Saturday, 4 February 2012

Rauceby Ripper 2012

Post Race Chat
"When the body cries stop, the spirit cries never." At 8.30am on Saturday morning the alarm rang and I staggered to the curtains. It was cold in the bedroom and it looked even colder outside. The body said "stop and go back to bed". Somewhere on the return leg, the spirit kicked in, I swerved the bed and went for a shower.

Thirty minutes later, I left Grantham on my bike for Rauceby, a typically quaint village west of Sleaford, Lincolnshire. It was bitterly cold during the 11 mile cycle across the Lincolnshire countryside, passing through Londonthorpe, Welby, Oasby and Culverthorpe before reaching Rauceby. I was late. I always seem to be late. I arrived at 10.10am for a 10.30am start. After rushing through registration and changing clothes in a hurry, I ran to the start which was some 1/4 of a mile away from registration at Rauceby Village Hall. My feet, which had felt like ice blocks during the cycle, began to warm up.
Keith Measures? Grantham AC leaves a competitor floundering in his wake!

There was a safety announcement at the start. It had recently snowed and the ground was covered and frozen hard. The sun shone brightly, a typically crisp day, perfect for running . The Rauceby Ripper runs through a private estate, a vast expanse of land with a huge gaff in the middle. The lady of the manor was presented with a bunch of flowers to thank her for opening up the estate to a hundred or so brightly clothed runners who had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning. The start gun went I ran at a steady pace, attempting to conserve energy. There were no mile markers which presented a mental challenge as you can't help but guess where on the 8 mile course you are likely to be. 

I felt strong throughout and noticed that I was able to sustain a good effort despite breathing hard, perhaps that "terrible" speed work is beginning to pay dividends. I passed a couple of runners over the past few miles to finish 12th in 56:51. Full results here. 
A frosty finish
The Rauceby Ripper was an excellent event. The route is picturesque and runners benefited from a sunny winter's day which allowed great views across the Lincolnshire fen. The race runs across tracks, field edges and road. The goody bag at the end rivalled the Stockport 10 and included a chocolate bar, a key ring, a fluffy sticker!?, a gold coloured metal shoe for the mantle piece and a bag of crisps. Post race I retired to the village hall for a cup of tea, and then another to wash down the crisps. I didn't much fancy the cycle back to Grantham but once I set off I enjoyed the ride and felt satisfied that the spirit had beaten the body. In contrast to my feet being cold on the way out, it was my hands that got it big time on the return leg. 

On the way back, after flying down the road from Londonthorpe, I encountered a limping runner. I stopped to ask him if he was ok. It turned out he'd turned his ankle by Belton Tower and he was trying to stagger back to his house on the Manthorpe Estate. He was grateful for the offer of my mobile but on ringing his Dad to ask to be rescued his answer phone kept kicking in! I couldn't help anymore, i was on my bike, my partner was away with the car and so I watched my  running brethren limp off through the Alma Park estate. He decided to divert to his sister's house instead. I was pretty sure he'd be ok but he did look mighty cold!            

PS - There's a new product on the running market, ideal for those awkward long runs when carrying water is an effort. I won't be using here

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