Sunday was the second of my Haglof Open5 Adventure Races!
As I had done for the last race, I decided it would be good to head out on Saturday for a warm up and to check all was running smoothly on the bike. This was also the perfect opportunity to fit in another ride with Katie (she hadn’t been to put off from last time)!
Biking with Katie through Ecclesall Woods:
I decided to set off early on Sunday, as it was the Sheffield Half Marathon roads were shutting about 8.30, and the last thing I wanted was to miss the race because I was stuck in a queue. I also thought I would be far better to start early as sometimes the longer I wait, the more nervous I get. Anyway, I arrived in Edale without a problem, only stopping on route to rescue a lamb (I figured this was a good omen ha!). It was stuck in a gate, so I stopped and put it back in its field.
Compared to what the weather had forecast things were looking pretty bright, it was very windy, but at least the rain was holding off. Once I had registered, I got all my stuff together and headed to the start.
At registration trying to pick up a few tips in the introduction talk:
Looking pretty sunny at the start – oh how that changed!:
Feeling pretty colour coordinated!:
On this occasion, I decided to run first, even though the weather was not great. The thinking behind this was, as I was running it by myself, it would be much easier to motivate myself on the bike when I was tired (I’m stronger on the bike section) than on foot. So I set off on my chosen route and promptly ran right past the turning I had planned on taking! Luckily I realised this and turned this into a ‘strategic deviation!’ to pick up an extra checkpoint – in hindsight, this was a blessing in disguise and it upped my points.
Planning the route:
The running section all in all went pretty smoothly, I am definitely not as fast or as fit as I would like but it made such a difference running 1st – so much more energy. It would have been easy to get greedy and head for more points but I stuck to my plan and timings – 1.5 hr run / 3.50hr bike.
Soon it was onto the biking leg of the race. I enjoyed this so much as Edale has so many great routes, and the checkpoints covered some really interesting downhill sections (and some major uphill too!). I was also really pleased to see I was sticking so many more of the bigger bits of the decent. I think this was because I was under time pressure I was taking things on faster so rolling over them smoother. One thing I had not factored in was the wind, which was reaching speeds of 80mph. I couldn’t believe it, there were a few moments I was totally blown off my bike, and I certainly hadn’t expected to have to pedal going downhill – even on the road!! Hour 3.5 to 4.5 was hard; this is the point where my energy levels dropped off, and it was a bit of a push to stay motivated. The last half an hour, however, picked up as I was psyched to finish and suddenly back in race mode.
I crossed the finish line coming 8th with 15 mins to spare. In hindsight I am kicking myself, I didn’t get another checkpoint as that would have pushed me up to 5th (competitive side kicking in), but I know that that would have been a bit beyond me until I am fitter. Comparing racing as an individual to a pair – I am certainly much more competitive as an individual; I think I use that to motivate myself. But running as a pair is so much fun – I think the best option may be to do both!
What’s next? – Now I am looking for more races to enter, the Haglöf series has come to a close until September (I think), so I will be keeping my eye out for more adventure races. If anyone knows of any good ones, please let me know!