Friday, 11 April 2014

Going Incognito

Last weekend was the final Open 5 of the series, but instead of racing with Rosemary, I was hiding on the bottom of the results table having raced with Bruce, Tim and Chris as a non comp team of 4. Just to make sure I really was incognito, I'd even changed my name to Lucy Spain!

Mark Sullivan Photography
Me and Wil got married on 22nd March and thanks to all our great friends, we had an excellent wedding day. Extra special thanks to Wil's cousin Mark who captured the day on film (Mark Sullivan Photography) and Hannah Whitelam who is a fantastic 'cake dresser'!

Hannah's amazing cake complete with climbing couple! Only took 5Kg of sugar paste....
We had a 'relaxing' (well...for one day at least which is good going for us!) honeymoon in Tenerife, complete with cycling and then walk/jogging Teide - that is a big volcano!

Then it was back to a rather wet Lake District for a weekend of fun with Haglofs Silva :-). After getting wet in sit on top kayaks on Windermere (I could certainly feel I had not been in a kayak since the C2C), we headed across the ferry for some MTB around to Hawkeshead and back. This is probably the first time I've ridden the 29er on more technical terrain and there was some getting used to just picking a line and letting it roll... by the time we got back, it looked like we'd just been kayaking again we were so wet!

A quick stop in Bowness for chips and we headed round to Coniston for the Silva 10K. I hadn't really looked at the route before we got there and looking at the map about 15mins before the start I kind of regretted finishing eating at about 8pm. Never mind, 8:30pm came and we were off. The route followed the trail by the road out towards Skelwith bridge, before taking a left up a minor road and then heading onto the trail over the shoulder of Wetherlam before heading back down to Coniston. The climb up Wetherlam is one of my favourite, however I'd never done it from this side of the hill before, good to get in a new route!

Trail running by night - the Silva runner 550 lighting the way
I set off and was leading after the first 500m or so, although the chips were certainly weighing heavy... I had a bit of a 'back and forth' with another lady from 2-3km at which point I thought I'd leave it until the real climb to run a bit harder...keeping her in sight I trotted away up the hill and at 6km caught her back up - right, time to press on! Unfortunately the combination of chips and having already been paddling/cycling didn't really let me do this so I settled into 2nd, staying there until the finish. I won a silva trail runner II headtorch for my efforts and Bruce and Chris also won some lighting, finishing 2nd and 4th.

The next morning we were back on the bikes for the Open 5. We planned to clear the bike and then get what we could on the run due to various ailments. First off - Walna Scar Road! By the time we started it was once again pouring down. It was fairly warm however so a Haglofs intense long sleeve and scramble Q jacket were enough to keep me toasty on the move.

The top of my left fibula was sore pre wedding, but I hadn't had any trouble for the previous couple of weeks. The 10K seemed to have started things off again though, so the hike a bike up to the top was not that welcome. The descent was a good reward though and my leg was fine when riding! We whizzed down to the next checkpoint, but were one short at the bottom. Chris appeared running out of the mist - puncture repair time...a good learning point from the weekend here as between us we had 1x29er inner tube and 1x gas canister. As Chris has 26" wheels we crossed our fingers as we inflated the tube with our one shot gas and luckily it seemed to work :-).

On we went, I had no role in the nav so not entirely sure where to, but I do know there was a LOT of water on the ground! Ant had planned a challenging course, which was ace fun as we mainly intended to bike and didn't have to think about tactical route choices. I think a few people (including Rosemary and Heather) got caught out by the slow going and tough riding....

Haglofs Kit brightening up a dismal day :-)
I got caught out on my summer tyres a couple of times. The second time of hitting the deck I hit my head off the floor and gave myself an array of beautifully coloured bruises down my right hand side....My jacket also now needs some fetching elbow patches....I took it a bit more carefully from then on....time to get some big size tyres to deal with mud!

We were back in just over 4 hours and opted not to walk to the nearest run control just to bag a non competitive score. A good day/weekend out, looking forward to May and a run about it Wales!

Although I didn't race with Rosemary this time, we had done enough in the races we had done together to secure the series win for a second year! I'm sure we'll be back racing together again in November (unless of course I am now ditched for inconsistent team mate duties :-P).

Series winners 2013/2014