Wane conquers pain train at Lakeland 50!

Gary Wane’s report on the Lakeland 50.

On Friday 24th July, I entered Coniston to register for the Lakeland 50 trail race. I flew through bag check no problems but nearly didn’t have my checkpoint dibber. It was only after meeting Warren by chance in the Black Bull pub that I realised my error. I dashed back to registration to collect it and thought, “Phew, crisis averted.” That evening the Harriers massive, Julie, Warren, myself as well as our cheerleading posse of Dave Wad, Jackie and Mel ate at the Crown. (eventually… Despite a minor dispute in the Yewdale…) then off to our pits to rest.

Saturday was sunshine and before long it was 11.30am and time to set off from Dalemain.

The race began and before long Warren and Julie were out of sight. After 4 miles we left Dalemain estate and were soon in the hills of the lakes. The time and miles ticked by and I was soon in Howtown. A checkpoint that was manic and manned by Cowboys and Indians. I dibbed in, stocked up on snacks, refilled my water bottle and was off again.

It was then, one of the worst thing that can happen on an Ultra, happened. I was going up the first major climb (Fusedale – 2000ft of climbing) and as I overtook another competitor, I stepped into a boggy slush puddle. Wet foot. After a few mins I could feel a tingle on the pad of my left foot. After climbing more I realised my wet sock was rubbing and I was getting a blister. “I’ll sort it out when it evens out or I get into a gap where I can sit down.” It didn’t happen until I got to the top. By that point my foot was in agony and I was regretting not stopping straight away. I took off my wet sock and had a large blister.

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I spent 5mins putting plasters on and carried on. I had knocked myself out of my rhythm and struggled to get going on the jog down to Haweswater. People were drifting past me and I felt powerless unable to get going properly. The next 4.5km alongside the lake was the same. It was very stop start jogging on narrow, rocky paths. On 18miles I felt a sudden wave of nausea. I started to walk and a few mins later had to stop hands on knees. I couldn’t go on. My foot was in agony and I felt dizzy. I took a gel and some jelly babies, put on another plaster and carried on. I walked miserably the next mile to Howtown checkpoint. As I sat pondering my next move, I looked up at Gatesgarth pass (my next major climb) and honestly thought I’ll never make it up. I grabbed some jam sandwiches, drank a cup of tea and sat with my head down hoping I wasn’t going to be sick. It was honestly the lowest I have ever felt on a run ever. I felt terrible and struggling to find the energy to eat. I even thought of dropping out. I took out my first aid kit, replaced my blister plaster with a thicker pad, taped it to my foot. “Go now,” I thought. As soon as that thought hit me I stood up, and thought about how good it would be to get to Kentmere. That was 27 miles in, I just needed to get up the next hill. It took forever to get up it but as I was going further up the climb I realised something. I was overtaking people. People around me were struggling too. I felt better knowing it wasn’t just me. The top appeared and I went up a gear and for the first time in 3-4 miles was actually jogging (albeit v slowly). I stopped at 25 miles for a halfway selfie and felt fine. This was the point I knew I had the 50 in the bag.

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I hit Kentmere, ate some Pasta, re-taped my foot, changed my socks and top and was on my way. I was walking past people on the ups, reigning them in on the downs and every time I passed someone, I felt better. Better knowing that all the people who passed me earlier I was taking the place back. A few people tried to engage me in conversation, I was polite and then left them behind the first chance I got! They had taken my place earlier after all…

I entered Ambleside. The crowds perked me up as I ran through the centre to a constant ripple of applause and well dones. A stag do left a pub in Lord of the Rings fancy dress and for a short time I even had Gandalf himself running alongside me giving me encouragement. I sped up and left him behind. Soon I was 100m or so from the checkpoint and this is where the Harrier massive was waiting. It was great to see them all – a massive thanks by the way to Team Kaufman, Waddy and Jackie, Karen and my mum and stepdad – Imogen had a sign saying, “Go daddy go!”

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There was no way I wasn’t finishing this now. Into the checkpoint, a chat to everyone as I ate my food / re plasterer and taped my foot, and 10-15 mins later I was on my way to Langdale. On the way it was getting dark. I knew this route from 4 recces and was uber confident of getting to the next checkpoint. This was the case, passing more and more people, helping those unsure of the route (calling a few back even). Soon the fairy lights of Langdale were in view.

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It was like a mirage in the night. I sat down had some soup, and… You guessed it, foot management. Back out into the night. I could see lights ahead of me and set off to Tiberthwaite. This part of the route was fine. I went to the hill no problem but as I descended I became tired again. As I entered into the last 800m or so onto the Tarmac to the checkpoint I felt low again. I was ok in the checkpoint, ate drank but no taping my foot this time. No. I’d run out so bandaged it instead. I nipped into the loo there and as I came out my legs wobbled and I felt sick again. Tiberthwaite is nearly 1000m of uphill in under 2 miles starting with stairs. Not a place to be feeling rough. I had to go. I’d got through my low enough once, I’d do it again. Gel down my throat (nearly throwing it straight back up too) I set off and just hit the stairs jogging. By step 2 I was wobbling up them in a slow walk. “Keep going, keep going”. I just kept saying it. Soon I was over the worst bit of the climb and nearly at the river crossing. I perked up. I knew then I’d broken it’s back. I even managed a power walk / slow trot up the next section passing more people. I’d jog 20 steps or so then walk for a min or so. Soon I was doing more jogging as I got closer and closer to the summit. Once I was at the top I saw the lights of head torches below. I began the sharp descent. The steep decent was killing my quads. I buckled quite a few times. But I could see the lights of Coniston. I passed some other 50 runners giving them encouragement as I passed them. I was soon at the bottom of the rocky path on the road to the finish. I started trotting quicker, then jogging. I passed a few more people. After each pass I did, my the pace increased. Soon I was in Coniston centre next to the Black Bull pub 400m or so from the end. I kicked again passing 2 more people in the last 200m. I could see the finish. I got to the line. Stopped. Fist pump and chest pump for good measure. Shouted, “Get in.” Then dibbed for the last time.

I was an ultra runner and a Lakeland 50 finisher.

Harrock Hill Race June ’15

In the first of a series of reporting scoops we have an interview with the Kaveman and hear news from the front and the battles that happen whilst we labour some distance back!

The Kaveman reports….

This was my first Harrock Hill race of the year, after missing the 1st with injury. I love this race both due to the course and the prizes which are a box of fruit and veg. Erica (my 3 year old) expects to receive fruit at the pub from my winnings and duly told me so before the race start. The course is tough with a horrible start straight up and mixed terrain never allowing you to create a rhythm but I think it flows really well and keeps you engrossed all the way and always leaves you with a smile and a little story at the finish.

The race started and we shot up the hill. There are always a few guys who bolt up this part and again there were a few. I allowed them to pull away a few metres knowing that this was the first hill I had run up in over 9 months, but also knowing that I descend faster than most and there is a good decent as you get to the top which I duly took a few guys on and moved into 3rd as the narrow wood section started. The 2 guys in front were strong and held their distance from me even though I was trying hard to catch them. About half way the eventual winner moved off on his own. I could see the 2nd guy, I worked hard to stay with him and then just to keep the pace but the winner was a class act and moved off easily. By half way my hill legs had left me and the guy in 2nd pulled a little distance away every time the incline rose. I would pull a little back on the flat but that 2nd third of the race has a lot of dragging ups and requires strong legs. I kept working hard not wanting to show weakness to the 4th placed man about 200 meters back but I thought that my run to now was just about consolidation of my third place. As we started the last long winding path down near the end I sensed that the 2nd place guy about 150 meters ahead was really tying up and so I really picked up the pace. As I emerged from the last bushed section onto the last open field he was about 80 metres ahead but running visibly tired. I looked up and sensed 2nd place but lost concentration on my descent and turned my ankle badly. Amateur mistake!!! I turn my ankle all the time fell running and most the time you run it off and the pain eases after a few strides, but occasionally you know it is bad and this was one of those times.I pulled my pace and watched the 2nd guy ease away from me. I controlled my pace so that I kept 3rd place safe. A little disappointed that I could of had 2nd but then fell running adds extra dimensions for you to concentrate on and that’s what makes it fun. One lapse of concentration can have a big impact on the outcome. I collected my box of fruit and veg which kept the little one happy and also picked a bottle of wine for the team prize – a cracking evening had.

The toughest mid week race saw a great turn out of seven runners.

Andy Kaufman bought the teams home in 3rd place, 34:53, we are getting used to these podium finishes (yawn yawn, lol!). Next in with a personal best on the current course was Mike Harris in 37:49 and a great 12th place. Making a return to mid week ranks was the Captain, Dave Collins who showed his love for the course with 39:21. Warren was next, just like Kev Edwards using the Lakeland 50 as a training exercise for the later Harrock races, Warren was 29th in 40:09.

Not only did we have a team of men but we had a Ladies team too.First time running for Harriers was Danielle Brearton in a fantastic 42.34, then serial racers Karen Schofield in 47:49 and Shona Taylor in 48:50, both excellent runs.

These efforts were enough to secure team prizes for both Men and Women along with Andy’s box of fruit and veg. Brilliant work Harriers!

Third race in the series is Wednesday 22nd July 7.30pm. Race HQ Farmer’s Arms.

Jubilee Road Race June ’15

The June Jubilee Race was a Central Lancashire Club Grand Prix event so high numbers were expected…a turn out of 291 which was pretty impressive.

For those unfamiliar with this race it’s a tough challenge around the rolling roads of Rivington. No mountainous climbs but 110 metres of ascent over 5 miles certainly gets the blood pumping and the lungs bursting.

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Pleasant conditions of 16 degrees greeted the runners at the start and although the greater numbers caused some congestion at the start it soon thinned out.

Running for the Harriers were Karen Schofield, Warren Moorfield, Daniel Parkinson & Mike Harris. Not enough for a team but nonetheless they were all glad of some company.

After some recent fine performances Warren and Dan were hoping to chase Mike down whilst Karen was hoping to continue her improvement and build on May’s 37:44 run. Mike was hoping for another decent performance to consolidate his 1st V40 in the first race of the series.

It might not have seemed hot beforehand but once into the race it was surprisingly warm. Partway round the second loop the runners encountered a horse that was unfortunately spooked by a group of middle aged men in vests and shorts running the other way. It was a situation that called for the Wigan Harriers own “Horse Whisperer” Crazy Horse Burgess but unfortunately no Chris when you need him most. The horse stoppage probably cost Mike a season’s best but probably better to survive the race in one piece!

First in for the Harriers was Mike in 48th and 31:43, next was Warren in a fine 32:11, 19 secs faster than May. Making an excellent debut was Dan in 33:09 and Karen smashed out another PB taking 28 secs off with 37:16.

Well done to our fantastic four.

Next report has the special race insight of a “front runner”.

 

Haigh Hall 4 June ’15

Second week of June, second round of racing at Haigh Hall. our home ground!

A lovely sunny evening was the reward for the Harriers taking part. Not for the first time it was the Magnificent Seven who ran for Wigan Harriers (not always the same 7 but seems to be the number we have turn out).

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What a gorgeous mob – and order an 8th vest!

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The start – a familiar venue!

Watched on by some vocal and enthusiastic supporters! Although a small field there were some excellent inter club battles particularly with our fellow Wiganers from Phoenix.

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Mike Harris shoulder to shoulder with Paul Seddon from Phoenix.

Starting to find some form and fitness was Andy Kaufman. Managing another of the customary podium finishes. Acting as an excellent stand in for Dave Collins was Chris Burton coming home in 25.07, an excellent 9th place with Mike Harris just behind in 25.17 in 10th place.

Battling side by side to the finish line were Warren Moorfield and Danny Parkinson, 12 &13th places, 25:47 & 25:49 respectively, great racing!

Just the two ladies but great performances from them. April Morgan 36th in 28:32 and Karen Schofield 49th in 29:30.

Some excellent performances deserve prizes and boy did we get a few! Endurance Store vouchers for Andy Kaufman (3rd Man), Chris Burton (5th), Mike Harris (1st V40), Warren Moorfield (3rd V45), April Morgan (5th Lady).

Finally the men took away the 1st place team prize and not for the first time this season.

Well done all!

Chorley Trail Race June ’15

In a blink of an eye we were already into June and a second month of mid week racing. A damp day had eased to give cool conditions at Astley Park in Chorley.

After some speedy times in May, many of the Harriers were looking forward to pushing on and going just a little faster. in the 2nd round of this series. Making his season debut was Andy Kaufman who was having a little run out to test injured limbs before the weekend’s track meet. Karen Schofield was steadily working her way through the calendar of available events and ticking them off, tick! Andy was joined by Mike Harris, two Chris’s “Burton & Kinsella” and Karen was joined by Shona Taylor and Tracy Holt.

Easing down to save his legs for the weekend, Andy came home in 7th place and 26:29. Chris Burton and Mike Harris were seconds apart again. Chris 15th in 28:04 & Mike 18th in 28:12.

First Harrier lady home was Karen with an excellent debut of 32:48. Next was Chris Kinsella (hoping not to retch in the finish funnel) in 35.26. Shona was 35:50 and Tracy 36:49.

Andy and Karen won bottles of wines for their efforts.

The men were a brilliant first team, although I’m sure we didn’t get a prize it at the time as they counted four on the night. (Sure I’ve not drunk that prize without remembering!!) The ladies were an excellent third.

Whilst there were fewer Harriers there, they made their presence felt, well done!

 

10k Harriers success in June

June saw a number of Wigan Harriers having a little dabble in local 10k road races. The area north of Preston is home to a number of different road races. June saw the first running of the Catforth 10k on a new course and the first in the regular series of Pilling 10k’s.

First up was the Catforth 10k on the 14th June. Representing the club were Gary Fitzpatrick and Mike Harris, both keen to chip a little off their PB’s after some decent early season form. Convinced it was a two lap course our chaps used their early arrival to recce a lap. It didn’t help too much as it was a longer one lap course. What it did illustrate was that although the course wasn’t hilly, a combination of a brisk wind and some undulations meant it wasn’t going to be easy.

An annoucement on the start line that entry included breakfast in the cafe afterwards was greeted with a warm cheer. Under threatening skies they were off on time. Gary established himself amongst the top 4 and Mike tried to settle himself a little further back.

Despite the tricky conditions and a slightly long course Gary still managed an excellent third place and knocked a second off his PB with a brilliant 34.24. A fantastic run so early in the season.

Fading towards the end Mike fell short of his PB coming home in 39.30 in 11th place and 2nd V40.

After a breakfast bap and coffee, the prizes were dished out. With non drinking Gary being particularly thrilled with winning a bottle of wine.

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A week later was the first Pilling 10k of the year. Representing Harriers was Shona Taylor, Mark Glynn and Mel Wane. Pilling although a little further north is by all accounts a decent 10k course. Our runners didn’t let damp conditions hold them back.

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Storming home in 3rd place and 1st V45 was Mark in 36.22.

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There was more success to come for the mighty Harriers with Shona managing a great 49.28 and fantastic 1st L50.

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Not one to be outdone Mel only went and smashed her PB, getting under the 60 minute barrier for the first time with an excellent 59.38.

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Well done to all five, please make sure you pass on any photos, times or reports so we can keep everyone updated with your successes. With membership numbers approaching 100, it’s an excellent way for everyone to keep up to date with how their club mates are doing.