Sunday, 4 July 2010

33 mile Osmotherley Phoenix

The next race for me in the Uk Ultra running series was the 33mile 'Osmotherley Phoenix' on the North Yorkshire Moors. This was my toughest ultra race yet as the total ascent was a lot more than any of my other races.
This race was more interesting than the last ones. You had to carry food, drink, map, compass, and waterproofs with you, which meant running with a pack. Also we had a card that needed to be clipped at each checkpoint to prove we had been there.
I was a bit late arriving, and only had about 10min to the start so was a bit rushed and ended up starting towards the back of the 400 runners in the field. this may have been a good thing as it meant i didnt go off too fast. However it was a little annoying as the trail was pretty narrow and it was hard to overtake. Then about a mile and a half in my bag started to leak, and i found out the bladder to my camelback had a puncture, this meant i would be without a water carrier for the whole race. fortunatley i was telling this to another runner (she noticed that my shorts and legs were wet from the water comng out my back) and she gave me a plastic milk bottle (1 pint). this lasted me for the whole race and allowed me to aviod becoming dehydrated.
I carried on running after this stop and began to pick runners off one at a time. Some of the hills were so steep that we had to walk up to save energy. The checkpoints had lost of water and cakes, however at some i had to queue in order to have my card clipped. this slowed me down and was something that the front runners would proabaly avoid. Later on i had more problems with my back, as the waterproofs i attached to the outside kept slipping off. it was hard to concentrate on running with all these distractions and uneven terrain, but i eventually pulled away from other runners and settled in a group of 4 other runners. I was lucky to find this group as they were running at a similar pace, and more importantly three of them had done the course before. there was no markings on the course and runners had to rely on memory or maps, however i managed to follow the others, and i'm sure i would have been lost or much slower without them as the route snaked through trees, bushes and fields. Towards the end two of us pulled away from the group and finshed stringly. This was the best outcome for me, as previous races i have misjudged the pace a died too early. I finshed in 5 hours 11min, which is the longest amount of time i have ever run for. I finished in equal 8th, which i am pleased with considering the race i had.

Race Pictures

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