Saturday 28 January 2012

Yorkshire Ultra - Frostbite 50

This is my first blog post and also my retrospective write up for the Yorkshire Ultra (Frostbite 50) January 2012. I had intended to make this a post race write up with how I did on the run itself. It has been 6 months since I ran the race though! So thought I would make this a retrospective write up of lessons learned

The race was organised by the Avdenture Hub and is part of a 6 race series that run through the UK. The Yorkshire Ultra was very well organised, the course well marked and the marshals were very helpful

Key things I learned.

  • Navigation - If you can recce the course then do! We got misplaced three times on the recce and this saved wasted effort and time. The confidence of knowing the route made the running much easier on the day.
  • Hydration and food - I had tried flap jacks on a few of my longer runs and they seemed to work quite well. Whilst shopping at Home Bargains I came across the 20 pence flap jack which became my primary fuel source for the run. At around mile 30 my body told that it would not accept any more flap jacks. Luckily there was a great selection of food at the aid stations. My foods of choice to the end were apples and sweet tea. I also carried trail mix  and jelly babies. I also think I did not drink enough water (See conclusion). So I know try and mix regular food with foods such as flap jacks as gels, as trying to eat too much of the same food does not work.
  • Pacing - I started slowly as per the photograph I am towards the back of the field at the start. (I am the one towards the back with an orange hat on) Pacing strategy worked well and I made my slowly through the field. I walked most climbs and difficult to runs sections. I lacked a bit of running in my legs from 30 miles due to muddy conditions and also due to possibly not taking on enough food and water. My final position was 15th in a time of 10:27. My target time was somewhere between 11 and 12 hours so was delighted with my time.
  • Do as many runs as you can wearing all the equipment and carrying all the gear will be running with. Running with 2 litres of water and full kit on rough ground is very different from running on smooth trails with no equipment.
  • The 35 mile mark was a bit of a dark point in the run. Thick mud made it difficult to walk, never mind run. Also I know I was starting to feel tired. At this point the I understood better that it is the mind that can push the body on at difficult times like this.
  • Learning to run in the dark with a head torch was good fun and something I would like to do more of in the future.

The only slight problem for me on the race was itself was there was no frost! So the course was very muddy in places, which certainly added to the challenge! Maybe the key lesson learned was hydration and possibly led to me needing to find out about a special formulation called preperation H after the race! Oh and take your own photographs,as I have not really got any photographs of the event itself :) I look forward to doing other events organised by Adventure Hub in the future.

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