Monday, 30 March 2009
the kipling kaper (an exceedingly good run)
after my navigational mishap and the resulting dissapointment at not pb'ing at the hobble, i had it in my head to make ammends at the ldwa's 28mile kipling kaper. its the most local long distance event to where i live so the chances of going the wrong way should have been zero.
these events are so sublimally low key you could be forgiven for just sitting round chatting, drinking tea and forgetting to set off. but set off we did at 9am when the 'starter' said something along the lines of 'right you can go whenever youre ready'.
i was expecting really wet and windy weather so it was a nice surprise to set of with some blue skies and sunshine on show.
the kipling kaper really is a run of two halves. a relatively flat route for the first eleven miles or so then the fun starts with shuttlingslow and beyond.
we were ticking the miles off quite nicely chatting to another runner called andy (training for another 100miler)and the weather kept going from sunny intervals to something cooler and more blustery.
the spirits were high but for some reason around the 11-12mile mark the doubts and questions started to seep into my mind. can i be bothered any more with all this long stuff? am i enjoying it anymore? shall i just take the shorter course ?etc etc...so i had to get a hold of myself and set out the objective of pb'ing the full 28mile course. head down and with new resolve we set off up shuttlingslow.
this was the first time i could gauge how we were doing in relation to other runners as we started meeting a few coming off the hill as we were starting up it...arghhh!
a very smiley britnick was one such runner..out came his camera for a quick photo opportunity of me and the pooch before he sped off to leave us to continue our stiff climb.
next up was the joy of checkpoint two..a teddybears picnic if ever there was one! a quick cup of coffee and a few sausage rolls for us both before we passed on our gratitude to the helpers and headed off towards cumberland brook.
to keep focussed and stop any further negativity drifting into my mind i split the rest of the run into 6 chunks with goal times to reach each point. it seemed to work in spurring me on as we started passing people on a regular basis.
by the time we reached the final checkpoint at gradbach the weather had gone totally tits up as we had to fight our way through a sleet storm and howling winds. but even that wasnt going to get in our way. off we headed up to the roaches for the final long upward slog, arriving at the trig point some 10minutes ahead of my newly made up schedule. this gave me more determination and across the roaches we went with real purpose.
the final leg, mostly downhill or flat across muddy fields, went by with ease, passing a few more runners before we turned in with a time of 6hrs11mins..a full 20+ minutes faster than last year!. result!
ok so i'm never going to challenge the front half of the field but i took great comfort at the resolve i showed in the face of self doubt and the shear pigheadedness to see through, with flying colours, what could have been a really tough challenge.
a coffee and pork pie (one for charlie too) amidst a quick chat with a few people then off home for a shower.
it would have been the perfect day with just a 5minute drive until mrs uc's car packed up on us just two minutes up the hill! ah well, you cant have it all ways i guess :)