Sunday, February 5, 2017

My 1st Scouts Badge Rombalds Stride 2017

Yesterday I completed again the Rombalds Stride Winter Challenge which is an LDWA event 22/23 miles of mud, bogs and hills and I got my 'Scouts' Badge for completing it. I know its not a real one but the event is organised by the 15th Airedale Scout Group. I never went to the Scouts as a kid so this was a novel moment not to be missed.

I managed a PB for the course, an improvement of 4 minutes from last year, with a finishing time of 3:hr 55mins. ( )

The race starts in Guiseley, climbing up over Baildon Moor then Rombalds Moor, a loop round then back through the Rocky Valley, with the route then going over moor and fields to Menston and back across to the Chevin, where it goes up it seems, the steepest muddiest slope. Then it's back down the the dirt lane and onto the road to Guiseley, with the thoughts of pie, potatoes, pudding and whether its gonna be a PB time this year taking over until the end.

Not in the Race
My head wasn't in the race at the start and it showed as I coasted for too long and mentally just wasn't in the race, getting stuck at the first narrow section and losing time. My mind was saying take it as a training run! I was thinking of future races and events rather than focusing on what I was doing.

I also didn't prep well, I hadn't eaten appropriately the night before and not enough sleep. Well at least I didn't get any serious cramp this year with just a couple of twinges going up the Chevin which were manageable; last year it had wiped me out on the climb up the Chevin, where I lost at least 8-10 minutes.

Lesson's can always be learnt even from off days:

Course lessons:
  • Footpath rather than the Lane: Coming out of the Esholt woods, taking the footbath across the field  (coming out on Main Street in Esholt then taking a right) rather than the lane had less runners and grass underfoot, and was slightly quicker as I made ground on those ahead of me.
  • To the left of the wall: after Keighley Lane the choice of right or left was simple -I did a recce and went right last year...ending up thigh deep in a bog, in the race everyone went to the left. This was much better though narrow path at times , it is still boggy but better than to the right of the wall.
  • Racing lines: I took slightly the wrong line coming out of Rocky Valley which meant once I crossed the stream I ended up on grassy bog and really slowed me down! Better recces' required in future to find those racing lines.
Lessons learnt:
  • Nutrition and sleep matter
  • Make sure the racing bag fits properly:it was too loose, having had full winter training kit in recently.
  • Make better racing plans -be tactical and stick to it
  • Race the 'Race'
  • Wear your favourite buff!
I ran wearing the Hyde Park Harriers colours and I love this, with Steve Rhodes producing a really great time of 3:30 and coming in as the 1st placed Harrier to finish. Loving the blue plastic covers.

Well I just need to buy a new HPH kit bag and get my badge put on it.