Leaden Boot – 19 May 2013
7 bloody hours and 55 minutes.
Brutal. That's what this event is. See my previous report from 2011 event. I read it the night before this year's run. Why couldn't I have read it the night before I booked it? A reminder: 26miles, off road, with +1420m/-1420m. (Ben Nevis is 1344m), which in 2011 took me 6:56. I thought I might be able to better that, maybe 6:30-ish.
So, it starts with a 1.5mile downhill run into Milldale, where you cross a bridge and then start an uphill trek. In 500m you go up 150m, but most of that is in the first half of the hill. Spectacular views from the top, but what goes up…and the downhill is fairly brutal as well, picking your way through slippery rocks. I decided to try sliding down on my bottom, like kids do on Pizza boxes. Now I know why they use Pizza boxes. Picture, if you can face it, shorts riding up backside, filling with soil, grass and stinging nettles, and also hitting some rocks hidden in the grass. Not a good idea at mile 3. Theres a gentle jog along the river followed by a “steep ascent” to Ilam. Then it's hill after hill after hill. I took a camera with me and took lots of pictures. Two reasons: Firstly, I never have to do the run again to see the views. Secondly, if I look at the pictures, I'll never do it again, because they show how steep it really was. If anyone else wants to see the pictures so they know whether to do it or not, let me know. Surprisingly, I bumped into quite a few marathon first timers. Not quite so surprising that they were at the back, with me – but I guess they had a great chance of improving on their PB, and they'll probably never find a tougher marathon ever again.
So apart from the ongoing PF injury, the hills and the sore bum from my hill slide, it was a great day out in the countryside. And at 7:55:00 it was nearly a whole day out...
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