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Gore Kit test or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the DNF.

Happy on the outside.

Happy on the outside.

The Long Tour of Bradwell saw me taking part ‘for fun’ last Saturday(9th Aug).  I’ve previously quit the race at 17 miles and received a DNF(did not finish) for my trouble.  Last year I finished despite a head injury after only 3 miles and clocked in at 6hrs 29mins.

This year I’ve done no running, certainly no training and the 15 mile trail race I’d completed 2 weeks earlier pretty much exhausted me.  All good signs that the 33miles of steep hills(including the tallest peak in Derbyshire) should be ‘fun’.

Surprise surprise, DNF in 2014.  No great shock.  The difference this time was I decided to quit long before it became a slog.  With the limited amount of running I’ve done, my legs aren’t coping with the ultras by any stretch.  I’d like to blame the Wasp that stung my left ankle only half a mile into the run, but that wasn’t really more than a nuisance.  It seems now tradition for me to suffer some random upset in the early stages of this race.

I cleared the 7th checkpoint and drank a much needed water, but immediately wished I had more water.  My legs were tired, but not just cause I’d come down the side of Lose Hill a moment ago, I mean I was reluctant to run even on the flat section past Hope Cemetery and Farfield Farm.

I considered my options.  Walk the rest in discomfort and be all day about it.  Run/walk and most likely quit further on.  Slog it out and damage myself in the process, causing enormous delay in running anywhere again for a long time and being in the same mess weeks from now.  So I decided that as I was so close to race HQ and the next section was a steep climb up the side of Win Hill, that the ‘walk of shame’ would be my best choice.

On the way back in, up the main road through Brough – I was offered a lift from someone who obviously recognised what I was doing, but I opted to complete the walk at least.  I figured to be driven back was a little too pathetic.

So that was that.  I arrived back in time for many to think I’d just completed the Half Tour and they were frantic, yelling at me to register with my dibber that I’d finished.  Calm down, I thought, I’m really in no hurry whatsoever.  Ho hum.  Amusingly, the marshall in Edale actually recognised me and said “hello there, you’ve done this one a few times haven’t you?”.  Well, yes, but from his point of view it probably looks as if I do alright, where in fact – I just look pretty good by Edale, then Kinder Scout puts things into perspective.

Check out the Movescount info from my GPS Pod(which I forgot to start until 2 miles up the first hill!).

What I need is to build slowly from a few easy miles on a regular basis.  Something I can’t do with trashed legs.  So I spared myself injury with 15 miles in the bank.

This race was tougher than the last, so I kinda see it as progress.  Well done to all who finished this year.  Nice to have seen so many familiar faces, particularly Nigel Aston, who recognised me at the start and said a nice hello..

Anyway:

The kit I was wearing was much more of a success.  So let’s quickly cover what it was and why it worked.

I was wearing the Salomon S-LAB Sense shoes, which I debated after a lot of rain the night before, but couldn’t resist.  They’re very lightweight and comfy, with the stiffness I like on longer runs, but freedom of movement to ensure I move in good form(clears throat awkwardly).  Feet felt fine and I had enough grip thanks to it drying out rapidly by the time we set off.  Not sure wet grass and mud would have been so simple.

I wore the inov-8 140 Trail Shorts, which have become my ‘go to’ shorts of late.  Comfy, light, water resistant and fast drying when they do get wet, I can’t fault them.  Chafing seems to be non-existent thanks to their built in liner, which is longer through the keg than the traditional internal ‘briefs’.  I can run in these all day(averts gaze).

The top was a first this time around, the GORE ‘Magnitude 2.0 Zip Shirt’ in Blaze Orange and Black.

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I look like this in mine, obviously.

The verdict – amazing!  Moisture management supreme.  By the time I had stopped and expected to be wet through, I had all but dried out.  Gravity had caused the remaining moisture to drop to my waistband, but the torso was mainly dry.  It was very light.  Very comfy.  The long zip allows for ‘venting’ and then some.  The shirt features two pockets built into the rear, so gels or tabs can be stowed on shorter runs.  The fitted design is specifically tailored toward use of a pack or vest, and works brilliantly.  Everything sat together nicely, didn’t budge and I had no aggravation.  I could hardly tell I had it on.

MAIN FABRIC: 95% POLYAMIDE, 5% ELASTANE, MESH: 100% POLYESTER – See more at: http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/MAGNITUDE-2.0-Zip-Shirt/SMAGZS,default,pd.html?dwvar_SMAGZS_color=2699&start=3&cgid=grw&q=magnitude#sthash.ajhenpSi.dpuf

I will be using it on future events, since it’s designed for endurance runners – so I really should try it out when I’ve found mine.  Maybe it’s behind the sofa….

 

Thanks to Nick Ham for header pic.

MAIN FABRIC: 95% POLYAMIDE, 5% ELASTANE, MESH: 100% POLYESTER – See more at: http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/MAGNITUDE-2.0-Zip-Shirt/SMAGZS,default,pd.html?dwvar_SMAGZS_color=2699&start=3&cgid=grw&q=magnitude#sthash.ajhenpSi.dpuf
MAIN FABRIC: 95% POLYAMIDE, 5% ELASTANE, MESH: 100% POLYESTER – See more at: http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/MAGNITUDE-2.0-Zip-Shirt/SMAGZS,default,pd.html?dwvar_SMAGZS_color=2699&start=3&cgid=grw&q=magnitude#sthash.ajhenpSi.dpuf

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Special Guests who love to run and have something to say. Running, kit and gear, racing and adventures... anything goes, thank goodness!

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