Post marathon blues, injuries, the Covid race calendar chaos, it's all taken its toll but we're getting there!
First off our very own Ben Renshaw made his first foray into mountain marathons with a quick trip to the Lake District for the OMM festival. Texting the day before the race to say he was unsure whether he'd run (having recently put his back out again), Ben pulled the plug and ran the Grasmere Gallop marathon.
Now Ben is a FAST guy on the road but there was a time I could beat him in a trail race, usually because I'm more of a 'diesel engine' and Ben's road fuelling strategies didn't translate to a trail race, well those days are OVER with the help of Anthony Clark at Xmiles on the fuelling front.
The boy did us proud, towed the start line... AND WON!
5,476ft (on Strava) in 4:57:59 including a few wrong turns in the fells, not bad considering Ben was both injured and hadn't trained since Manchester 2022. Is there anything Ben can't do on the running front? Someone challenge him to a hundred miler!
I (Adam) on the other hand had a rude awakening at The Hellstone Half, a great local race organised by Badger Trail Events. Having had to pull the plug on Manchester 2022 due to tendonitis and overtraining, having swapped to cycling for rehab, not really having run for 2-3 months and racing at the height of hayfever season, this was just meant to be a fun day out.
Well it never goes like that when you're on the start line does it?
Setting out trying to stay within sight of the leaders and then holding on for grim hayfever/asthmatic death was the order of the day. 1,952 ft (on Strava) in 1:45:35, 4th overall and 3rd male, I should be happy with that but I know I could have picked up a place if I was firing on all cylinders, that's racing!