Preparing for the Wooler Trail Marathon

This week I have had a couple of easy runs. On Monday I ran with Katrina after work. Then today I ran at lunchtime around Pollok Park. I used my off road route and it was quite wet underfoot. At least it cleaned my shoes!

The other aspect of preparing for races is sorting out my kit for the race, looking over the route and thinking about what time I’m aiming for. So here are my thoughts …

Kit

The race organisers have wisely set a mandatory kit list which is ….

  1. Whistle
  2. Head torch(with spare batteries)
  3. Survival bag (Not blanket. Examples bags here.)
  4. Hat and gloves
  5. Route map (OS Explorer OL16)
  6. Waterproof jacket
  7. Waterproof trousers
  8. Full length leggings
  9. Long sleeve thermal top
  10. Minimum of 500ml water
  11. Emergency food/sport bar
  12. Mobile phone number of the race directors
  13. Fully charged phone

Initially I thought it was a lot of kit for a trail marathon but when you consider it is held at the end of November and what the conditions could be like then it makes perfect sense. Also it is the same for everyone.

The race organisers sent out an email today which included the following …

The weather for the weekend is looking as though it is going to be very cold. Especially for those doing the full marathon route going over Cheviot Summit. The current forecast is showing temperatures of -1oC, with a windchill of about -10oC. It is also forecasting light snow with good visibility. So it will look stunning up there!

If you used a bladder system for water there is a good chance your pipe will freeze solid, so water bottles would be better. You must have all mandatory kit, in terms of gloves and a hat. If you suffer from cold hands, make sure you have some proper gloves ie skiing type gloves gloves would be preferable to thin lightweight running gloves. Make sure your thermal is adequate for the weather i.e Merino wool or similar, a thin base layer is not thermal.

It is our full intention to allow the marathon runners to to the route as planned, but please be aware if the weather changes from the current forecast for heavier snow and gale force winds (a blizzard/white out). Then we may have to change to our planned contingency route. Safety of runners is our primary concern, with your full enjoyment coming a very close second.

It is good to know they are concerned about the safely of the runners and want to make sure we all arrive back in one piece!

I’ll be wearing my favourite running gear which is tried and tested. For footwear I’ll be wearing my Skechers Go Run Trail 2 which are really comfy and have a good balance of support and grip. If it is very muddy I will struggle a bit but no shoe is perfecter every type of terrain.

Route

There is a great flyover of the route on the race website which I’ve watched a few times and will watch again a few more times before leaving on Saturday. Here it is …

I have a copy of the OS Explorer OL16 map which I’m going to highlight the route on. I also have the gps track on my Suunto watch and UK map on my iPhone so all the bases are covered. Plus the route is marked!

Time

I like to have a time to aim for and normally have my gold, silver and bronze but I really don’t know with this one. It is called a Trail Marathon but is actually 28.2 miles so a couple of miles more than a marathon but not really far enough to be called an ultra. I’m certainly not planning to add it to my ultra list of races run.

If I could average 9 mins per mile then I would finish in 4hrs 15mins which I’m going to use as a guide but I really don’t know whether that is optimistic or pessimistic??

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-20-25-46

The first 8 miles are mainly uphill with the highest point at the top of the Cheviot at 2,600ft.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-08-45-38

So my plan is to run well within myself until I’m over the top of the Cheriot hill and then see how I feel from there on.

I’m really looking forward to the race and glad Andy Cole encouraged me to enter!

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One Response to Preparing for the Wooler Trail Marathon

  1. james smith says:

    good luck john,hope everything goes to plan for you and you have a good race,look forwards to your race report.

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