Yesterday I did my first race since my disappointing DNF at UTMB. It was the Beachy Head Marathon, which I was racing for the 13th consecutive year. Over the last few years my finish times have got slower, and my finish places have got lower, as illustrated with the following data: 2010 3:02:25 (1st), 2011 3:02:55 (2nd), 2012 3:10:39 (2nd), 2013 3:12:23 (5th).
Well I am pleased that yesterday I stopped the 'downhill' trend with my finish time being 3:09:37, nearly three minutes quicker than 2013, however, my finish place dropped one further place to 6th. Although 3:09 is still quite some way from my personal best time of 2:57:20 when I finished in 2nd place back in 2007, overall I felt I ran quite well yesterday, with the pre-race goal of "running relaxed and not fighting" pretty well being achieved until the last climb up Beachy Head at around 24 miles.
Climbing Out of Jevington At Around 4 Miles (Photo courtesy of SussexSportPhotography.com)
Descending Down to Alfriston At Around 8 Miles (Photo courtesy of SussexSportPhotography.com)
Approaching Birling Gap At Around 22 Miles
Running Relaxed After 23 Miles
Passing Belle Tout Lighthouse Approaching 24 Miles
Commencing "The Fight" - The Start of the Last Climb - Beachy Head
Nearing the Top of Beachy Head (Photo courtesy of SussexSportPhotography.com)
Maintaining the Intensity During the Final Half Mile to the Finish at Eastbourne (Photo courtesy Ian Davis)
The plan is for a brief Beachy Head Marathon race report to be included within a seven year review of my trail marathon and ultra-trail racing blog post, maybe next week. However, it could be the following week, as at the moment I am busy with two other projects:
(1) Weald Challenge Trail Races. Yes, I have just opened entries for the 2015 Weald Challenge Trail Races, consisting of a Trail Half Marathon, Trail Marathon, and a 50km Ultra Trail. The event takes place on Sunday 24th May 2015 within East Sussex. The inaugural race this year was very well received, so if you are looking for a scenic but challenging race around the end of May next year, check out the race website for details and entries. http://www.trailrunningsussex.co.uk/trailraces.html
(2) Like The Wind Pop-Up Gallery. Many of you are probably aware of the Pop-Up Gallery due to take place in London this coming week. The event is being put on by the Like The Wind Magazine, and involves some really interesting talks, movie screenings, workshops, etc. spread throughout the week. The list of presenters is really impressive and to name just a few include Steve Way, Charlie Spedding, Veronique Marot, Sebastien Chaigneau, Robbie Britton, Jez Bragg, Ian Corless, Holly Rush, and yes, tagged onto the end of this impressive list, yours truly Stuart Mills!
Next Sunday, 2nd November the plan is to do a 10 - 11 mile run commencing around 10:15 am, to be then followed by my talk where I reflect on my last seven years of trail racing, highlighting what I have learnt and what training principles enabled me to achieve the level of performance I reached. Amended details, including the run before, are currently being updated on the Pop-Up website.
Go to the following website http://www.likethewindmagazine.com/popup/ to view the full Like The Wind Pop-Up Gallery schedule and to book tickets. Some events have already sold out, so best you check out the website pretty soon.
I'm looking forward to the events I am planning to attend, with I guess listening to Steve Way topping my list. Hopefully I will catch up with a few of you during the week.
This was meant to be a quick update. So to keep it quick, no sign-off quote.