This weekend i did the Waterway 30, it is a 31.5 mile ultra run (51.7km). Its run along the Chesterfield Canal, and some surrounding trails, it has around 1,000feet of elevation (325m). Over 31 miles its pretty flat, the main elevation is the first 5km and last 5km, as you would imagine the canal paths are flat. However the mud was pretty terrible, it made it harsh conditions to run on, for a lot of the run there was no real footpaths, it was just grass verges and embankments, which gave you a great views, but sometimes restricted the speed.
My aim for this race was to gauge my time over the 31.5miles with an eye on the Hardmoors 55. The Hardmoors is 55 miles, with 2,800 feet of elevation, i am aiming to do this in 12 hours or less. I used this race to gauge my running times. I wanted to at least do the Waterway 30 in 6 hours, aiming for nearer 5hours 30 minutes. Meaning for the Hardmoors 55 i would have a base speed and be able to calculate in the extra hills and milage (in theory)!
So how did the race go? I think i went out a little fast, i did the first 30km in 3 hours, after that i started to feel my legs lagging behind a bit, and the pace started to slow. The last 5km was mainly uphill and the most muddiest parts, so this kind of helped, in a weird way, i was able to slowly trudge through the mud missing the deepest areas, while also walking up hill, bonus! I guess the mud at the end added around 10 mins onto my time. I know what you are thinking, just run through it you soft twat! If it was just a few puddles i would have, but this was shin deep slop, with shoe losing potential!
Anyway, i ended the race in 5hours 39 minutes, with a average running time of 6:39 min/km or 10:43 min/mile. This shows that the last 20km was a lot slower than the first 30km as that average time was 6:00 min/km or 9:41min/mile. So for the first 30km i could have taken it a bit easier, which in turn would have helped me keep the pace until the end!! in theory!!
Anyway, my target time for the Hardmoors 55 has not changed, and i’m more than determined to complete in 12 hours or less, this race has just given me more confidence in doing this. My target time per mile for the Hardmoors 55 is 7:10 min/km or 11.32 min/mile. This will put me in at around 10 hours 30 minutes, giving me some leeway of 1 hour 30 minutes!
Well back to the training for the Hardmoors 55 then! Just a quick note, if i miss the target i would still be happy with just finishing any race, it is all an achievement, and you still get a medal 😉
P.S the shoe in the mud is not mine!