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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cranleigh 15 Mile

Today I took part in the Cranleigh 15 mile race, a few years ago I did the 21 mile race so was good to the other distance. Although on the drive there my car temperature was showing -1c and 0c plus it was snowing a bit.

When we got there I changed the route at the race HQ, as only the finish position had been changed from when I last did the race. The route was one 9 mile loop to the east of the village and then 1 or 2 (15 or 21 mile) loops to the west of the village.

I then went back to the car and put on the remaining layers I was planning to wear for the race, I decided to leave my bin liner there hopefully it would not be that cold.

By the time we got to the start area there was only 5 minutes before the start so not too long but was starting to get cold before the start. I decided to start about 1/3 from the back as I was not going for a particular time but by effort. However for the first 3 miles I was regretting that as I was blocking by other runners even with doing some XC on the muddy embankment next to the road. Once I got in to my rhythm I was ok apart from the snow but due to the layers I was not feeling that cold. I was keeping pace with one of my work colleagues and then one of their club runners for most of the course, they where doing the 21 mile option so was good to keep a steady pace.

When we got to about 4 miles I was prepared for the easterly wind (headwind) but luckily was not as much as forecasted but the snow was more, this was for a few miles until we turned back. At which point we had side wind and snow which was nice going up the biggest hill on the course at mile 7. We then headed through the village high street at the end of the 9 mile section before starting the 6 mile loop on a fotopath. This was next to the car park so was so tempting in the snow cold just stop and go to my car but I carried on.

The next 6 miles the inclines seemed to take more effort despite being not the steep just ongoing. With about 2 miles to go I picked up the pace a bit. With about 1 mile to go I got lapped by the 21 mile winner nobody else in the 21 mile or 15 mile race overtook me from that point. I just had be prepared to turn sharp left in to the new finish in a playing field which I kicked again to the line and was glad my race was over. I completed the race in 2:12 (8:45 min/mile) and went through the half marathon point in 1:55 which I was pleasantly surprised with.


I then just had to wait for my running club mates, get warm clothes on and a nice cup of tea with a homemade cake :-)

Below are my GPS mile split data with the red line the average pace for the race. From it you can see the first 3 miles were the slowest part due to the number of runners and on narrower country lanes. I was then fairly consistent with miles 11 I think there was a big puddle in the road which I had (plus everybody else) went round and mile 13 was I think an incline for the mile. Then the mile splits I picked up the pace and was feeling strong. I was surprised that mile 7 was not the slowest mile as had the biggest hill on the course.


At that pace I would not have been able to do the 21 mile but I am currently training for 4 weeks after most runners doing this race for a spring marathon. I tried some new kit which was ok and kept me warm. I also tried a new sports drink Lucozade Sports Elite , it had more carbs using different sources like some other gels I normally use, it also had a bit more sodium not as much as my sodium tablets though but also had caffeine which helped near the end of the race. Using this drink after properly fueling myself in the morning and before the race I did not need to take any gels that I had taken with me or any water they had on the course.

Overall I enjoyed this race despite the conditions, it is a good race to test your marathon training. The negative part was the queue for the tea and cake afterwards but was nice so was worth the wait.

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