As we all emerge, slowly, from our Covid induced cocoons some members found a way of stretching their competitive wings in three very different events. All keen runners with the continuously active Thursday morning group, Rupert Chesmore went for distance, Kate Sackett (and Andy) tried out a Tri and Nick Wall headed for the short and steep.
Rupert, whose official results are yet to be released, finished joint 4th in an event involving running for 24 hours south down Offa’s Dyke. Starting at noon in Prestatyn on the North Welsh coast, he was some 73 miles further down the national trail when his tracker clicked 24 hours later. By then he had struggled over the Clwydian Hills and along the levees of the River Severn as it passes through Shropshire. This kind of event is as much a test of mental stamina and map reading ability as it is running fitness and, as we all know Rupert has all that is required – by the bucket load. But having struggled with cramp and steep rough terrain he finished sitting on a hillside with a fellow competitor waiting for the 24 hours to end so that they could share 4th and 5th places.
In his words:A challenging event (possibly a new form of organising such races with only 2 guys leap frogging each other at the controls and all results and behaviour managed by GPS trackers) with every type of terrain imaginable from knee deep grass to narrow eroded sheep tracks with a bit of mud, changeable weather, steep mountainsides, pitch black darkness and sodden feet from the start, but hey, it’s supposed to be enjoyable!”
Kate Sackett has endured a very frustrating 18 months with major events, starting with last year’s Tokyo marathon and including the European Tri Champs, being cancelled. So she (and partner Andy who also runs on Thursday but competes for Dursley) grabbed the chance of a Standard Distance Triathlon at Cotswold Water Park as a way of preparing for the season and testing their fitness. Kate was therefore very pleased (and relieved?) to finish 1st in her female supervet category despite being beaten by Andy – which (he will be the first to admit) is not the normal way of things!
After the event Kate wrote: Our first race since Feb 2020. I had managed to shake off my cold. We were up by 4.40 and travelled through mist but the lake was clear on arrival and the set up smooth. In order to comply with Covid social distancing we were set off at 5 second intervals. The water was about 14 degrees so reasonably comfortable. Nick (Wall) was out there on kayak duties but I didn't spot him. The swim is always faster in a race because of the drafting effects and so I enjoyed it. Instead of transition counting there was a dead zone of 10 mins on T1 and 5 on T2 to encourage social distancing. Stupidly I took it too easy and mislaid my sunglasses so I actually took more than my allotted time. The area for transitions and running was exceptionally muddy. This meant that our bike brakes were totally clogged before we hit the road! No matter, away for 40k. Cold but not too windy and only a little rain. I didn't do too badly on the bike but with cold legs I felt stiff.
I knew my running had been disappointingly slow of late but even so I ran a minute slower per mile than I had targeted over the 3 laps of two lakes.
Naturally I had hoped to catch Andy who set off a few minutes after me but he was diplomatically not gloating at the finish.
The sun came out for the rewarding butties and coffee.
DBMax Cotswold 51fiver standard triathlon today ( 1500m swim, 40k bike and 10 k run)
Kate Sackett Swim 35:39, Bike 1: 28, Run 53:49, Total 2:58 1st in female supervet category
Finally Nick Wall went out of his traditional comfort zone to run a 16k trail race from Sudeley Castle and loved the event and being 5th out of 9 in his age group.
Afterwards he wrote: “Never run the 16k trail race from Sudeley Castle (Winchcombe) before; it was wet (the car park was like a jumble sale, no one knew what to wear), it was muddy, it was slippery, it was hilly and enjoyed every minute of it, well almost. Excellently organised sold out event and the social distancing worked well, though the 10 seconds between each runners’ start took a bit of getting used to. Nice to have raced again after a year.”
Maverick Sudeley Castle, 16k Trail
1 Chelsea Creak 1.12.24
102 Nick Wall (Cirencester AC) 1.45.48