After a summer of injury I managed to make the start line fixed but unfit and ready to take on the 60.
I’d signed up for the White Rose 60 this year after last year’s insanely fast 30 race where I ran 4:14 for 6th with the intention of just having a low pressure and hopefully “easy” run around the two laps of the course in a reasonable time but the goal was just a finish this year and then the focus would switch over to training for Paris Marathon in April.
We set off from the latest event center in Outlane (it moves around year to year) and it was a half mile steady drag up the road into a tough headwind that didn’t really ease off much throughout the whole day and despite going out slowish with the aim of running a 5h30 first lap and 6h30 second one for about 12 hours total the lead group didn’t really make much distance on us despite the easy start.
I ran the first 18 or so miles to the CP at the bottom of the long climb with Jamie Hauxwell who is a very strong runner and we chatted about past races and plans as we’d both done the Self Transcendence in 2017 although his ultra credentials far exceed my own and I had to ease back a bit at the CP and just top off water and grab some food etc as the lack of training was definitely beginning to tell for me at this point.
Funnily we’d discussed how relatively easy it is to go out fast for the first 20 miles but then you see how many folks blow up quite quickly over the following 10 in this race.
I was the one without the training this time though and I switched off a bit mentally at the top of Wessenden (24 ish miles) knowing this was a low priority race it was honestly hard for me to knuckle down knowing I could easily drop back at the race HQ and call it a 30 mile training run and so I did.
I love this race, it’s my local one and TeamOA always make a great effort when it comes around and I’ll probably stick to the 30 miler again next year. It was clear from 20 miles I didn’t have it in my legs to do the 60 and so I didn’t bother.
It was interesting this year how much slower the 30 miler was after two runners went sub 4 hours in 2017, the winning time this year was only 4:43 although I believe Matt Wilson is capable of significantly faster.
This race wrapped up a real mixed year for me, from the high of finally breaking 35 minutes for 10k in Feb and the great experiences at the Barry 40 mile track race, the UMTLM in France and finally winning the Kirklees Way Ultra in July through to the big fat DNF at the Liverpool Leeds 130 and all the achilles and hip issues since.
Seems the first half of the year was where it was at and so with Paris marathon booked in for April 19, my focus is entirely on the roads and faster racing until then so I’ll be building my base mileage ready to get those fast 15-20 milers done and hopefully get back in the zone and under 17 and 35 for 5 and 10k again.