Harlow Running Club

Road & Cross Country Running (UKA 2658068)

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DG Training 2011 : Week 26

Posted by Dougie on July 8, 2011 at 5:59 AM

Week 26 (27/06 - 03/07)


Weight : 11st 12lbs

Booze : 12

Miles : irrelevant



Race Week


Wednesday : Midweek League Race (5 mile) at Welwyn GC.. Was intending to go easy

because of the weekend race, so set off with Steve A and ambled round the first mile, then

we both thought "Bugger this" and pushed on a bit.. Probably shouldn't have, but we made

good progress and I ended up about doing about thirty four and a half or so, with Steve not

so far ahead..



Race Weekend


Day 1


Control Code Grid Ref    Description

Start      100    317 056    Start Day 1

1            119    306 090    Stream at 315M

2            120    297 086    Knoll Belles Knot

3            121    269 085    Stream Junction

4            122    289 129    Knoll High Saddle

5            123     297 133    Knoll

6            110    313 118    Bridge

7            102    322 127    Finish Day 1



Day 2

Control Code Grid Ref   Description

Start     101    318 125    Start Day 2

1           109    307 111    Tarn Edge SW Corner

2           126    296 100    Sheepfold North West Pen

3           127    267 091    Stream Junction

4           141    270 058    Crag Foot

5           129    288 047    Knoll South End

6           130    312 041    Gate / Stile

7           103    314 050    Finish Day 2



Weather forecast for the weekend was good, with little or no rain predicted.. The organisers

had put out an email the day before warning of mozzies at mid camp, so we made sure we

had the repellant with us..



The Start : This is where it all started to go wrong !!!! We got the control details, marked up

the maps, then headed off uphill in North / North West direction.. In such an intent to make

good progress, I didn't really have a defined route to CP1 with known location points on the

way, and ended up drifting too far West of where we should have been going - it's difficult to

know exactly what was going through my head, but it certainly wasn't logic and clear

thinking.. With so many teams going in a number of directions, we were just drifting West..

By the time I realised exactly where we were, I was kicking myself for allowing this to

happen.. I worked out a route to the CP, but had lost a significant amount of time against our

"rivals".. We did see Kash & Alan, and realised they were as far wrong as we were.. A tricky

(dangerous) descent towards CP1 and then we passed Paul & John, then Tony & Rachel (all

heading in the opposite direction towards CP2) - this gave them the morale boost they

needed, and gave me such a kick in the sore bits.. As we got to CP1 and headed back

towards CP2, I was so mentally deflated, it also affected me physically, and I felt drained..

Steve did his best to cheer me up, which is one of his strengths, but I was beating myself up

for making such a mess of the start.. Overall, we had lost about one hour.


CP1 to CP2 was fairly short and (another) climb.. I can't actually recall much of the detail of

the route from CP2 to CP3 (even looking at the map now), but it was another climb up and

over the saddle between High Raise and Thunacar Knott..


CP3 to CP4 was a long drag but basically, we climbed to 600M and contoured round

Ullscarf to the knoll at High Saddle.. My left hammie cramped up painfully, and Steve gave

me a toasting for not accepting some of the salted peanuts he'd offered half an hour

beforehand - yes.. yes... I know... I should know better etc at my age.. But, this was the first

time I'd ever cramped up during an event - it was a sure sign of the amount of salt I was

losing out of my body in the hot conditions..


Going from CP4 to CP5, we met Paul legging it back towards CP4 and realised he must

have missed it.. We caught up with Bill & Bell around CP5 and the three pairs headed

towards CP6 - I knew this was a tricky descent, but was trying to find the best route through

the fern covered rocky slopes (I'm not really sure there was a best route ?). As we

approached the final part of the descent towards CP6, we saw Tony & Rachel (we had finally

caught them up) and the four of us headed into the finish and mid camp..


We got the tent up, and managed to get a decent area, big enough so all five pairs could be

together.. Brew on and we felt better..


We cheered on Bill & Bell as they arrived, but the response of "B*ll*x" meant that all was not

well with Steve Bell.. He came into mid camp complaining about how much of a H&S risk

the last descent was, and that no-one should be made to endure that (well, he works for the

Council, so that explains a lot, I'm sure).. This wasn't the last time the toys were lobbed out

the pram over the weekend, that's for certain.


I was the first to slope off to bed, but it took a long time for the camp to quieten down and I

certainly didn't get to sleep as quickly as I would have wanted..


I woke up in the morning with Steve nibbling my ear and nudging me in the back with his

elbow (??).... [That's sentence is a lie - Steve, please don't sue me]



We got the Day 2 CP info and I marked up the map.. The Day 1 results meant that Tony &

Rachel had 30 mins lead on us, and Paul & John had about 16 mins on us - We had a lot of

ground to make up..



We packed up our kit, and headed off to the start.. I needed a last minute portaloo visit,

which actually worked well in terms of timing, because it seperated us from the other four

pairs, and we gave them a 5 minute head start on us (chip timings allow for this etc).


We caught Bill & Bell, then Paul & John and Kash & Alan on the first climb to CP1, but

Tony & Rachel were away and out of sight.. The first we saw them was as we approached

the sheepfold at CP2, and they were exiting it towards CP3.. They didn't see us, but it gave

me some confidence we were closing the lead they had.. I choose a different route out of

CP2 and towards CP3, hoping to perhaps make up more ground, but we didn't see them

around the CP, so I reckoned they were still ahead..


The route to CP4 was a tricky path descent and, as we moved away from the path to climb

towards the crags, Tony & Rachel appeared behind us.. They had lost some time (but not

enough).. They got away from us again on the fern covered climb to CP4 - I was really

showing signs of tiring at this stage.


The route to CP5 was (yet) another ascent to a knoll where Tony & Rachel continued to

open up a gap on us as I slowed more..


There were two options to get to CP6... Go left (up then down) or go right (down then up).. I

decided to get the last climb out of the way, so "up then down" was the choice.. About

halfway up the last climb, we stopped for a last gel and drink.. I'm not sure what happened,

but the next thing I knew, I was on all fours retching violently.. I had all sorts of thoughts

about having drank "bad" water out of the streams etc, but got my act together after about

10 minutes, picked myself up, and made my way up the hill again.. I'm sure I didn't look a

pretty sight to the teams that passed us on the hill at that time, but Steve pacified them by

saying "It's ok, he's Scottish, he'll be fine".. Anyway, as we approached CP6, we met Tony

& Rachel again (at the checkpoint) and ran into the finish with them.. I knew we hadn't

caught up the 30 mins lead they had overall, but we did beat them on the Sunday, so that

was some consolation..


We think my doggie impression on the last hill was due to excessive sun or some form of

heat exhaustion.. Either way, I don't want it again, thank you very much..



Overall result (Day 1, Day 2, Overall) :-


32nd= Tony Conway & Rachel Clay MIX 05:52:46 (44th) 05:17:24 (28th) 11:10:10

41st Dougie Gray & Steve Ambrose MV 06:22:38 (66th) 05:13:06 (22nd) 11:35:44

81st Paul World & John Panter MV 06:06:10 (53rd) 07:38:51 (98th) 13:45:01

90th Bill Scales & Steve Bell M 07:01:13 (81st) 07:44:32 (99th) 14:45:45

99th Katarzyna Burdzy & Alan Dickson MIX 08:30:00 07:34:54 (97th) 16:04:54




Our 22nd place on the Sunday was pretty pleasing, but, of course, the first CP on Day 1 set

the state of play - I don't think we were ever going to recover from that one..



So, another Saunders completed safely (which was a great result for all of us), and hopefully

I can learn from the mistakes made. However, no matter what physical condition I think I'm

in, it is never enough to prepare you for the terrain and the ascents / descents of the event..

The body always feels like it's taken a pounding come the Sunday night.



Next year ??


Yeh, probably..




Categories: DG's Training

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1 Comment

Reply Janice
4:23 AM on July 11, 2011 
Well done you two!!
I'm exhausted just reading this. Hope you're having a rest now, probably not!