Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Osmotherley marathon (Hardmoors series)

A couple of days ago I ran this, my 7th marathon to date and definitely my most satisfying. My 1st one at Coniston in the Lake District in 2012 is still very special to me, not really because it was my 1st, but because it told me I could run a marathon.
For the 1st time ever, I had followed a training plan fairly closely for this and I have to say it paid dividends. In addition, I have fairly well sorted out how I feed myself on long runs. This has taken a long time to work out and will still alter a bit I'm sure, but basically I have it.
So after a breakfast of tea, a tortilla wrap containing pheasant, bacon and hummus, a big pork pie and a half litre of chocolate milk…..I was fuelled ! The rest of feeding regime basically involves a bite of a 9bar every mile, with a shot blok every third, and as much water as i can take.
So to this event. I entered it as it looked appealing, fitted into my plans (I had none really) and my pal Jon had entered. You can look at a website as much as you like, but you'll never know whats in front of you until the day. This goes a bit against my nature, but I'm loving the uncertainly. I don't know the route, the underfoot conditions, the overhead conditions, or the exact distance. Will I get lost ? I hope not but thats all part of the deal. Yes, I'm in.
So at registration, Ro either decided to kiss or sniff her Beardyguy Jon and after a race briefing we were off for a "long run" as I like to think of them.
A short (icy) tarmac section quickly led us to tracks climbing up onto the moors. I knew nothing of this area so was genuinely unaware what was in front of me. Gentle easy tracks…

…got a bit steeper...
I briefly spoke to this lady who told me she was in her 500th Hardmoors mile. I was in my 4th!

Things were pretty easy for a few miles and I began to wonder if things would change. I was fairly sure they would, and I was right ! The paths narrowed, get wetter, muddier and steeper. Lovely views appeared like this.

It was great to watch people run in such a beautiful place, on such a beautiful day.

That last photo is around halfway. This always happens to me, but there comes a point where I can't be bothered to take any more pictures. Things are hurting now and its a case of ticking off the miles. Its not that I'm not enjoying it, it more I have to start digging deep, concentrate and get this job done. No time for photos.
The second half of this run was hugely satisfying in that I did the job required. I hurt like hell for most of it but I managed to not drop off at all. I stayed strong and I loved that feeling. I remember being passed by 1 man but I passed around 12. The training really had paid off I suppose.
The finish was the most bizarre ever. We literally had to run into the village hall, up some steps and present ourselves at a table ! No fancy finish line, timing mats etc. I really loved that !
In summary: a great route, lovely weather, fabulous marshals (I was confused why they kept saying "well done Johnny" at the checkpoints. How did they know my name? Oh yes, they are checking my number off against my name ! Doh !! )
I was very pleased with the way I executed the run and had the huge surprise, when I saw the results, to find that I was 1st MV50. I didn't know this when this photo was taken, but as I nearly fell backwards when it was taken, I might have !


  1. Well done Johnny great achievement and 1st V50, get you fella awesome! fab pics too and I love the village hall finish :) and the next one is ???

  2. I guess I'm a bit late reading this ;-)
    Nice one Johnny. I was proud of you that day. You nailed it brother!