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The Dark Art of Bog Trotting – through the eyes of a road runner

I’ve done a few fell and trail races over the years but my main focus has been road running. I never thought there would be much difference between the two, other than the obvious difference of trail races being on a marked route that you have to follow and fell races being totally the opposite. There is no set route, you chose the route you take, providing that you visit all of the check points. The actual terrain on the races I have done has been very similar, uneven, rocky tracks but still on mostly runnable ground or it may be that I have just entered the wrong or right races depending how you look at it. To finish the year off I said I would enter some long trail and fell races to try and regain my hill fitness before starting my plan for the Fellsman and Lakeland 50 next year. Last week I decide to enter Grin ‘N’ Bear it, a fell race in theĀ  Peak District starting from the Langsett Reservoir, a CL category fell race, 16 mile long with 1939 feet of ascent. The weather conditions on the morning of the race were perfect for racing but boy was I in for a shock, this was like no race other race I’ve ever experienced. The race started along the top path of Langsett Reservoir on a good runnable track, before we started the relentless climb to the top of the Cut Gate Path. I was working hard on the climb to keep in touch with a small group in front of me, probably too hard at this early stage as my heart rate was around 180 bpm. I’m currently trying to get better at running up hills as this is an area that I need to improve on. My legs were on fire by the time we reached the first check point at the top of Cut Gate . From the picture below, you can see the pain on my face. Continue reading

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