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Robin Hood 100 – September 2019, Adi Tuplin

For all the great and successful races we do there are also the ones that don’t go so well, I think we all need to hear about those and learn from them – hence this report.
Failure is a massive learning aid, I think we learn more from that than success – but it all depends what we do with that knowledge that counts x

I’ll start this report several weeks before the race when I woke up with a start one morning in realisation that my biggest race ever was just over a month away and apart from the usual club runs etc I’d done very little to prepare for the ‘hundy’, no worries I thought – I’ll just do what I normally do and wing it. Now I’ve got away with that for other distances but little did I know how much this one was going to hurt.
I’d been a bit blasé in the days leading up to the race as you can probably tell but I’ll be honest on the morning of the race I was very nervous, Tracy will tell you when I get nervous I clam up and go I to my own little space, don’t want to interact with people and am basically not very good company. That was me on Saturday morning.

The race brief was excellent as ever by Ronnie and apart from a few little tweaks to the route explained we were good to go. The weather was pretty perfect so nobody to blame but myself. Once I was off I relaxed a bit and the first 15 to 20 miles passed by quite easily, apart from being a bit bobbly in places the going was pretty good and I was even pacing myself against the narrow boats on the canal. Ronnie had explained that if we kept up a constant 3mph we’d be guaranteed to finish under the cut off. I was passing the boats, which travel at approx 3mph so happy days, or so I thought, and seeing Mick at 2 of the cp’s also kept my spirits up – cheers Mick.

My original tack of only looking to the next checkpoint worked OK til cp6 at 30 miles, I actually had my best mile of the race up til then and was greeted by lots of friendly Trotter faces, was given lots of advice from Gary who is a 100 veteran so does know what he’s talking about – – but that’s where it all started to unravel.
From cp6 there is the longest section between cp’s, the next one is also cp6 as you do a long 10 mile loop though the beautiful Sherwood forest and I kid you not I’m sure it’s all uphill, it was a killer and by the time I returned to cp6 I was pretty washed out. I’ve no idea why but that section pretty much finished me off. Gary and Kath force fed me with baby food and Haribo due to me not eating – it tastes revolting but is high in calories apparently (I told you knows his onions) and I soldiered on.

Next CP was 7 miles away and if I’m honest I must have walked half of it at least – the warning signs were huge by then and as I pulled into cp7 I saw Katy stood next to the Hutchy bus, the amazing Lynn and Katy had driven over to meet me. Now I’m not 100% sure I was very good company at that point and was struggling hide hide my emotions in the face of all the kindness and support but after being looked after by fellow Harrier Adam who was manning the cp and lots of inspiring words from Lynn, and a big hug which was very special because I know she doesn’t normally do hugs I cracked onto cp4 which was 5 miles away. I knew Lynn had messaged Tracy and I was worried that she would be worried so after running the first section from the CP and getting out of sight I had to stop and walk again – this was becoming more regular than running by now and even that wasn’t easy with painful blisters, aching legs and a really aching lower back which may or may not have been my kidneys complaining about by now my lack of eating or drinking, who knows. But like I say i knew Tracy would be worried so I rang her, it seemed she was and was already on her way to meet me at cp4 and although I never confirmed it I think we both knew my race was nearly at an end.

The slog to meet her was my worst section yet and was more walking than running at this point, but weirdly I nearly ran past Tracy in the run up to the checkpoint – but no I’d not got a 2nd wind, I just didn’t want to be seen walking into a checkpoint – stupid pride I know !! As soon as Tracy caught up with me she realised I was done, neither of us had to say anything we just knew. I handed my tracker and number over to the amazing marshal’s – as they all were by the way, and the even more amazing Tracy took me home, after dropping my fellow dnf’er and Polish kind of running partner off at the finish line to pick his car up (we’d been crossing over for most of the last 40 miles, and without having run together as such or even really spoken had shared the experience, and the pain).

Not the most glamorous or feelgood report I know but its truthful and warts and all, and hopefully I can learn from my mistakes and move on. The truth is that I know I can do better than this but something just didn’t click on this one. I’ve done a few 50 milers now but have never felt as washed out as I did on this one and the thought of doing it all again honestly filled me with dread. As tough as these things are I think if the enjoyment has gone then it’s difficult to get back, and the enjoyment had gone 20 miles back for me, as well as my legs. Cheers folks xx

Adi.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Many of our intrepid Harriers are racing this weekend at the little known event “The Great North Run”, and there’s a group of members staying a little more local at the Bawtry Forest Trail 10k. So if you have the time to spare on Sunday why not turn on the TV and do a bit of Harrier spotting or head over to Bawtry and cheer in person!

Cleethorpes parkrun Tourist Trophy, July 2019 – Mark Bower

Cleethorpes parkrun

I was in two minds about whether to write a report for this event – lots of runners have done a parkrun (some go every week in fact), as they’re free, weekly runs (not races!) and so aren’t really anything new or different to most of us.  That being said, Cleethorpes was the July event in the club’s parkrun Tourist Trophy, so this particular course was new to all of us and therefore I thought it merited a mention.

I picked up Nathaniel and Ben around 7am, which was ridiculously early for a parkrun as they don’t start until 9am.  We did have 60 miles to cover though, although my journey planning was over-generous as we arrived at 8:15am and got to watch the marshals set up!  It also gave us time to walk the course, which was 3 laps around a smallish lake, with a short out and back on laps 2 & 3 to bring the total distance to the required 5km.

As we waited for the throng to arrive, we wondered which (if any) other Harriers would be attending, contemplating the idea that it might just be the 3 of us!  In due course though Amanda and Fran arrived, followed shortly after by Laura and her two young boys Lucas and Mav, so that meant a grand total of 8 of us had made the journey.  Not the biggest turn out, but considering the mileage involved it was perhaps to be expected.  We still attracted several people’s attention however, with the ubiquitous question of “where is DAN-um then?” (always to be followed by the standard response “it’s DAY-num actually, from Doncaster”).  One person recognised our kit as he had seen several Harriers at the recent “Sting in the Tail” Caistor 10k, and we even met one gent who knew one of our members (as she had left his club to move over to Doncaster).  It’s a small world after all.

As 9am approached we had the usual pre-run (again, it’s not a race!) briefing.  These vary from parkrun to parkrun, always dictated by the character of the Run Director on the day.  We had already attracted enough attention to get a shout out during the “do we have any visitors?” section, although we weren’t the furthest travellers – at least one person had come from Australia.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume their visit was not solely for the chance to run Cleethorpes parkrun!  I found the briefing quite moving at one point when the Director talked about how parkrun was the only time some people saw or spoke to another person on a Saturday.  I know that personally I see parkrun as a fun event, something not too serious that I can do if I get chance, and I’d never thought about those members of society that really benefit from the opportunity to get out, keep fit and make new friends.

Anyway, the run itself.  The start was somewhat chaotic, as the path was narrow and around 250 of us were all crammed into one tiny area.  Ben managed to get near the front, as did Amanda, however Nathaniel and I had to scoot around the very edge of the path and try to weave our way towards the front.  This we duly did, and by 1km I think we’d all settled into our rhythm.  After we’d done the first whole lap of the lake and were 300m or so into our second we hit the first of the out and back sections.  This was a good opportunity to see your fellow Harriers, as by this point I was behind Nathaniel and Ben so I got to see them coming back up the short straight and we could give each other a friendly thumbs-up or wave.  As I rounded the cone that marked the end of this section it struck me how good the training sessions we do as a club are – you slowed to round the cone and had to accelerate away again, and that’s surprisingly draining when you were into your rhythm of a steady run!  As I ran back up I then got to see Fran, Amanda, Lucas and Laura (carrying Mav!), with a chance for us all to encourage each other again.

The rest of the run was much the same, we all rattled off decent times with no personal bests, but certainly no personal worsts!  Lucas came flying in in just over 30 minutes, an amazing time for a 9 year old, but apparently he’s run much faster!  Laura arrived at the end of her second lap walking with Mav, who’d decided he’d had enough so she took off on a final flying lap by herself.  She finished just shy of 42 minutes and wanted it recorded for posterity that she had walked the first two laps and that she was capable of going much faster on her own!

In true Harrier style we then headed off for refreshments – not cakes, butties or beer this time, but ice creams, coffees and fish and chips!  If you ever have the time and fancy a change, I can recommend “doing the tourist thing” and visiting a parkrun you’ve never tried before.  Maybe even as part of the Tourist Trophy series!

Cleethorpes parkrun (Tourist Trophy #6) Results // 13 Jul 2019 // 5k Road

Name Category Time Pace (mile) Pos.
1 Nathaniel Redcliffe Male  Senior 18
2 Ben Hales Male  40-44 24
3 Mark Bower Male  40-44 36
4 Fran Lambert Female  U15 49
5 Amanda Lane Female  55-59 65
6 Laura Sydney Female  35-39 238

Cleethorpes parkrun

Harriers have fun at Endure 24

The weekend of 28th-30th June saw 30+ Harriers, their support crew/family and pets descend onto Bramham Park for this year’s Endure 24 event.  For those that don’t know (and there can’t be many of you left!), this is a 24-hour running “festival”, often called the Glastonbury for runners!  It involves you and your team or partner (or solo, if you’re particularly brave!) running as many 5 mile laps in a 24-hour period as you can.  That’s pretty much it – the only rule being you can only have one of your team running a lap at any time, so there’s a lot of logistics involved if you have a team of 5 or more (the Harriers usually run in mixed teams of 5).

This year we had 6 teams of 5, one pair (Laura Sydney and her friend) and one running solo (the ever inspiring Nicola Wilkinson, currently in the middle of her run-365 challenge).  Our results can be found here, so you can see the amazing feat accomplished by all our teams.  Run reports from the team captains are available on the Run Reports page, and a slideshow of the event is shown below.  The Harriers will be there again in 2020, so keep an eye out for us – you can’t miss us!