Thursday, 29 March 2007

Cranleigh 21

Peter Burfoot took part in the Cranleigh 21 race last Sunday - so for all you softies who can only manage the 20 miles at Worthing this weekend, take a look at Peter's race report:

The lanes and roads at Cranleigh are quite similar to Barns Green (not too far away). It was a cold and dreary morning. I got up at 06.45 hrs with my body clock at 05.45. However the blues and lack of enthusiasm of the day before and the cold which I had appeared to be getting had gone. I awoke knowing I had recovered from the rather testing 65 min 8.7 mile run along the Thames which I did on Thursday in Oxford. I left home for Cranleigh just before 7 and arrived a few minutes after 8. I rubbed deep heat on my legs but was short of time so left my upper body (mistake No. 1).

The race started on time at 09.00 hrs (8.00hrs on my bodyclock) and my pace settled down to my predetermind (wide) bracket quite soon, but the 1st mile came up in 6:45. After that it was a little over 7 min/mile for a bit. A Sittingbourne Strider came alongside and I commented that he had come a long way - he confirmed that he had also run the Thanet 20. I released him as my Polar was beeping that I was going too fast. There was a girl with a Thames Hare and Hound vest whom I kept passing and repassing.

The first loop was 9 miles and you were back in Cranleigh village with the sun starting to shine, running along the pavement at a furious pace with the buildings echoing the slip slap of the trainers behind you. There were a few people watching so the pace was maintained during this period. You then went along a disused railway line like Hailsham and I slackened my pace to let those trainers by, only to discover they were a group of 4 SGP Clubrunners from Horsham Joggers. There was no way I could have continued at their pace. 10 miles came up in just a couple of seconds under 72 mins which so far as I know is a record for me. At some point I had developed a pain in my left shouder, What was it? Had I pulled something? Can you run a marathon with a painful shoulder? It was because I hadn't had time to rub Deep Heat into my upper body. All these thoughts were going through my mind.

I was still doing OK but running on my own with the Hare and Hound girl some way ahead. The half marathon came up in 1:35, my second fastest ever. You then turned to go towards Cranleigh again on this 6 mile loop and up a rather unwelcome hill before descending towards Cranleigh again. Just after 15 miles you start the 6 mile loop and disused railway section again and I went to get another gel from my bodybelt - I had been having SIS gels every 5 miles but delayed as this was a 6 mile loop. Lo and behold, the zip handle was no longer attached to the zip and I had to try and open the pouch with my fingers and teeth all to no avail (mishap No. 1). I had resigned myself to going without the gel and taking the orange juice option at the last 2 drinks stations when I realised that I was going to need to open the pouch anyway to get my car key. It was then that an idea dawned upon me - to use one of the four safety pins from my number and thread it through the zip to form a handle. That I did and got my gel (but I still went for the orange juice option).

On the last 6 mile loop I was passing all those people who were doing the 10 - 15 mile stretch. Then I saw the Hare and Hound girl ahead and went past her. The 20 mile marker came up in 2:30:30 or thereabouts ( a bit slower than Thanet and a Grade 4 rather than a Grade 3) and the finish came after the 21 mile marker. I did not know which was the finish line but I stopped my clock at 2:39:55. After stretching I left, driving towards all the runners coming in the opposite direction, many trying out their FLM charity vests and looking decidedly worse for wear (possibly still on the 1st 6 mile loop). I enjoyed the race. I was home by 13:25 hrs.

The results on MABAC put me in 94th place out of 474 on the 21 mile race with a time of 2:39:52. Analysis showed that my time was 7.23% slower than the shorter Thanet 20. I compared the results of 3 other faster Thanet and Cranleigh runners and my time was marginally better comparatively than 2 of the others, The 3rd (the one who passed me) was over 10% slower. He had been quite happy to talk when he was runnning with me and I suspect he could have got a much better time if he had needed to. However the closeness of my comparative time with the other 2 is probably a better guide to the result than the absolute time, having regard to the course and the conditions.


Thanks for the report Peter. A couple of things spring to mind. 1. How do you manage to run with a Polar Bear? The nearest I've come to that is with a Fox's Glacier Mint. 2. If you think the girl from the Hare and Hounds is fast, you want to see Nutty Norah from the Rose & Crown.

Peter will be flying the Waddies flag in the Rotterdam Marathon next month - so good luck Peter.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I can't answer the Web Eds questions. However, I should point out to anybody who thinks I go to a race without 1. washing and 2. having breakfast, that I did both of these and I actually got up at 05.45 with my body clock 04.45! My mistake, not the Web Eds!