Good morning folks
I trust you all had a spectacular weekend and that this finds you in tiptop form.
A slimline blog this week, it’s all been about Sundays little jog round this fair town.
The Lima Maratón! After almost a year off running (since last years race) and on the back of 5 weeks half-ar$ed training, I slogged, lumbered, grunted and sweated my way round the 42.195km course (I do miss miles so much) early doors on Sunday.
There follows a quick round-up, but afore that, some other far more spectacular running news. The incredible tale of Nicky Spinks…
Two amazing fellrunning legends; Joss Naylor and Nicky Spinks. (Photo courtesy of Inov-8).
Nicky is a 48 year old farmer residing in sunny Yorkshire. An incredible endurance athlete who has run the long distance triple: The Bob Graham Round, Ramsey Round and Paddy Buckley, all epic outings. (She is the only person to have completed all three rounds in under 20 hours). In 2006 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she beat and as a way of celebrating her 10 year anniversary, she decided to run a DOUBLE Bob Graham Round!
The Bob Graham Round is a circuit of 42 mountains in the Lake District. It is around 72 miles, has 27000ft of ascent and the idea is to do it in under 24 hours.
Now only one person has ever run a double Bob Graham and that was Roger Baumeister in 1979. There is a reason for this. One circuit is hard, it takes a lot of time, training and a bit of luck (especially with the weather). I did the Bob Graham Round in 2009 and it almost did me in!
Two circuits is a mind-blowing proposition, but Nicky has just done it this weekend, in a record time of 45hrs 30mins. Good on yer Nicky!
132 miles, 54000ft of ascent and 84 summits. This is a piece of running history
The week leading up to The Off…
With all eyes on Sunday I have been a bit distracted this week (more so than normal).
Not that I’m paranoid or anything (after last week) but I walked to and from work!
Took the Clunk out for a ride on Friday to run some errands and pick up my number. I got about a mile from home, tried to change gear and nothing. I had no clutch!
The tick-over on my bike is slow (and I have tinkered with it), so I have to rev it like a two-stroke at the lights, but as I struggled to boot it into gear each time, it became harder and harder. It was hot, the traffic was loco and I was in a rush. I tried to suss it out and figured that the (already stretched) clutch cable had been stretched last week by my friend, the truck driver assassin. It had already been adjusted to full stretch, so I had nothing to play with, it was a nightmare, especially when I got totally lost in the centre of Lima. How on earth can a person not find the National Stadium?
I asked half a dozen people and got conflicting information, until one guy pointed “There!”
(Talk about feeling like a plonker…)
With just 5 weeks to get fit, I couldn’t really do what is called a “taper” and ran a 50 mile week.
I had bad guts all week and aching all over didn’t really instill me with much confidence…
The Big Day!
Saturday was a late finish and Sunday was an early kick-off. Thankfully none of the neighbours had their weekly party, so I got a good 4hrs kip. Brekkie at 4am, bus at 5am, drop bag off at 6am and then waiting in a swarm of runners, whilst the local residents were rudely awoken at 6am by outrageously loud Techno music and a compère who had taken too many giddy pills!
Summer is still stubbornly hanging on here, but miraculously on Friday ago it cooled down a bit. Sunday was grey, but still sweatier than a jockstrap in a sauna, I think everybody lost a few pounds throughout the morning.
Now I have to say something here, I’m not a big fan of big city road marathons. I’ve (now) done three (Lima twice and Manchester in 2000) and each time I think “never again”. I was brought up on tiny, tinpot fell races in the Lakes, where you rocked up, paid your quid, popped 20p in an envelope (for results that you’d receive a month later), run your race, maybe win a pair of socks or a voucher if you were at the sharp end, get a cuppa and a slice of cake, then go home. Simplicity.
I’m a hopelessly romantic (deluded) daydreamer, sadly now, those days are long gone (even in the bare bones sport of fellrunning).
Being surrounded by blokes in excessive and expensive compression gear, giving each other high-fives and fist-pumps (!) in a city Centre at 6am is not really my thing. Marathons were big in the Eighties, then suffered a slump, then became huge again. Now in its 8th year, the Lima Marathon had 14000 runners (in the 10k, half marathon and full marathon, including 1000 overseas athletes from 50 different countries). That’s a lot of traffic on the start line.
“And they’re off!” (Pic courtesy of ifitnesspe.org)
A marathon is a case of running on the edge of cracking up, but hopefully staying on the edge and not falling off (and actually cracking up), it’s a mental game, as well as physical.
“Away the lads!” (Thank you Teresa for the pic)
Now, I had no real idea if I’d get round, or what time I’d do, so I didn’t line up on the front row behind the Kenyans, but Joe Punter in his football shirt and plimsolls did, and a lot of other later-on-stragglers too. Why put yourself through it that way?
Anyroad, after a very enthusiastic 45 minute countdown, we were finally off. I kind of remembered the route from last year, but still struggle with KMs (I’m a mile man) and I hadn’t worked out a pace plan, so there was a lot of 5÷8 going on in my head, which got tricky after 3km, so I gave in. As I’d only done 5 weeks training, I was on a tightrope anyway:
Go off too fast: Blow up very early on.
Go off too slow: Slow time and blow up later on.
So I went off steadyish and tried to hang on.
The entire Lima Police force were out on the streets, mainly in groups doing little, but I did raise a smile at a HUGE traffic cop trying to stop the traffic backed up way back, (many roads were closed and this had been in the news all week, but the traffic was still out in force).
Crossing a major junction, Ponch from CHiPS suddenly flipped at a Taxista honking his horn and shouted “For (deleted expletive) sake, shut the (deleted expletive) up, the runners have to cross!”
It was surreal to run on traffic-free roads. More Techno at 5km, aerobics display at 8km, a steel band really going for it at 16km. I passed the Orphanage where I used to work at 17km, which was a bit emotional, as it was the reason I came back to Peru. A 4×4 had somehow crashed into the fortress style wall. How on earth I don’t know. The roads were closed and the vehicle was completely destroyed, how fast had it been going and how had it beaten the roadblock?
(Since discovered that it was in fact the car of a Salsa singer by the name of John Kelvin. Seems he had one too many sundowners before he drove home. Lucky to be alive).
Whilst daydreaming around 20km I was roused from my daydreaming by a faceful of tiny pieces of blue and white foil from a foil cannon at a Salsa dancing stand. Onto the coast road, halfway in 1:33 and feeling alrighty. Through Miraflores then some contrived twists and turns out towards Surco (saw a new bike shop, luckily I can’t remember where it actually was!)
I thought I was being offered a goldfish at 25km, but it was a bag full of water.
Bananas at 30km, blisters starting at 32km, then counting down the miles. Sweating cobs doesn’t come close, I was drenched. A decent downhill stretch back into Miraflores and then the wheels started falling off around 37km. I just couldn’t speed up and my feet were wrecked , but somehow still passing people, there were some grim sights. People walking, stopped, running in just socks, throwing up and all going through some tough private times. It wasn’t just me who was going backwards. Trying to work out the KMs in my addled brain. 40km, 2 miles to go, dig in, 41km, might just go under 3hrs 10mins.
Lima Gurning Champion 2016. (The lad on the left is in the half-marathon, I promise!)
Then the finish line came into view and I remembered that a marathon was 42-and-a-bit KM. The “bit” did for me and I crossed the line in 3hrs 10mins dead.
Could I have gone faster? On the back of 5 weeks training, probably no.
I worked my ar$e off, so I’m happy enough with that
The mens winner was a very, very, very fast Kenyan, so was the ladies winner.
“Tell me about it one more time…”
Coffee then Pizza with Lina and the Nipper and then hobbling around the house like a 100-year-old man and trying to patch this blog together! Job done.
The marathon was a bit of a trial for me. I was curious how fit I was, but it wasn’t really a target as such.
I’ve entered a race; a fell race, a trail race, a mountain race? It’s up in the yonder fells 2hrs out of Lima where I’ve previously been clunking around on the Clunk. High mountains, races that start at 2000m. Three races in fact. 4 weeks from now. Gulp!
Into the high fells…
Altitude will be one of many foes (I am always crap at altitude), so it should be interesting.
Went to see my amigo “Saucony Jhon” and he sorted me out with some new clodhopping shoes (at a very nice price). I am horrified to discover that my feet are still growing and I am now a size 14!
Miraculously they had a pair in stock. Onto the fells and off the tarmac, I can’t wait…
If you told me that a film about chess would be interesting, I wouldn’t believe you, but…
We don’t often get to the Flicks these days, but we slipped out on Saturday afternoon and after having chosen for the last umpteen visits, I let Lina choose (she must tire of my choices, same old, same old).
Not sure whether Bobby would have liked the Lima traffic!
“Pawn Sacrifice” was her choice, I knew nothing about it, but it was blooming good.
The incredible story of an incredible man. Bobby Fischer, a Chess genius of the Seventies.
I know more about rocket science than I do about chess (and I know nothing about rocket science), but it was brilliant. If you like chess, you’ll love it. If you don’t like chess I reckon you’ll still love it!
Here is a video to hopefully put a smile on your face on a Monday morning.
Eurovision isn’t too big here, but my money would always go on this entry:
Have an awesome week
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper