Sunday 8 September 2013

Montane 26 Ultra Race

Montane 26 Ultra Race - Howgills 26th May 2013

This was a last minute decision to enter this race, only a few hours before entries closed. I was  going up to Gaping Gill for the winch meet, potentially for a week, but I wasn’t positive how much running I would do whilst there.
Another reason, it would be the shortest distance I have run in a race, and wasn’t sure how I would pace myself.
The forecast was good, not too hot, with sun and cloud.  I went and registered and receive my T-shirt and goodie bag ( some free SIS goodies)

There were about 150 or so runners registered and the feeling was pretty relaxed with some good music been played on the PA system. 
With minutes to go we lined up at the start and no one seem to want to go to the front of the start line.
Ready near the start line
So i was lined up on the front line,  with the 10 second counter starting, we were off. I set off at what was a comfortable pace for myself and we had a full lap of the field to do before we exited the field,  through into  Sedbergh. I was surprised to find my self in 3rd place around the field and out on to the ginnel taking us up the track to climb up and out of Sedbergh.
We're off on our lap of the field

Maybe I was running too fast for me as I maintained my place up the climb, then as the climb steepened some more runners passed me until the top of the climb was met and we turned left which contoured the hill. On to the climb up Winder. I lost count how may runners passed me, (it seemed a lot),  but I kept my pace and was soon up on the summit of Winder, with the rest of the big climbs ahead, we were soon  passing Calder and the highest point of the Howgills, the Calf. Fortunately I knew this route down into Bowderdale and managed to overtake a few runners on my descent.
Once the end of Bowderdale was completed the route turned onto a mixture of tarmac and tracks until it eventually got to the village of Ravenstonedale, and after a right turn into the village, the half way check point was met. It was actually just over half way. There was very good support here and there was a great selection of drinks, energy drinks, gels, cakes etc. Not stopping for long I was off and there was now quite a long tarmac section of about 2.5 miles with quite a bit of a climb until passing a Sports Sunday photographer.  A left turn on to a a good run-able track which made its way down and along the perimeter of the Howgills. Route finding was fun on this section, and it would have been very easy to go off route, as it weaved from path to track through farm yards etc until It finally descended to the river Rawthey. 
I did managed to pass a few more runners on this section and now there wasn't far to go to get to Sedbergh. The route picked up the Dalesway path for about half of mile where I managed to pass another group of runners. It turned right up into Sedbergh, I was pushing hard especially as there was a runner trying to catch me about 200 meters behind me. The last bit of road section saw me really switch it on, knowing theres was only about 300 meters to go to turn right passed the toilets and into a small field. I could see the finish line and there was a mass of supporters which was really nice finish for me.
Coming into finish 10th Overall

Job done and 2nd V40 :)

There was soup and tea at the end, I was given my finishers medal and ice cold bottle of water. I treated myself to a free massage which was a good move. 
I was very surprised to see I was 10th over all and 2nd placed Vet 40. A very good result for me I have to say especially at a un-known distance for me (below 40 miles), and in hot conditions.


Again the Salomon S-lab 12 pack and Mizuzo Wave harrier 3 played there part in comfort etc for a great result for me. Need to get some good running sunglasses though. The Garmin Fenix was also used and recorded the race perfectly and it also helped me with the pace as I had it set up to tell me the pace of every 1km run.

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