Despite running for almost 15 years, it’s been over a decade since my last official marathon. Indeed, the 2018 Ladybower Trail Marathon was my first ever off-road attempt at this distance. A venture into the unknown.
To attempt this at Ladybower reservoir was particularly special for me as I spent so much of my early years as an athlete running and cycling around its shores. It was made extra special by the beautiful summer weather we got to enjoy on race day. With not a breath of wind in the air, and the sun beating down, it was more akin to racing in continental Europe rather than the Peak District.
After racing the first 10 miles with the leaders in the shorter distance race, it was then over to me to race against the clock for the remaining 16 miles. I knew it would be tough to maintain my pace and form.
However, one of my main goals for the race was to try and race hard under fatigue – as preparation for challenges to come later in the season.
Having negotiated the climb above Fairholmes, the race was fast and undulating for the final 10 miles. Despite dropping off my target pace, I maintained my target heart rate and just about held my form. It was also an excellent opportunity to get some good racing miles in my Scott Trail Rockets. They will be the shoes I use for World Duathlon Championships this year so I used the race as a chance to get properly re-acquainted with them.
Excellently organised with a fun, relaxed atmosphere, I would highly recommend the race to anyone looking to tune up their long-distance race pacing. Big thanks to Team Accelerate and Scott for your support. My 2018 season continues to progress in the right direction as I build towards big races in September and October. More exciting updates to follow soon.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying the opportunity for a couple of weeks training in the French Alps, with a couple of evening adventures out on to the mountains too :).