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Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Race Report

With Mountainous Ultra running growing ever more popular, we decided it was time to introduce an additional location in which to hold an identical 10 Peaks event to the one that had been running in the Lake District since 2010.

On 7th September 2013 the Brecon Beacons hosted the second 10peaks event of the year, copying the exact same format as the Lake District event that had taken place just 3 months earlier – 10 highest peaks, 24 hour cut-off time and navigation being a key component.

©2013 Stephen Fitzsimmons

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Posted in Brecon Beacons 2013

Richard Lendon – The Lakes Race Report

“So how far was it, Rich?”
Around 43 miles…..
“How long did it take you?”
14 hours and 42 minutes……
“That’s very slow for you. Where did you finish?”
7th
“Out of 6?”
Very funny. Out of 150 starters.
“Wow! It must have been tough”
It was.

04:00 start from Thirlspot. 03:15 buses leave from race HQ in Keswick. Alarm set for 02:00. Woke up at 01:00!

Around 150 runners were taken by bus to the race start at Thirlspot, under Helvellyn. It was good to catch up with some of the usual suspects including Annie and Andrew. Several said hello to me, but I couldn’t quite remember who they were; the ravages of the aging process. After the race briefing, and with dawn’s first light just breaking through, we were off, straight up Helvellyn.

Sticking to my now standard plan of taking it steady at the start, going at my own pace, rather than getting excited and following the lead pack, I reached the summit (Peak 1) in 49 minutes. Straight back down, via a bit of cross-country, through CP1, and it was the long haul up Wyth Burn and it’s famous bogs, which were particularly boggy.

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Clif Bar 10 Peaks – Short Course by Tony Holland

My lungs are heaving and my legs are still aching from the brutal awaking they had 20minutes earlier. I glance down at my watch. Its 5.20am. Half way up the first peak of the day, Helvellyn. I am trying hard to keep as close to Mr White as I can, but he is slowly opening up the gap between us.

20 minutes earlier I had powered as hard as I could out of Swirls car park, determined to start the day as I meant to go on and happy to be finally away from annoying midges that had plagued everyone as we waited for the start of the 2013 Clif Bar 10 Peaks Short Race. Over the bridge and up to the gate that leads out onto the fell. Clatter! I hear the gate close again, a minute or so later. Someone is close and pushing hard. Sure enough, half way to the first summit I am passed by a guy in white and he is strong, fast and obviously an experienced mountain runner.  I ignore my complaining legs and just manage to hold the gap steady but I am well beaten to the first summit. With the first route decision of the day already made, I use a little local knowledge to get down to Wythburn Church as fast as I can, but hitting the forest at the wrong place meant almost a hands and knees crawl through dense trees and undergrowth to reach the forest trail.

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Posted in The Lakes 2013

Clif Bar 10 Peaks, The Lakes, 2013

The weekend of 29th June saw the return of the 10 Peaks event in the Lake District, now with a new headline sponsor, Clif Bar. There was another key addition to this year’s event, the introduction of the “short” course, designed for those competitors that saw the 73km long course, with it’s 5600m of height gain, a step too far. The “short” course would follow the same route as the long but would miss out a few loop sections, cutting down the overall distance to a more manageable 50km.

Peak 1 – Helvellyn ©2013 Sarah Booth

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Posted in The Lakes 2013

10 Peaks race preparation – race fuel

During many years of running, cycling and adventure racing, I have trained and raced with many different athletes of varying abilities and I can honestly say that nearly all of them have introduced me to something that I hadn’t previously tried, whether it was a new method of training, a new piece of kit or some nutritional advice. Some of these I now incorporate into my own training/racing and wonder how I ever managed before.

This just goes to show that there are many different (but equally successful!) ways of doing sport at our level. This could not be truer than when it comes to nutrition (although I am sure that professional athletes’ nutritionists would argue differently). One thing that you can be sure of though is that without taking on food and water during a 10 Peaks event, you will really struggle to make it to the finish!

This article will hopefully give those of you that have never really paid too much attention to your re-fuelling strategy some helpful advice that will make your next 10 Peaks race a better experience.

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Posted in Nutrition, Training

Daddy’s Blog by Robert Semple

When you first commit to a challenge its always good to research – tap into other people’s experiences and then assess your own chosen direction.

This is my blog on how I completed the 10 peaks in 2012, an endurance race on foot over the highest 10 peaks in England to be completed with a 24hour cut off. Before this years race only 52 people had managed this.


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Posted in The Lakes 2012

Fitness Preparation

The following advice is not planned to be specific to all potential 10 Peaks competitors, it is more geared towards providing those of you that do not have any health issues a basic guide on what is required to get your mind and body ready to take on the challenge of a 10 Peaks race. Many of you will already have a training strategy, but for those that do not, this should help. {Where I talk about “running” training below, those of you that plan to walk the 10 Peaks event may wish to replace this by running/walking instead}

Mark out hill training whilst plotting the Brecon Route

Get started

We are now at the beginning of October and there are almost 9 full months before the Clif Bar 10 Peaks Lakes race. If this race is your first major focus for 2013 you have ample time to get yourself fully prepared. Don’t however be fooled into thinking that you can put off your training until after Christmas. There is much work to be done now and over the winter months to get your body ready for the more structured training that will commence in the spring.

Routine

Get yourself into a regular routine of training that can become the “norm” before winter bites, that way you will give yourself the best chance of coming out the other side of winter fitter than you went in. Build up slowly and train regularly. 4 or 5 individual session per week (of say 45 minutes to an hour for each session) is much better than one 2.5 hour session per week that leaves you unable to walk for 3 days. Use the weekend for your long runs and train over shorter distances during the week.

Cross training

I personally do plenty of cross training over the winter months. I know I am not able to do 5 running sessions in 7 days (my legs would break and I would get very bored!) so I do 5 or 6 different training sessions per week and I get far more out of them than I would from just running. So mix in some circuit training, cycling, swimming (…that is proper triathlon type swimming, not floating!!) but be sure to know your own body, and be prepared to swap sessions around to avoid overtraining certain muscles.

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Steve Smedley and Samantha McGrady take on the Satmap 10 Peaks

Steve Smedley and Samantha McGrady (both finishing together within the 24 hour time limit, Sam being the 7th woman home) write about their experience on the day, give a few hints and tips for future 10 Peakers, and generally enthuse about the whole thing!

After six months of fairly constant training, the big day finally arrived – our attempt to complete the 10 Peaks Challenge on 21 July 2012. We had hoped to give it a go in 2011 but injury intervened. This year, we’d changed our approach to training and it seemed to have paid off – no injuries and reasonably fresh legs. Our training comprised a combination of as many short (5-8) mile hilly runs during the week that work and family commitments would allow, and a big run/walk most weekends (we probably took 1 weekend in 5 off) – all cross country in rolling Derbyshire where we live. The big run/walk we built up from around 10 to a maximum of 33 miles three weeks before the event. We also threw in a 40 mile ultramarathon at the end of May (the Dukeries – highly recommended). Our big run/walk was based on running all the flats and downs, and speed-walking the uphills. This was pretty much what we thought we’d be doing on the day (turned out we were right). What we didn’t manage to do is have as many training weekends in the big mountains as we’d planned – largely due to appalling weather. This meant that although in the couple of months before the event we’d incorporated “hill drills” into our training, we didn’t have quite as good hill fitness on the day as we’d have liked. As a result, we found a couple of the very steep ascents very draining, specifically the last third/half of Pillar and first bit of Skiddaw.

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Posted in The Lake District, The Lakes 2012

10 Peaks 2012 Race Report

The Satmap 10 Peaks is designed to test the hardiest competitors. Many who entered found that it was the toughest challenge they had ever done. It’s not just the 73km, or even the 5600m of ascent which catches people out, but the unforgiving terrain making progress slow. Climbing the Lake District’s 10 highest mountains in one day makes this event an incredible mental and physical challenge.

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2012 race report by the winner, Mark Bottomley

Back in January I was searching for a long foot race to do in the summer, to fill the gap between the adventure races I had planned. I wanted a serious challenge that would involve hills and navigation, so when I came across the 10 Peaks Challenge website and read that no-one had managed to complete the full course in under the 24 hour time limit in 2010, my interest was sparked and I immediately entered.

The 10 Peaks challenge is a navigational race in the Lake District, taking in the 10 highest peaks, close to 6000 metres of ascent, 73 km of distance and in a time limit of 24 hours. A route is suggested, and the 10 peaks do have to be tackled in a set order, but the actual route that you take is your decision.

Race day arrived a little sooner than I would have liked – it would have been nice to recce a little bit more of the course beforehand. Too late now! I left my B&B in Keswick at 3am Saturday morning to walk to the Keswick Country House Hotel (race HQ) and it was like stepping into a Michael Jackson Thriller Movie. It was the middle of the night yet there were people advancing on race HQ from all directions, as though their bodies had been possessed and some alien force was pulling them in.

I arrived at the Hotel and dropped off a small kit bag with the organisers, which they would forward to Honister Pass (check point 4). In it were spare trail shoes and socks, a spare top and some Clif bars, gels and powders (I would not see this again for some 8 hours or more). I then boarded one of the many coaches that were to drop us at Swirls car park for the 4am start. Spirits were high as we had been promised some decent weather but there was still lot of nervous laughter to be heard. It was a great atmosphere, a real sense of “We are all in this together”. The first question we all seemed to ask the person sitting next to us on the coach was “……have you done this before?” It was as though we were seeking reassurance that the challenge that lay ahead was actually possible.

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Posted in The Lakes 2012