So, following the disappointment from the weekend of missing out on my A-race along the North Downs Way I think I have found my replacement.
There were certainly a few different considerations to be made. The first of course being cost as I wait to see how much (if any) money I have left to buy food with after any repairs are made to the car. Secondly is timing. Do I do one within the next fortnight to make use of the *fitness* I’ve built up already, or do I wait a bit longer?
I decided that given my limited training and tapering that I’ve been through in the last few weeks, I’d rather take a bit longer and build back up with some solid training weeks again to get a better focus and stand an even better chance of finishing.
I have looked at a few different races including the Cotswold Centuries, a 102 mile race in September. I am in no doubt that the location will make for a stunning race, but it’s a bit of a trek to get to the start (increasing the cost) and means being further away from any potential support crew (family).
The Ridgeway Challenge was a contender but entries closed on Saturday, and that was a bit too much short notice for a reflex decision.
I considered the Winter 100 put on by Centurion which, as it turns out, is full. A saving grace I guess as it is cutting close to Lyndsey’s due-date. Everyone says the first one is never early, but that is not the concern, if anything were to happen and I injure myself then I am not going to be much use at home with a new born baby, and Lyndsey has sacrificed enough already!
The Stour Valley Path was recommended by two different runners on twitter over the weekend, but that’s only 100km – Not my target for the year!
The ideal race, in terms of timing and location is the Caesar’s Camp Endurance Run. This is a race entirely on trails ; not a single road crossing. It takes place on army training ground at Aldershot so is easily accessible for me. The date falls on the weekend in the middle of my October half-term so that is incredibly convenient. Cost is one of the best in the ultra running scene too, though of course this subsequently impacts the ‘facilities’ on offer.
The race is the brainchild of a crazy Dutchman named Henk, and if you’ve not heard of Henk before then read my NDW volunteer report from last year, or talk to any ultra runner anywhere. They will probably have a story about his profanity. The guy takes no nonsense, tells you how it is without sugar coating, but I reckon at heart he has good intentions :-)
Some guidlines from the rules at the Caesar’s Camp Endurance Run:
- Cheating sticks (walking poles) or other aids of that ilk are no longer allowed. Running should be done on two legs and if those fail you go home. Alternatively, strap a pair of inov8’s to your hands to crawl the damn thing, if only just for my amusement.
- We no longer allow buddy runners due to some folks heading out with a full entourage last year carrying their make up bags and other shit most people seem to carry for no reason. If you are not capable of completing the distance on your own, maybe you should consider the Race For Life series.
- My unsympathetic attitude to those that whine is free on supply and finally we play lots of sad country music to make the weekend even more horrid.
Doesn’t it sound delightful?!? To make it even better, it’s 10x 10mile loops across trails that total 1500ft ascent per lap of short, sharp ups and downs! I will need to work on knee etc if I am to survive some of these loose and rocky descents, though!
The race is perfect except for one thing. It’s just one week before the Frankfurt marathon from which I can’t withdraw my application. I can defer my entry due to injury if necessary though, so maybe I’ll have to go to the drs and get them to write me a letter.
Decisions, decisions! Oh what to do?!?