Moray 10k & An Ultra Legend Wins The Marathon

Well my first 10k since 2009 has come and gone and, overall, I am happy with how things went. Ideally, I would have been looking to put some of my PUMA PB Challenge Ambassador training to use to beat my PB of 49:36. However, the past 2 weeks have seen my training schedule somewhat derailed with exceptionally tight calves and then with a numbness of the right leg that somehow manages to combine both numbness and pain during and after runs.

In the 2 days before the 10k, I found myself feeling quite nervous about the event and, in fact, I think I was equally nervous as I have been for some of the longer ultras. I know some people expect the shorter distances to be no problem but things have changed considerably for me this year.

For one, I am still getting back into the swing of things after my running went out the window following the birth of my son Harris. It always amazes me just how quickly it is possible to lose accrued race fitness.

Secondly, all this training has thrown up some problems of its own, most notably that, after all my speedwork, I have actually been finding it difficult to re-establish my ‘normal’ race pace. I have a tendency still to go out too fast, despite telling myself not to, and then flagging, only to pick it up again, flag again, repeating the cycle until end of the event.

Thirdly, with all the training and support, I feel there’s an air of expectation for me to do better than I have in the past. I’ve had nutitional support, physio support, training support, and, of course, lots of encouragement from family, friends and fellow Running Bugs. Just thinking about getting that 1/2 marathon PB in 5 weeks time makes me sweat!

Writing this now, in the aftermath of the race, it’s obvious that things aren’t quite right as far as the legs are concerned. Or, more accurately, as far as the right leg is concerned. There’s a dull throbbing numb feeling which is slightly worrying but, given the exertions of yesterday, I’m just glad that it feels no worse than it has done over the past few days.

On the positive side, I did better than I expected to. My time, of 51:46, was some way short of my 10k PB. However, putting things into perspective, it’s approximately 9 minutes faster than I was running 6.2 miles in back at the start of my PUMA PB Challenge in mid July. It’s my 4th fastest 10k ever out of a total of 15 10k races and the fastest that I have run a 10k since early 2008. I know I haven’t run a 10k since 2009 but trust me when I say I haven’t been running that fast in the interim!

(Official results 3rd September: 51:46, 120th out of 271 finishers)

There’s identifiable room for improvement, 5 weeks to do it in before the 1/2 marathon, and 5 weeks (hopefully) of further weight loss. I clearly still have work to do, but can at least identify the how/why/what/when :o)

There’s definitely hope for that all important 1/2 marathon PB. Hopefully this annoying niggle in my right leg wont get in the way of any more training and then it will be full steam ahead to the 6th October.

Some general observations from yesterday:

  • 10k is definitely a family friendly distance. I left Leanne and Harris to travel through to the start line, ran the race, and met them at the finish, all within 2 hours. Definitely more family friendly than the 8-30 hours absence that accompany my ultramarathons
  • I had forgotten just how different it is running an ultramarathon and a 10k. With the ultra, it’s definitely more relaxed (at my end of the field at least!). With the 10k it was all about continued maximal effort, albeit for a much shorter time
  • I enjoyed it, to the extent that I am looking to see when I can next run a 10k where, hopefully, I can get a PB

Ellie Greenwood

What I didn’t realise until checking Facebook later on Sunday once I returned home was that ultra legend Ellie Greenwood was competing in the Moray Marathon and won the ladies race. Ellie was born in Dundee but has been living, working and racing in Canada for years, living in Banff initially and now in Vancouver. Congratulations on the win Ellie.

Ellie Greenwood Racing Highlights

  • Western States 100 mile Endurance Run Course Record, California, USA. (2012, 16:47:19)
  • Comrades 89km 2nd place, South Africa. (2012, 6:08:24, downhill course)
  • IAU World 100km Champion, Gibraltar (2010, 7:29:05)
  • Marathon Personal Best, Vancouver, Canada (2012, 2:42:15)
  • 2011 & 2012, North American Female Ultrarunner of the Year (awarded by Ultrarunning Magazine)

Ultrarunning Goes Mainstream

First it was Kilian Jornet in the New York Times, now it’s Ellie Greenwood on ESPN. Ultrarunning, or at least some of the leading athletes in ultrarunning, are receiving more recognition from the mainstream media.

Kilian was featured in the excellent ‘Becoming the All-Terrain Human, in the New York Times, a lengthy article that outlined his successes, not just as an ultramarathon runner, but also as a ski-mountaineering champion. Jornet launched himself into the ultra world back in 2008 at the UTMB, setting a new course record for the 104 mile route.

“Kilian Jornet Burgada is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. In just eight years, Jornet has won more than 80 races, claimed some 16 titles and set at least a dozen speed records, many of them in distances that would require the rest of us to purchase an airplane ticket.”

Ellie Greenwood has just been featured on ESPN in ‘Ultra runner Ellie Greenwood shines on’.

“In the summer of 2008, Ellie Greenwood, a Brit living and working in Vancouver, Canada, made one of her first appearances in the tightly-knit ultra-distance running community in British Columbia – Few could have predicted that Greenwood was destined to break a record planted firmly in ultra-running mythology, which she did in June 2012 at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.”

It’s great to see such worthy athletes get the press that they deserve and this will hopefully serve to enhance their profiles amongst people who might otherwise be unfamiliar with their outstanding achievements.