Heineken Race to The Tower Race Report
The Cotswold Way is a stunning route that I have always wanted to run on. When the opportunity arose for me to race a double marathon, it was a no brainer! At the Running Awards, I was lucky enough to sit on a table with the lovely girls from Threshold Sports who asked if I would be interested in racing.
I am currently in the build up to the Eiger 101km race, which is part of the Ultra Trail World Tour, so it is really important that I get some top quality training in my legs before the race. So, for me, a double marathon on the Cotswold Way was the perfect training opportunity.
I had some new kit from my sponsor, Compress Sport, to trail out. After a poor run at the UK 100km Championships, I needed to adjust my nutrition and hydration strategy so 84km was a great excuse to put my brand new race kit on and see how I went!
I had a long reps session with the AB Training group a couple of days before helped to ‘sharpen’ me up. I find that speed work is still SO important when training for Ultra races. I made sure that I had a sports massage and used my High Roller to get any tightness out of my legs before driving down to the Cotswolds.
I spent the night in a great Air B & B which is turning into a regular event the night before a race. They are a great way to relax and you are able to cook for yourself so you can get the nutrition spot on. It can sometimes be hard to eat what is right for you and your race if you are going to a pub or restaurant the night before.
The weather was glorious when I was checking in for the race, there was a bit of wind but my Compress Sport Hurricane Jacket did me proud and kept me warm for the race brief. As the countdown for the race started I was feeling good. My training that week had gone well and my body felt fresh. There were some faces that I recognised, Dan from Profeet – a specialist trainer shop in London, a must for anyone who does any sort of running or walking. Chrissy Wellington, 4 x Ironman World Champion was also competing in her first Ultra-marathon, I am expecting to see some amazing things from this truly talented athlete.
The course was split up with some of the best stocked check points I have seen. CPs came about every 10km. Threshold Sports did an amazing job at getting all the right foods, gels and drinks at the CPs. For me, as I was trailing some gels I didn’t take any of the gels or food on offer. All the volunteers at the CPs were so supportive and really positive which is always so important in a long race. For my hydration, I was using Precision Hydration products. These are really effective powders that give me all of my electrolytes and sodium.
I was really pleased with how my hydration and nutrition plan went. I have been having help from Renne McGregor who has put together a strategy to fuel and hydrate me for my races.
The route was really well marked and obviously signposted. Having said that, I did manage to take a wrong turn and add a couple of extra Kilometres onto the race, all good training I guess!
I finished the race in 7hrs 30mins in 1st place. After my disappointing performance in the 100km Championships, I really needed a good race to prove to myself that I was over that defeat. People are always going to make mistakes; it’s how we deal with those mistakes that determines what sort of a person we are.
I am now really focussing on Eiger 101km which is on 15th July 2017.Heineken Race to The Tower Race Report