Monday 18 January 2016

Jeskyns Challenge

Jeskyns Challenge, Cyclopark, Gravesend.  34 miles (5:31:26)

4:05 Marathon , 4:53 50K and 5th out of 116

At the start
The wet weather took its toll on this event and what had promised to be a nice run around Jeskyns forest just south of Gravesend didn't happen due to environmental reasons. Fortunately Traviss and Rachel swung plan B into action and found a new course at very short notice just a couple of miles away at the Cyclopark. There was also the option of transferring to a new Jeskyns challenge in June or swapping to another SVN event. In the end about 80% (116) turned up as scheduled to run the new route.

And we are off
The route was reasonably bland but at least we were running. The course started at the Cyclopark which had fantastic facilities in terms of toilets, showers and a cafe. The route was a 3.7 mile lightning bolt out and back shaped course. We left the Cyclopark  running downhill to join one of the trails along the motorway. A long climb on a narrow trail eventually opened up but kept climbing until we crossed the motorway and railway at about 1.2 miles. We then kept following the railway via a narrow path still climbing to a turnaround. The out section was into a cold cold wind all day. Turning we had a lovely long sweep back the way we came with the wind in the back. After crossing back over the railway and motorway we made our way back to the Cyclopark via a wide cycle track that was predominantly downhill. A sharp uphill brought us back to complete the lap and to the ridiculously well stocked aid station.
looking back towards the start

Coming back along the cycle path
The fudge today was Bakewell tart (not my favorite) and cinnamon and apple which was gorgeous but was all gone after the first lap.

My first goal of the year is to beat the cut off at the national 50 k championships in Donadea in a months time. This gains me automatic qualification for 2017 and a world ranking. I thought this event was a great chance to see where I am. I started off very steady lapping at around 35 minutes.  7 laps was a marathon and 8 laps and 1 mile was a 50 k.

It was cold, very cold and my core never really warmed up all day and I struggled with cold cold hands all day. I came through 3.5 laps or half marathon in 2hrs exactly. This was slightly disappointing as I thought I was going better than this.  I kept going and didn't slow down that much keeping well under 40 minutes a lap.

Awesome medal
Brenda is back
I could tell where I was in the race as you met everyone twice every lap and I was keeping my place in the race. The marathon distance came in 4:05 which was OK and probably meant that a sub 5hr 50 k was on the cards. Lap 8 went OK in just under 40 minutes coming through in 4:43 and I turned immediately for the last mile confident of a sub 5 hr 50 k. It was a tough last mile mostly uphill and I was delighted to come through in 4:53. That gives a lot of confidence for Donadea which is trail and a similar

Immediately I slowed, reset my watch, drank a bottle of water and shuffled forward as part of a cool down. To say I slowed is an understatement as I walked shuffled around lap 9. I was frozen by the time I finished and rang the bell as soon as I got there.

The medal was awesome and I got my 300 mile SVN badge.

Photos courtesy of Dee Rand and Gary Groutage and Phil Batchelor

Results Click here

Polar stats for today

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