Saturday 5th July 2014
How do recover from a 24 hour round? Race a 2300ft half trail marathon in Snailbeach of course. I'd entered the race with the TORQ performance team alongside Matty Brennan and Johnathan Hedger. I'd not realised quite how hilly this little gem of a race was until I looked at the map in the registration hall. 'Bugger, how the hell am I going to race this'. I was still feeling the Rigby in my legs and knew that any hint of a climb would sap what little strength they had managed to regain after the Rigby. TORQ were part of the sponsorship for the race and I had wanted to do well as an ambassador for them. I was worried! The first half of the course was a gradual climb on a long and drawn out section of forest and private farming land. I simply hadn't had the recovery and ended up hiking, striding and generally wangling a trot to the turn around point. I was sitting in second placed female and knew that first lady was a good few minutes ahead. The beauty about an out and back section is that you obviously get the opportunity to see where your competition is in relation to yourself. It was safe to say that a nothing short of a miracle was going to get me anywhere near Emma (Gould) a remarkable fell runner. Nonetheless, the second half of the course was more forgiving, descending. The life came back into my legs and I was able to enjoy the run along the trail. Interestingly TORQ's Matt Hart had entered the race as a 'bit of fun'. He's a remarkably fit mountain biker/ road cyclist but hadn't ran further than a 10k distance for a long time. Surely he couldn't beat me! I'm on his performance running team and he was up ahead. I pulled out the stops to catch him in his moment of weakness, (descending) and breezed past, remarking on how tired he looked. 'Cunning plan' I'd thought sniggering to myself, only then to spend the rest of the race looking behind me to see just how close he was to breezing past again on the small climbs. It's safe to say, that I managed to hold on to a good solid finish and in a time of 1hr 45.48 finished second lady (and in front of Matt, phew). A beautiful little race in it's first year and a great one for anyone who wants to make the transition from road to trail. Thanks TORQ for fueling me and making this run a fun day in the hills.