2015 race results, Dot Kesterton, Accelerate/Scott supported runner.
Annual Review 2015.
A gradual evolution from shaky first steps in 2008 through 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon, (London 2012 and 2013) gave me the welcome dilemma of thinking of new ways to challenge myself. Road running no longer held the same excitement for me so, with the wonderful Peak District on my doorstep there was really only one way to go. Up.
The plan for the year, agreed with the inestimable support of coach, Stuart Hale at Accelerate, would increase and improve my strength and endurance to get me to the British Masters World Mountain Running Championships in Wales in September, so all training and races would support that aim.
After a couple of road runs left over from the previous year’s wish list, spoiled by a few health problems, the Accelerate Gritstone series got me under way in March with Wolf’s Pit, a fairground ride of a race with a crazy ascent and descent, which kicks off the season in style, leaving you exhilarated and squealing for more.
Plenty of long slow distance work on Win Hill, Lose Hill and Kinder during the summer months, often with my lovely Smiley Paces buddies gave me the courage to tackle the Scott Snowdon Half Marathon with my Scott/Accelerate team mates in July. Rising from Llanberis village, the route takes the steady Ranger path for around 5 miles to the foot of Snowdon. I knew from my preparation that I had to take the first third of the race very steadily if I was to have enough in my legs for the ascent and race back to the start. I kept to my plan, walking where the climb was too steep towards the summit and arrived, sodden from heavy rain, mist swirling round and fingers numb in zero temperatures. Pretty elated at the turn, I hurtled down the Llanberis path, even getting to race the train full of bemused passengers for a few minutes. My enthusiasm was just a bit too premature. At the bottom the route rises up into the quarry opposite Llyn Padarn for just under a mile, handrails placed where the path is steep. Twelve miles in I took a tumble and wondered if the torn tendon in my shoulder, sustained earlier in the year whilst running in icy weather had sheared. Tentatively rising, helped by Stuart who was running a very good race himself, I managed to pick up the pace to come in at 2:48:43; average pace 11.57mmp; average heart rate 167bpm; first F60 and 11th woman out of 126.
With all the training and races going to plan, despite the torn shoulder tendon, I went off to Betws y Coed in September for World Masters Mountain Running Championships. Mountain running is different from fell running in that the course is clearly marked and prescribed. (see separate race report 12:09:15)
Two days later I had surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff tendon and following a period of recovery finished the year with a very comfortable win in age at the Lakeland Trails Dirty Double even of Helvellyn and Ullswater. The year ended with the Smiley Paces out in force at the Percy Pud 10K in the Loxley Valley in Sheffield. Although wet and blustery and having done very little speed work during the year, I was delighted with my fifth consecutive win, albeit a little slower than in previous years.
Number of runs: 250
Mileage: 1150 miles
Elevation: Not sure, Garmin hasn’t added it up for me but I certainly did run a few good ups this year.
Dot Kesterton, 30th December 2015.