Saturday, 16 January 2010

17th in Bilbao

I'm a bit late in getting this report up and sorry it's been so long generally since my last post but things have a been a bit hectic with training, racing, work etc, generally all good though.

First things first... last weekend I was away racing in Bilbao for the European Club Cross Country Championships, I was running for my UK club Newham & Essex Beagles, the team finished a respectable 8th place it what was a strong field and tricky, challanging course. I was our first runner home in 17th place which on reflexion was solid run, particularly bearing in mind the course. It was short lap of approx 1800m on a small area of very muddy ground right bang in the middle of city (I think literally the only piece of grass in a built up city). As the area used for the race was so small it ment the course had many sharp turns, and truth be told I found the very muddy conditions hard going with my training geared more towards the road than the country, although I think most of the 90+ field found it hard going! checkout the results on this is cool website for those running buffs out their, as you can pretty much find results of every athlete and race across the world of certain standard. To get full access you need to sign up though.

It can be quite difficult to assess your performance in a cross country races when you don't know the opposition around you very well looking at the standard of those around me after the race I'm satified with my run. The race was won by the recent European Champion Alemayehu Bezabeh of Spain and the field contained a number of the top 20 from the December's European Champs.

Generally since Edinburgh my training has been going really well, consistant mileage of around 100 per week and intervals sessions and tempo runs have been much better than than before xmas. Edinburgh felt like a turning point and has come at a good time with my main preparation for the marathon now getting under way, the weekend before the Bilbao I ran a local 10mile road race as tempo run, winning in 50.41, feeling very in control on what isn't the fastest course with the first mile up a steep climb. Currently I'm taking the mileage up at the moment with 110+ scheduled this week, things are going ok although I have had more parent duties this week with Teresa away for a few days for work so that's been a challenge in itself!

Will try and get some more regular posts up over the next few weeks, I'm tend to keep my twitter updated a bit more often though so checkout that out for some more regular updates.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Edinburgh XC Report

Hi Folks

Well I didn't think I was going to get there but after being rescheduled onto a later flight Friday afternoon, i did get away after all. I had to get my train into a racing mind set as I had kind of resided myself that I would get away. I must say my arrangement were a walk in the park compared with the Mexican athlete Barrios (who finished 5th in the end) he flew into Heathrow from Mexico two days before, had this flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh cancelled so had to get the train, the train then terminated at Newcastle due to weather and he had to get the bus from Newcastle to Edinburgh which got him to the hotel at 3am the day of the race! hats to him for racing as well as he did.

I was fairly pleased with my race in the end, as i've been quite tired in training recently and was unsure as to what I might produce on the day. 10th overall was a good enough result and I believe I will only get better over the coming weeks with training changing a little bit now. Conditions during the race were quite pleasant with the sun coming out and there being no wind, its was still fairly cold in terms of the temparature and i wore only a vest! which was fine to begin with but the sun disappeared behind the hills midway into the race and my body started to feel the effects of the cold later into the race. I went straight to the foil wraps they were handing out at the end of the race and then straight to the athletes tent for a hot drink! not usually my first thoughts after a race. Overall I really enjoyed the race though, which I think is my first in the snow (from start to finish), I had a good battle with the Eritrean athletes (now based in Scotland) althought they need to learn to run in a straight line as they kept cutting across me in the race, nothing a good elbow didnt fix though :@), was nice to beat them both too. Also in the race was Bekele (the current World and Olympic Champ over 10,000m and 11 time World XC Champion) he who suffered only his second ever defeat in a xc race and although clearly not in his best shape, still a shock defeat none the less.

1st Ebyua (kenya) 28.41
2nd Mbishei 28.42
3rdKipchoge 29.04
4th Bekele (Ethiopia) 29.17
5th Barrios (Mexico) 29.25
6th Lebid (UKraine) 29.51
7th Thompson (GB) 29.52
8th Skinner (GB) 30.01
9th McLeod (GB) 30.20
10th Merrien 30.22
11th Tewelde (Eritrean) 30.24
12th Mengisteab (Eritean) 30.26)
It looking likely that my next race off island won't be until February, this will the European Club Cross Country Champs in Bilbao,Spain where i will be racing my UK club Newham.
Until next time.