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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Surrey Spitfire 20

Today I took part in the Surrey Spitfire 20 mile which started and finished at Dunfold Aerodrome.

The day started misty and then turned into light rain. Not happy about my trainers wet or grass on them walking from the car park :-)
Surrey Spitfire 2011

An early look at the start/finish line, preparing myself mentally for a sprint finish after 20 miles.
Surrey Spitfire 2011

A view towards the burger van where a cup of tea and toasted egg and bacon sandwich was had about 1 hour before the race, hopefully that will not affect me during the race.
Surrey Spitfire 2011

A view across the aerodrome. The race had about 3 miles on the aerodrome track going to the far side to the right of this photo before heading out in to the countryside. The far section there was a good racing line that could be taking, luckily I had practised this circuit on on Gran Tursimo 5 in the morning (although some parts of the race were in different directions and parts of the venue).
Due to getting carried with the crowds at the start the first few miles were done at a faster than planned pace of 10 minute/mile, although some of them could have been doing the 10 mile option.
Surrey Spitfire 2011

You can not see the far end from here.
Surrey Spitfire 2011

Watch out for speeding top gear cars :-)
Surrey Spitfire 2011

The sun was trying to break through the clouds after the race. This is the last few hundred meters on the track before leaving the aerodrome and straight in to a hill. It seemed that every mile in the countryside lanes had at least one steady incline with miles 6(16) and 8(18) having a steeper hill.
Surrey Spitfire 2011

The first time I went under the planned 10 minute/mile pace was due to a pit stop, with the rest on the first lap being up to 38 seconds/mile quicker. This meant I completed the first lap of 10 miles in 1:38:14, which was nearly 2 minutes ahead of schedule which is not a good idea on along run to go off fast. I was using the power gels that was provided en-route so I adjusted my nutritional plan to fit in with the water stations which were every 3 miles which should fit with my gel every 30 minutes.

The second lap also started at a faster than planned pace although I was starting to walk through the aid stations to ensure I got a gel a water in me and not on me. Only one aid station was out of sync with my plan so I had a different make of gel that I had with me.I also had one powerade drink with me which lasted the race taking sips every 15 minutes. After 15 miles I was trying out a chocolate protein bar on the run as had some caffeine and protein having half then and the rest a few miles later.

However when I got to about mile 17 I was in nutritional discomfort (gut ache) similar to on the Ironman run. Perhaps the toasted egg and bacon sandwich before the race followed by 5 or more powerbar gels and a chocolate protein bar was not a good idea. So the next few miles I was running for as long I could only about 100m then walking and repeating once I felt a bit ok. However once in the last half mile I picked up the pace as the quicker I finished the sooner it would stop. So with that in mind I had a bit of a sprint finish for the last 200m over and under taking a few other runners.It reminded me of my sprint finish at Ironman Austria last year, apart from the crowds, noise, music and hot temperature.

On my GPS I completed it in 3:20:19 which I was pleased with and was about 30 seconds quicker than the 20 mile I did a few weeks ago. From my GPS (therefore may not be that reliable) there was 1,000 ft of ascent which 21.5% of my time was on ascents and another 21.5% on descents, the flat sections must have been on the aerodrome as was 57% of my time.

My kit choices were good for the conditions which allowed some adjustment for the conditions if I got hot or a bit cold. My pacing at the start was a bit too fast which I did not think helped alongside my race nutrition changes made me walk in the last few miles. So next time I will try and stick to my plans better.

The medal, which we also got a chocolate bar, fruit juice drink and another isotonic sports drink!!
Surrey Spitfire 2011

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