This event is marked as "extreme" largely due to the cliffs you climb up and roll down on the course. For a change for a CTS event the 10k was actually just short of 10k, coming in at 9.9k..... Unlike the "half marathon" which would be hard enough on these trails without throwing in an extra few miles... Coming in at 16miles, marathon something like 27 and the ultra too many miles to contemplate (33 and a bit I think!).
People evidently come from far and wide for this one as a evidenced by coach load of Dutch appeared just as we arrived for check-in! Now I haven't be training much due to the lurgy I had in November... But at least we have hills, although small ones... To train on... I'm not sure there are any really big hills in Holland and I don't think much in the way of cliffs... So I can see the appeal but how would you train for this (lots of incline 10 on the treadmill!?)
Anyway... To the race .... Given we were starting up a lovely hill (pictures to follow)... And gIven I've not trained much or run an awful lot recently I had already planned to walk the hills, come cliff faces, ... Although when it came to it this is what pretty much everyone did! The first 5k contained 4 significant climbs, of increasing length and steepness ... I had lots of fun on the down hills.... Arms out flying down was ace.... I hope I didn't annoy people... There were a couple of us really fast on the downs, with little holding back... I jogged on the flats and walked upwards.... And when my HR exceeded 170 (!!!!!) whilst walking up the hills I just stopped and took in the view and waited for me to recover a bit!
Having taken between 42 and 45 mins to do the first 5k we then turned inland and headed back... With a completely different aspect and with once again amazing views.. And at one point with no wind and the sun out it was hard to believe it was winter! The biggest danger in the first section of the return loop were cow-pats with one poor runner getting had by one of them... Slipping up, just lucky she didn't face plant in another on the way down! Travelling across the flat inland route was far more straight forward (thankfully) .... Until we got to the last and steepest descent back to the start/finish.... This one I decided not to run down like a demented dog, it just seemed too steep to risk... So I held back and put the brakes on a bit which frankly well and truly buggered my quads but that didn't matter because the finish was just around the corner! Yipppppeeeeee!
What a truly wonderful place for a run!
Given my last Endurance life event was, quite frankly, an awful experience (pushed too hard), I'm pleased to report the mixture of terrain and speed with rests meant for me it was far more enjoyable. I took the enjoyment of this event as essential to my "race" success and was the prime goal which I think I succeeded .... I'm now looking forward to a nice pint of ale with sausage and mash to celebrate!
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