Tuesday, 16 April 2013
TROUTBECK LAKE DISTRICT
Heavy rain hammers down on the velux roof window of the bedroom and the continuing wind and rain continues to disturb sleep at hourly intervals. The BBC WEATHER forecast predicting "HEAVY RAIN" right through the night and morning is regretably proving correct. The enthusiasm for the DAFFODIL GREAT LANGDALE 10K is beginning to wane; but then again I have pre-entered for a change. Anyway what's the alternative!
The rain continued to sweep through the Troutbeck Valley as I made last minute preparations for the race. I decide to pin my race number to my base layer and run with a Windstopper Gilet over it instead of getting soaked to the skin wearing my normal race vest. Wimp or what?
The drive up the Langdale valley was surprising quiet. No sign of other cars going to the event. Pat and I discussed where we might park but despite arriving just 50 minutes before the off we had no problem parking near to the finish. The whole scene was bizarrely quiet.
Meanwhile the driving rain continued unabated.
I thought I might see a familiar face to share the couple of miles warm up but no chance. The runners I could spy were mainly maintaining shelter in their steamed up cars. I saw no one at all as I ran from where the finish would be to the 5 mile marker and back. There seemed a distinct "post party" atmosphere. This was after all the second 10K on the course of the weekend.
The 2 miles "warm up" was a struggle. The inclines seemed longer and steeper than I remembered and the strong winds would be in our faces as we pushed for the finish. Perhaps the previous Wednesday's track session was a mistake.
The rain eased somewhat towards the noon start time and as luck would have it stopped as we passed the first mile marker; perhaps the gilet would prove a bad mistake!
I've rarely been under 8 minute/mile in training this year so I was pleased to go through mile 1 in 7.43 surrounded by several of the fairer sex. Another undulating mile is covered in 7.40 and with another jacketed runner for company we cover mile 3 (downhill through Chapel Stile and the Langdale resort)
in just 7.01 and make in roads on runners in front.
Not surprisingly given the weather there's sparse encouragement from spectators at the Britannia in Elterwater as we pass by and head back up the hill to the B53232 and swing left to retrace our steps back to Dungeon Ghyll.
There's 3 of us together at the start of the long climb back up through Chapel Stile and pleasingly I seemed to cope best with the hill pulling away from the younger guys at the top. But the mile has taken 8.06 minutes and the hope of a sub 45 minute time has "gone with the wind". Literally.
The 5th mile in 7.47 and the last 1.2 in 8.14 against the head wind indicate good consistency over the whole distance. But with a final time of 46.35 there's clearly room for improvement even taking into account the strong winds, the far from flat course and water on the road.
Of the previous 148 10Ks only one has been slower; last year's slog around the waterlogged pathways of Platt Fields. But there's some consolation in winning the age category (a bottle of red wine for Pat).
The prize giving proved somewhat of an emotional affair as the ROD BERRY announced that this was to be the last 10K he would organise based on recent negative events.
It's a shame as Rod is a great character and his prize "ceremonies" always raise a smile. However half marathon and marathon will still take place later in the year !? on Saturday 21st September.
So he is not totally disappearing from the race scene!