in a relatively high-profile fell race? I was pondering this, so checked what my place would have been if I had run this time a few years ago (when there wasn't a championship counter the day before). And the answer is... I would have been about 55th.

I should either start training a lot more, or stop putting these good results into context.