Saturday, 2 February 2013

Rauceby Ripper - A Lost Sole

"I blew the soles off my feet"
Kyle Scaggs after setting the record for the 2008 Hardrock 100

"The sole came off my shoe"
Paul Rushworth after staggering round the 2013 Rauceby Ripper.  

Rauceby Ripper Route 2013
Sadly my lost sole was more to do with inappropriate choice of footwear rather than a super human performance. 7 miles into the 8 mile Rauceby Ripper race, the sole of my show came clean off leaving me to run to the finish Barefoot Ted style.
The day started well, bright sunshine flooded into the bedroom as the curtains were pulled back. The vaguely predicted snow forecast for Lincolnshire seemed unlikely to arrive. I had decide to cycle the ten or so miles to Rauceby and I had prepared the bike the previous evening. It was cold as I left the house just after 9am. By the time I arrived at the top of the hill in Londonthorpe I was too hot and needing to remove layers. There were some good view across the agricultural flatlands. The sun continued to shine brightly and other than the cold which was making my toes feel like blocks of ice I was looking forward to the race.
An advantage of cycling to a race start is that you arrive warmed up. Just after I arrived the race field that had been milling within the village hall left to wander down to the race start leaving the facilities almost entirely for me to "enjoy" on my own. By the time I arrived at the start I was warm and ready to race!
Keith Measures - Grantham AC
The Rauceby Ripper is an 8ish mile trail race crossing the edges of ploughed fields, tracks, wooded trails and a little bit of road. Some of the race runs through a private estate. The going is tough in places. I ran this event last year when a  hard frost had left lots of ankle turning territory. This year the fields were muddy and there were occasional puddles infiltrating the track demanding decisions about whether to run through and keep pace or alter course to go round whilst momentarily altering rhythm. The route is exposed in parts and runners had to battle hard against a stiff wind to keep a respectable pace. At one part I was directed through an unexpected gap in the hedge. I'd been running happily along a tarmac road when a marshall appeared and guided us through. At the other side of the hedge the only way to go was into a deep ditch with heavily ploughed clods of mud at the bottom. Thankfully it wasn't long before we could clamber out back on to the adjacent grass track.
Spot the difference
I was running well through six miles. I'd passed a few competitors and held off a heavily breathing challenger behind. After six miles I started to tire and the same heavy breather came past. I tried to stay with him but couldn't match the pace. Things got worse as I entered the wood, perhaps a mile from the finish. I was running at a steady pace and decided to run straight through a puddle on the path. It turned out the puddle was more muddy than wet and when I pulled my foot out I had (or at least I thought I had) ended up with someone else's shoe attached to my own. I felt sorry for the runner in front who had lost their shoe and I questioned if they had been able to carry on without it. 
My mind was soon bought back into focus for whilst I pondered my compatriots misfortune I had been trying to vigorously shake off the shoe which had become attached somehow to my own. I managed a few good shakes without breaking pace. It would have looked funny if there were any bystanders watching but we were in a fairly dense wood and there was nobody else around. Eventually I had to stop. I crossed my other foot to stand on the attached shoe and then moved my other foot quickly to tear my shoe away. It worked and I ran on. Perhaps I should have realised sooner but I'd run a few more paces before noticing that my left foot felt distinctly lighter than my right foot. It slowly dawned on me, I hadn't picked someone else's shoe up in the puddle, it was the sole of my own shoe that had come off - oh dear.....
Bareback Runners
I carried on running with little discomfort. I half thought that there must have been some covering left underneath because the route soon crossed stoney ground and If I was truly running bearfoot it would have hurt. I managed to run without interference all the way to the finish when an inspection confirmed that although the sole had come clean off there was an inner sock left that had provided just enough protection, phew!
I got back in 11th place in a time of 1:03:45 Stuart Sinclair was in front in 7th and new member Dave Kay was a place in front of Stuart. I understand that Dave is mainly a footballer but has recently tried a bit of running and has uncovered an undiscovered talent. 
We cheered home the rest of the Grantham contingent and watched as group of friends arrived together without their tops on. Obvioulsy not content with the race challenge they decided to run the route without tops on brrrrr. We retired for tea and shortbread biscuits but not before collecting race bags filled with chocolate bars, a banana, a medal, a bottle of water and crisps all of which provided fuel for the cycle home, another fine morning out. Thanks to the Rauceby race organisers.              


No comments:

Post a Comment