|Nice camping spot|
I turned up at Manvers Boat Club on Friday night about 9.30 and the organisers were in place to welcome early arrivals. The facility to sleep inside the centre exists, but for those of us with vans the gravel beach of Manvers Lake makes a very pleasant camping spot. I've paid good money for worse pitches.
Registration not starting until 6, I had a very comfy nights sleep, getting up at 5:45 only half an hour earlier than I normally get up for work. I debated a bit about clothes and went for the 3/4 leggings. As it turned out I could have got away with shorts and been a bit cooler, but with more scratches and nettle stings.
By the time I'd had some breakfast and tea, registration was well under way. I picked up my SI chip and number, T shirt and badge and spent the remaining time chatting with a few of the Runfurther regulars I'd met before. During the Bullock Smithy someone had commented that ultra runners are all really nice people, and I have to agree. Everyone I've met since taking up the longer distances has been great company, and during the course of a difficult year the events I've entered have been the highlights.
|Meadowhall and the Tinsley viaduct somewhere below|
We passed the time chatting as we passed through Thorpe Hesley and past Kepple's Column, then down into Tinsley with Meadowhall appearing off to our right.
At some point early on I realised that the bumbag strap pressing on my abdomen was having an effect I should have expected (I generally use a rucksack for ultras). On a race with fewer facilities I'd have just tried to ignore it. A little before CP2 I fell back a little, and at CP2 I (ahem) decided a short stop would leave me a lot more comfortable for the rest of the day.
Just after CP2 was the marathon distance, and I realised that if I hadn't stopped at CP2 I'd have set a new marathon PB. That says more about the kind of marathons I usually run than about my pace.
As usual somewhere around 20-25 miles I struggled a bit. Walk a bit, run a bit, wonder if I really can do another 25 miles. But the halfway point is always a motivator. I quietly sang the chorus of 'Living on a prayer' halfway across a field (not easy) and got on with ticking off the miles.
|Fields. Then more fields.|
Fields are a big feature of the RRR. Long, straight paths across fields, which cross hedges and lanes then become more long, straight paths. Very long, very straight. It was like driving in the fens.
|I have no idea what this is about|
The next thing that really stands out is Roche Abbey. Another landmark from my childhood, I'd broken my wrist there in about 1978 on a family outing, by jumping on a green branch in the path and being catapulted into the air. I must go back and visit the ruins properly.
The last few miles of the RRR are a bit grim to be honest. There's a stretch of towpath at Mexborough (canal running is not my favourite) then lots of areas of housing, then finally a couple of miles along the side of new roads with lots of roundabouts, trading estates etc. I'd joined up with a group of local runners near the end, and when one of them called the last mile I decided to use up what I'd got left.
I did the last km in 5:39 to be welcomed at the finish by the most amazing amount of applause - the RRR has to be the most well supported race I've done. Having set out with a target of sub 12 hours, I sneaked in under 10 with 9:52. While it's definitely not my kind of race I enjoyed quite a bit of it, and was delighted to do 50 miles in sub 10 hours.
After the finish I pottered around, had a cup of tea in the van, got changed, chatted a bit then headed home to feed my cat.
|Post run feet|
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