|Looking tall?! - Must be Stu's lens choice|
The Buttermere Round went quite well in the end, although I didnt realise until the last few minutes that it was the case. More or less straight away from the start I had a sore left leg. Just above my ankle and most of the lower half of the calf was very achey, as if Id just done a 21 mile race - not just started one. It wasnt proper painful, more annoying really. I imagined it would eventually lead to me slowing but luckily it kind went away by the 10k mark.
Four lads took a lead from the gun and I was in the next group (see photos below) of 7 runners.
|Watendlath road end|
One was dropped by 10k and three pulled away slightly, leaving me with the lad in yellow and also a Keswick AC runner (mostly hidden in lower photo). I was not the least bit concerned about those lads pulling away from me as I was taking it very easy as I always do to this point. One of the two I was running with started a conversation - I hadnt spoken a word up to then but mentioned that in 2011 I was 10th at the foot of Honister and 5th by Keswick. I even suggested that one of the four leaders might be reeled in. What I didnt suggest was that I would also beat both my companions - but I thought it.
|8th place at 4 miles|
Onto the climb of Honister Pass and we dropped the Keswick lad and were making inroads into the small lead of the three ahead. The lad in yellow/black stripes was walking intermittently and we passed him before the summit. The other two were soon dispatched as I began the "drop" off Honister into the next valley, and my erstwhile yellow companion was also left behind (but not by far)
|Climbing Honister Pass|
Along the valley toward Buttermere I didnt feel I was running particularly strongly. Indeed, by the foot of Newlands climb I could see the yellow/black lad had closed ground on me. I knew if I could get to the top of Newlands Pass ahead of him I would pull away on the initial descent. I put in a big effort near the top and pressed on over the summit. A mile later I was pleased to have Milly pull alongside (in his car) with my second energy gel. By now, the lad behind was out of sight and on my horizon was one of the four leaders. I'd spotted him walking up Newlands and was catching him with a big speed differential.After passing into fourth place all that was left was to cover the remaining downhill to Stair then the tough little climb to the Swinside pub and on through Portinscale before finally entering the outskirts of Keswick. Those final two or three miles were VERY VERY tough to keep pressing on hard. A lack of long runs and hillwork I think.During the last 5 miles or so I'd been trying to work out in my head what time I might run. I guessed wrongly at about 2:27 so was delighted when I reached the entrance to Fitz Park in 2:22
|Into Fitz Park|
|Finished - 4th Place best ever placing|
2:22:38 - new PB
Delighted! To run faster than the year before for a fourth consecutive year? absolutely chuffed!
In my Blog entry 12 months ago, after running a PB and gaining 5th place I wrote...
"Can I run even faster in 2012? Yes certainly if I get 364 days injury free and get myself out into the steep hills more during January."
So can I run faster in 2013? I can and I will! I'm just getting to know this course, I love it.
One highlight was when a tourist/walker stood back to allow me to pass him on Portiscale suspension bridge - "how far"? he shouted. "20 miles and one to go" I replied proudly, as I boosted my legspeed just a fraction too.
Many thanks to Penrith Stu for taking/giving away photos.