Whilst a number of Bridport Runners were having fun at races closer to home last weekend, Jess and her husband Ben headed north to the Lake District to take part in the season finale of the Lakeland Trails 2017 series. Seems like the Lake District runs are very scenic and getting more popular among Bridport Runners, as both of them and Ruth had run in a section of the Lakeland Trail series, in Keswick on the bank of Derwent Water, before. On this particularly weekend, however, Jess and Ben did not only do two races on two consecutive days over 15k (Ben) and 10k (Jess and Ben on the 2nd day) but also achieved brilliant times, especially in the second race. Part of their success might come down to their ‘sensible recovery plan’ after the first race, which consisted of recovery cocktails/beers, pasta and lemon tarts.
Here’s Jess’ write up of the weekend … Having had a blast taking on the 10km (Jess) and 15km (Ben) Derwent Water trail races at Keswick in September, there was no way we wanted to miss the final two Lakeland Trails events of the year, even if Storm Ophelia was on her way!
Affectionately termed the ‘dirty double’, the weekend involved racing on the Helvellyn Trail on Saturday, followed by the Ullswater Trail on Sunday. We thought to ourselves – two races in two days couldn’t be too hard as long as we had a sensible recovery plan in place…
The event centre for both races was at Glenridding, and it was great to see the village back to its bustling best after the devastation caused by Storm Desmond in 2015.
We arrived early on Saturday morning ready for the Helvellyn races, with me taking part in the first race of the day – the 10km trail run, and Ben participating in the 15km trail race later in the day. Heavy rain all week in the Lakes meant the trails were wet and muddy, which made for a lot of fun on the technical descent!
As usual, I didn’t back myself, and started at the back of the field, but soon realised all that running up and down the hills around Bridport had stood me in better stead than I thought! I was really pleased to finish in the top half (just) in a time of 1hr 3mins – 181st out of 387 runners.
Ben, having done no training since the September race (he insists he has been tapering!) was relying heavily on his descending skills when he headed out on the 15km trail race in the afternoon. And those skills didn’t let him down, finishing 160th of 313 runners in a time of 1hr 23min.
On Saturday evening we put into action our ‘sensible recovery plan’, which consisted of recovery cocktails/beers, pasta and lemon tarts. Then we were off back to Glenridding on Sunday for the Ullswater race. This time we had both plumped for the 10km race. Much discussion was had about how to keep warm on the half hour boat ride to the start. But in the event the weather conspired against us, the Ullswater Steamers couldn’t sail, so the bad weather route was put into play.
As he was doing the shorter distance on the Sunday, Ben decided to ‘go for it’ and see how far up the field he could finish, so I decided to do the same and abandoned my traditional starting position of ‘at the back’.
The bad weather route was wet, windy and technical, but again loads of fun. Ben came in a fabulous 46th out of 403 runners in a time of 49mins 45seconds (imagine what he could have done if he had trained!), and I was 141st in a time of 59mins 24seconds.
Ben insists the moral of the story is that tapering trumps training! But I’m not so sure about that, I think its to believe in yourself and go for it!