The ‘Blind’ 30 minute challenge

The 5th 30 minute challenge saw 2 changes;

1 – a new route, heading out towards the Lakes, along Mill Lane.

2 – This was a ‘blind’ challenge, runners covered their watches up at the start and therefore had to gauge their pace, distance covered and when to turn around to ensure they got back within the 30:00 limit – there was a prize for the person who finished closest too, but under 30:00.  Anyway, this is the race from my perspective …

At 12:15, having liberally dispensed parcel tape, Paul Ashley set us off.  A group of Tim N, Matt M, Matt P and Adam quickly formed towards the front (given it’s July – the peloton), however there was a breakaway at the front – Magdalena leading the way up the path and past the 4 Horseshoes, safe to say the peloton were fairly impressed with this and as we approached the underpasses a brief discussion about whether we should work together to bring her back – then decided every man for himself!  Around the 1 mile mark, we started trying to guess our pace, with estimates in the peloton ranging from sub 7:00 to 7:30 (mine turned out to be 7:06).

Passing over the railway bridge, I decided to take matter into my own hands (feet) and pushed on to catch Magdalena – TBH, I was hoping someone would come with me, but I was left dangling and vulnerable as I moved into the virtual Maillot Jaune on Mill Lane.  I couldn’t see behind me and so had no idea how close the others were or if they’d turned.  Going through the first gate to the Lakes (which was open – time bonus) I started to wonder when to turn around, knowing I’d passed 2 miles and then got ‘summit fever’ and thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice to get to the (first) bridge’.

Achieving this I turned around and realised pretty quickly that no one else had followed me that far – had I completely messed up on my estimate of the half way point?  Running back along Mill Lane I was completely on my own (the Lantern Rouge), no one else in sight, until I caught a glimpse of Adam in the distance near station road (maybe 200m ahead).  I didn’t seem to be catching him and it felt like I was slowing down, TBH at this point I thought I’d missed the time cut off completely and would be eliminated.    Passing Tesco’s I caught a sight of Tim M (who had been passed by Adam) and focused on catching him, then I saw Naomi and eased passed her too.  As I turned onto the path I still thought it was all over as I assumed other runners would have estimated pretty accurately and therefore if I was one of the final finishers I’d be eliminated.

Once I could see Paul and the other runners at the finish line I picked up the pace a bit, but the whole time I was expecting to see a dropped arm and maybe hear distant laughter from my running mates!  I’d even convinced myself that 30 minutes had long since gone and they were just getting amusement from seeing me race down the path to no avail.   Crossing the line I stopped my Garmin, unpeeled the tape and was amazed to see I’d finished in 28:51.  My attention then turned to those behind me – Naomi coming in 29:15 and Tim in 30:04 for his second ‘fail’, which made Naomi the winner of the sweets for the getting the most out of the course.

So it transpired that, for me, running solo probably helped me go a bit further before turning, no way I would have been brave enough to back myself and carry on going ‘out’ when those around me had turned around.

Chatting to other runners, it seemed that no one was great at estimating when to turn around, but the earliest turner was Claire at 11:22 into the run.

Where the other ‘strava runners’ were when Claire turned around …

& where we all were when Naomi (latest turn) turned around

It transpired that the rest of the Tim/Adam/Matt M group did catch Magda, but she had the confidence to back herself and go a little bit further before turning to record the 2nd furthest distance (just beyond the gate).

In other news, Matt, Karen and Tim M maintained their ever present (EP) status in the challenge (I mistakenly didn’t credit Tim with an EP in the last report) and Adam was the only runner to PB on distance covered, beating his previous best by 50 metres.

Thank you to Paul for sitting out this event to rest for Wyvern 10k this weekend (good luck) and hence enabling me to run.

The next event is in September – idea’s for how to make it different, interesting, fun etc, let me know – I certainly am not the best or only idea’s person in OSR.