Steve's 2015 round up & looking ahead
2015 round up and what's around the bend...
It was only last week, having lunch with my brother post Percy Pud that I realised quite how much racing I'd done this year. I've known all year that I was pushing my luck with the races I'd done, keeping this thought hidden in the back of my head, never quite letting it surface sufficiently to actually impact my decisions, always pushing it one race or hard session further.
Photo. Blowing like a champion in the final 100m of the Percy Pud. Courtesy of Finish Line Photography
I ran the Mourne Skyline at the end of October, I knew this was a big race, 21 miles with 3500 metres of climbing over some seriously tough terrain but I really wanted to do the race. Knowing I wasn't going to be in top form as I was knackered I entered on the grounds that I had always wanted to travel to Northern Ireland and see the Mourne Mountains. The race was absolutely amazing & is pencilled in the diary for 2016, but I was fried from the off. Somehow I managed to get around in one piece! Skipping forward 6 weeks and I'm flailing like an upturned tortoise in a strong wind along the banks of Damflask Reservoir. Percy Pud 2015 was far from a good race, in fact it was dreadful. Nevertheless, it took this abysmal performance to let the nagging thoughts of the last 2 months surface to a head and with this I looked back over the previous 11 months with some very fond memories....
The Grindleford Gallop was just amazing, a late drop out from a friend let me secure a last minute place, there was no pressure and no expectations, the result was a great race, feeling good for the best part of it and finishing with a smile!
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks and the Welsh 100s, my memories of these 2 aren't so fond, I didn't have the best races and finished in a bit of a state but this doesn't mean they weren't fun, just Type 2 (retrospective) fun.
Chamonix was with out doubt one of my highlights of 2015, the VK and marathon were awesome, I ran well which always helps but the memories from these will be with me for ever.
Photo. The final stretch of the Mont Blanc Marathon
The Glencoe Skyline, privileged to get place for this and dumfounded as to how I finished 14th! A 24 hour solo mission up to Glencoe on Friday night, 6 hours sleep in the boot of the car, a 9 hour race and a swift 7 hour drive back to Sheffield and I was up Sunday morning for some cragging on Stanage... Now then, it's stupid things like this which probably lead to me feeling like I do now!
Wait, there's more - What an idiot!
The Mourne Skyline, I was tired but this was a brilliant race and a wonderful weekend in Northern Ireland.
What's even more silly is inbetween these races I was running a lot of the local short fell races. I see these more as training than anything else but every now and then I have a good one. Perhaps the highlight of my short fell races for 2015 was the Bamford Carnival race, a surprise win but more importantly for me was coming in sub 30 minutes, all those crap runs and races where you feel like someone has filled your boots with custard are worth it for the ones where you're weightless!
Photo. One of the short fell races from 2015 (Bradwell)
It took Percy Pud and chat with my brother for me to realise that I'd totally overcooked it this year, it'd been fun but is not a sustainable or even healthy way to run. This brings us to 2016, the diary is more or less full already and is looking a similar to this year. Sheffield Half Marathon, Grindleford Gallop, Yorkshire 3 Peaks, Chamonix and possibly Glencoe. I'd also really like to do a number of the English Fell Running Championship races which means the 3 Peaks might have to go on the back burner and they'll be a lot fewer of the local races. Hopefully I can stick to my guns and not get carried away with the lure of the midweek races and say "No" if I'm not feeling up to it.
Whatever the outcome, if it's as much fun as 2015 then I can't wait!