Nick Isherwood took part in the Grizedale 10 mile race last weekend, here is his race report:
“Undulating forest trails with spectacular views”. Perfect I thought, not a ridiculous run over the fells just a rolling 10 miler, I’m in. Off we set, family in tow, even took my bike in the car with the intention of cycling home post-race. Fortunately, I failed to notice the route profile at registration and headed up to the start line with a couple of hundred lean burger-dodgers.
Safety briefing done, we were underway and the course went straight up from the off, and up, and up. Temperatures were reaching 20 degrees and as the sun reflected back off the fire road I knew it was going to be a hot one. Just 3 miles in and I was in trouble, the hills were not savage, but long drags with very little flat for recovery before the next one. My heart rate was bouncing off the rev limiter and the down hills only served to allow me time to dip back under cardiac arrest before it kicked up again. Lactic in the legs and I wasn’t even at the halfway point, then the inevitable happened….I slowed to a walk. Not for long, but I was in bits and needed to dig deep. At the next crest I hit it again and so we continued up to the 5 mile water station. I must have grabbed the only empty cup on the table so had to double back to find a wet one. After tipping it over my head I began to ask myself how I could keep this going and wondered if I had ever been medically investigated for the absence of a lung. My splits were getting worse with the run/walk pattern I had adopted. Never mind I thought, someone had told me the last 3 miles were downhill so I could make up time. Although true in a sense, the last 3 miles were downhill with a bit of up every now and again. 8.5 miles done and I spotted a lean figure in the distance running towards me. It was my mate Stu who had already won the race and doubled back to give me moral support…just what I needed! I simply couldn’t walk in front of my mate so swore a lot instead to make up for it. As Stu announced the last climb to me and dropped back, I put the hammer down and went all out to the finish crossing the line 25 mins after he did. Longer than I had expected but I had done my share of suffering. After collapsing for a few minutes, I leapt into the nearby river to ice my swollen legs before raiding the brilliant cafe at the visitor centre. It had been a kick up the bottom type of race for me and I know what I need to work on. Well done to the organisers for such a tough course with a great atmosphere and amazing surroundings. My mate had taken the course record with an awesome 55 min performance, I had finished in 1 hour 20 mins (60th/157) but that still means more miles in the tank for my Ironman preparation. Did I cycle home? Fortunately my wife told me I needed to take the family for some food so the bike stayed in the boot… I didn’t argue. Never again …. until next year.