Sunday, 21 May 2017

Race the Sun

Another week of training has come to an end finishing yesterday with the Isle of Man Children Centre Race the Sun. Tuesday seen only me and Richard out training due to work commitments and being off Island for one or two of the others. I finally managed on Wednesday to meet with Pete Miller for a stroll around Cringle and Ronauge. Pete had invited me down, a couple of times previously, to train on one of his local routes but through work or racing commitments I hadn't been able to. The route was a good 10 miles and was just as hilly going out as coming back so ended up being a good walk effort wise. Pete is walking really well and will undoubtedly be on for the most improved on previous time award come the Parish in a few weeks’ time.

On Thursday I had my first experience of judging a race walk event. The Manx Harriers Club 5K was held on the T.T access road and was an opportunity to get one of the four signatures I need to be signed off as a level 1 judge. As I compete on most of the events it may take a while to get all four signatures but at least when not taking part I can give something back by helping officiate.

As already said, yesterday, was the Isle of Man Children Centre Race the Sun. I had opted for the first leg starting in Peel, at 05.06, from the Kiosk on the Promenade opposite the Marine Hotel. I arrived down around 20 minutes before the start and wasn't surprised to see most other runners warming up along the sea front. If it were a walking race I would have done some sprints etc. to warm up as well, however, as it was running I thought it was best left to the more capable athletes, the 11.5 miles ahead of me was already a concern, distance wise, I definitely didn't need to go adding distance by running up and down the promenade as some kind of warm up routine! The majority of the 30 teams were lined up at the start with only 2 or 3 others opting to start later, one reason for this was the tide time, being high tide at 06.40. I set off at sun rise and headed out over the Headlands to White Strand before picking up a short bit of road section and turning right onto the old railway line at Knocksharry. I recced this section in the opposite direction a few weeks ago, at that time there was a couple of boggy sections, yesterday thanks to the good weather we have experienced in the last couple of weeks those sections had almost dried. Once out as far as Glen Mooar we dropped down from the railway line and headed to the beach after crossing the main Peel to Kirk Michael coast road. This was to be the first section of sand as far as Glen Wyllin and straight away it was apparent it was going to be hard work as the tide conditions meant we were running quite high up on the beach in the softer sand. Once at Glen Wyllin we had to make are way up over the sea defense boulders, again due to the tide preventing us from running around them. After cutting up through the camp site we again picked up the disused railway line out as far as Bishops Court where again the course diverted from the footpath onto the beach via a couple of fields and someone’s back yard, we had to run between their house and garage to gain access to the next bit of beach section. This last bit of the route up to Ballaugh Cronk was over 2 miles running in the soft sand. My finish time was 06.48 (1hr 42mins for the leg) so the tide was at its highest as I ran the last mile. Dale Farquhar was doing the second leg which started with a 6 mile beach section and said at the Point of Ayre how difficult it was. I did the second leg last year and it could not of been more different in that the tide was at its lowest and running on the water’s edge was not to dissimilar to running on the road the sand was that compacted. The team did a tremendous job of clawing any time lost through conditions under foot, and in my case not being the strongest runner, over the remaining 8 legs taking in Maughold, Laxey, Douglas, Port Grenaugh, Port St Mary, Bradda, Niarbyl and Peel to finish at 19.35 giving us a total time of 14hrs 29mins compared to 14hrs 32mins last year. From waking just before 0400 it was a long day ending after midnight in The Creek following the Presentation and Buffett held in the Marine. Thanks and huge congratulations must go to Lisa Motley and her team at the Children’s Centre for organising another great event.

The planned training for this morning came to naught. Feeling quite good last night I had agreed to a stroll, however, on getting out of bed and walking toward the shower the effect of the alcohol that had been consumed, starting at The Bay in Port Erin yesterday afternoon, had worn off and I was as stiff as a board. With only 26 days left now until the start of the Manx Telecom 2017 Parish Walk there can be no excuse for not getting out tomorrow night.

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