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Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Charnwood Hills Fell Race (13.7 miles/ 1,200ft)

When you hear that the race took place in the outskirts of Leicester (Anstey), your first reaction will probably the same mine; 'a fell race in Leicestershire, but there aren't any hills?'.

Well that's wrong, there are. Well a few anyway.

The race is well established, run by the Bowline Climbing Club, and is also very well attended. This year around 400 lined for the start of the race which took place on Sunday, including me. This was another 'train-through' race; no taper, lots of miles during the preceeding week, turn up and grim 'n bear the dead legs, aim for a respectable result and benefit from a great work out. Sounds simple, but in practice it's rather painful!

The route was out-and-back, one of my pet hates, but actually it worked very well. There was a decent length loop at the turnaround point which helped to avoid any two way congestion. Conditions were cold, the snow was on it's way, and the wind chill was well below freezing although the sun came out for the odd spell.

I went off fairly quickly and soon regretted it, but eventually settled into a sensible pace which remained fairly even throughout. However it wasn't a day to be competitive, my legs were seriously tired, and perhaps not fully recovered from Portland marathon 8 days before, not to mention training mileage. I worked as hard as could, the amount of effort-in felt huge, but translating into speed; no. I finished in 1hr 35mins, 23rd place. It sounds awful but there were some incredibly quick specialist short distance runners out, so no great shame. And it a great opportunity to push myself in a competitive environment which was what it was all about.

Another well organised and enjoyable local race early in the season.