Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ponton Plod 2011 (Training Run - not the event)

My running friends from Grantham AC took part in the epic Thunder Run this weekend. Good luck folks I hope you all ran well.

I was aware that my own endurance event is fast approaching in the form of the Bullock Smithy. Although I've run a fair amount this year I haven't done that many long races so I decided to spend Saturday shuffling round 27 miles of the Ponton Plod.  
A couple of cows look after Limerick's field.
It was to be an easy paced run testing out a bit of new kit including a small day sac from Decathlon which has a handy chest pocket just big enough to hold my camera and some new Nike Air Pegasus Shoes.The Ponton Plod is an LDWA event that welcomes runners. In addition to the 27 mile route there are 17 
Orderly Sheep
& 11.5 mile options. The event is run in September, I ran the 27 mile route last year and will probably run again this year if I'm not on holiday. I left Great Ponton village Hall at about 11.30am. It was bright with a cover of cloud, the sun broke through occasionally and I knew if the cloud cleared it would be hot and humid later on.
Stoke Rochford
Hydration is always a challenge in such conditions. I don't like to carry lots of water because of the weight. I had already ripped out the bladder of my knew day sac to create more room. Instead I carried a bit of change and knew that at about half way I'd pass the pub in Saltby where I would take on a few pints of juice which I hoped would see me through the second half. My partner had also agreed to drive out and meet me to pass a bit of food on and so I took my phone so we could arrange a suitable meeting point. The route leaves Great Ponton and runs through, Stoke Rochford - Skillington - Buckminster - Spoxton - Saltby - Croxton Kerrial - Harston - Denton - Denton Reservoir - Harlaxton - Wyville - and back to Great Ponton. It's a well thought out route and to be recommended as an event in September.
Buckminster Water Tower

I ran steadily to Sproxton and on up the track to the water tower. No checkpoint or food to take advantage of today, instead on towards Buckminster passing a busy hen with chicks on the way. By the time I reached the fringes of Sproxton I was looking forward to refreshment at the pub in
Saltby, sadly when I arrived it was closed and I was a bit concerned as I was thirsty. I ran across rutted fields through wood and up an uneven motorcycle track being careful to remember the right turn footpath hidden in the bushes. Soon I arrived at Croxton Kerrial and was happy that the Peacock Pub was open. Slightly embarrassed to walk through the diners in a sweaty bedraggled state I ordered two pints of blackcurrant and stood outside to down them with a bit of wedding cake that I'd taken with me. I filled up my water bottle from the outside tap and shuffled on towards Harston. By now the
A typical path in these parts
sun had come out there were great views across the vale of Belvior and i was running strong rehydrated and fueled and looking forward to the rest of the run. I decided not to phone my partner until I was near the finish.
Denton Reservoir
I ran fast up the track to Denton and on to the Reservoir. There were a few people knocking about making the most of a nice day it was some of the only other people I had seen all day. I ran on to Harlaxton and instead of passing through the village I skirted the boundary and ran on up the hill towards Gorse Lane.I paused briefly to take a shot looking back over Grantham. At Gorse Lane I phoned Tracy as i knew I'd be back in Great Ponton within the hour I was tempted to ask her to meet my at Wyville as the sun was by now intense and I was thirsty. Instead I hoped for an outdoor tap by the village hall, there wasn't one and despite the church being open there was no water in there either. There was a couple of bottles of water on the floor, maybe used to water flowers and although I was tempted I decided to run on. Just after leaving Wyville I met a chap with an angry dog. It looked more 
At the end of another fine run.
an angry lion and he was just about holding on to it. I was glad it was on a lead and I picked up the pace. I ran the last four or so miles fairly fast mostly because I had had enough and was thirsty. I crossed the bridge over the A1 and was met at the Village Hall with a bottle of water, phew! I drenched myself and drank the rest followed by a bag of cherries. The run had taken five hours, I'd hope to do it perhaps an hour faster on race day. The day sac was good, Ill probably use it on the Bullock Smithy. I wasn't overly sold on the shoes and I'll have to give more though to footwear ahead of the BSH.  

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