With races starting to return to the calendar, TRC members are once again enjoying competition. One of those members running last weekend was club chairman Nigel Tillott who reports on his experiences in the Goring Gap ultra:
"When I saw the Goring Gap Ultra advertised I simply had to run it. My sadly departed parents used to live at Streatley which is in the Gap and the route went through their village.
We were started in waves but with heavy rain forecast we were encouraged to start as early as possible. With the early adrenaline and excitement I settled into an ambitious pace and found myself running alongside a young farmer who hadn’t run a marathon let alone an Ultra- so with lots of chatting the early miles flew by.
When we reached Streatley my sister made my day by appearing with her youngest and running alongside me where we used to go with my parents.
Eighteen miles in and I realised my Ultra debutant partner was a bit good and I waved her on at an aid station where I needed sustenance . I was fine to 20 miles then repented for my fast pace for the rest of the run . A couple of lessons I should have learned by now:
1. Start slow.
2. A 50k Ultra is never 50k - it means over 50k in this case 52.5k.
Would I recommend the race? Yes- if you want to do an Ultra it is a good introduction- a lot of flat but some short sharp rises, very well organised and brilliantly stocked food stations.
For the record my time was 5hrs 16 and 51st of just under 400 finishers. My starting partner was 14th overall and 3rd lady half an hour faster - so what a debut! No wonder I felt the pace!"
Elsewhere Jay Russell took on the Worcester Half marathon. Jay went into the event carrying a few niggles but still clocked 1:37:47. Despite this being outside his PB, the Worcester course is notoriously undulating and considering the injury issues Jay has had this was a great run.
Finally 4 TRC Members took on a slightly different challenge tackling the Questars Adventure race, consisting of 6 hours running, mountain biking & kayaking whilst trying to navigate and find checkpoints. Before the start of the event the kayaking had to be cancelled due to the rising river levels on the Avon, leaving the team facing the shortened 5 hours of Running and Mountain Biking.
The Team made up of Roy Northcott, Nick Matthews, Paul Mason & Chris Duckworth approached the event with a focus on enjoyment rather than competitivness despite the wet weather. Opting to tackle their supposed stronger suit of running first the team set out in search of checkoints directed by captain Northcott who ended up as designated navigator. Having run for just short of 3 hours around Bredon hill and the surrounding areas the team returned to race HQ to transition to their mountain bikes. Transition was a somewhat leisurely affair including warm drinks and sandwiches for some team members, once refreshed they headed out again.
There were 2 hours left of the alloted 5 as the mountain bike stage began. The muddy conditions made off road riding tough, with the bikes being dismounted in favour of carrying them at one point with the trails practically unridable. After this experience the decision was made to try and stick to more estabilished trails, progress was made & checkpoints were collected before the team returned to the finish with 6 minute remaining on the clock. The final standing saw them finish around the midway point in the field, a result I am sure they will have been pleased with.