Hardmoors Roseberry Topping Marathon.

Well, that is that. No more racing for 2017! I’m glad all the graft is over because I’m battered. My body is okay, but my head is kaput. Constantly thinking about training has wiped me out. Anyway, I will fully embrace the upcoming festive period and fingers crossed I’ll be ready to train again January 1st 2018.

As usual I’ve pushed my luck. 2017 was another year full of marathons and ultra marathons. PB’s in 5K, 10K and 26.2. 105 miles running around the Lakes, a few 1st places and even some course records 😂(probably short lived)

I thought about how great 2017 has been and I started to change my goal for Roseberry. My aim was to get a PB. However, I started saying to myself I should just go out and enjoy the day. I eventually decided that this was just me being scared of failure. It’s easy to lower you expectations, have a plan b or even a plan c, but driving home from Guisbrough without a PB would be pretty miserable so I had to go for a PB and push as hard as I could for 30 miles. Don’t get me wrong. Most of my runs are because I love running, but a few times a year I have to see what I can do. Also, failing isn't bad. Failing has made me a much faster runner. If I ever feel like taking things easy I think how shit I felt after a certain race when things hadn't gone as I hoped.

The weather building up to Roseberry was really mixed and I found myself glued to the BBC weather app, which seemed to change every hour! It turns out we had perfect conditions on the day. It was a bit slippery from time to time, but what do you expect for a trail marathon in December. Registration went smoothly and I was quickly into my race routine. Eat, drink, wee, poo and poo again. I ran with my heart rate monitor which helped loads. It keeps me sensible during the early miles. Also, I set an alarm on my watch to remind me to eat something every 25 minutes. Doing both these things usually allows me to apply a constant effort during marathons and shorter ultras without falling to pieces.

The Moors looked stunning and the miles ticked along nicely. I was always in the top 10, but as the race progressed I noticed Anthony Gerundini on the horizon so I checked my heart rate and decided to push on a bit. Sure enough I caught him up. It took ages, but I knew I had to keep it sensible or I'd run the risk paying for it later. Anyway, as soon as I passed Anthony another runner was getting close so I kept the same effort and went past him too. Both runners seemed fine and not breathing too heavy so I half expected them to catch me up later on. It then got quiet and I didn't see anyone for ages. It was maybe 23 miles when I saw two runners running together. This was a big boost as the thought of jumping two placed was great motivation. I checked my watch again and thought I had enough time to slowly catch them up. I did assume they would be slowing slightly and I would keep a constant pace. This working okay, but the miles passed so quick and before I knew it I had to make a decision. Do I settle for my current position or do I try and catch them. Well, my heart rate said I could go faster so I took a punt and went for it. It was hard because the terrain was tough and slippery so I had to really concentrate, but I could see myself getting closer and closer so I kept pushing. I even caught them looking over their shoulders, which is always a good sign. I try to never look back! Eventually I passed them just outside of Guisbrough woods... Phew! It's all downhill from there so I just kept going and going until I reached the finish. I came 6th in the end and I got a 12 minute course PB. Happy days 😀

All in all another fantastic Hardmoors race. If you fancy running the trails then you won't be disappointed with their races. Fantastic organisation and brilliant marshals. These people gave up most of Sunday. They stood around in freezing conditions so we could run and be safe on the Moors. Massive thank you to everyone involved.

I said to myself that this was it for 2017, but the pull of a North East Marathon Club event on Sunday is pretty strong so I might squeeze another marathon in before the year is out!


Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Hopefully you enjoyed it.

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