Archive for the ‘walking poles’ Category

Strider walks it in 11 hrs 35 mins

April 26, 2010
Rob Burrows was first spotted during the BAD Tri run to clebrate the Equinox, when he put pressure on the senior pair by striding past them to appear suddenly ahead when they slowed down to walk. Hence the name “Strider.”
We all wondered – was his claim that he could walk the Green Man Challenge inside 12 hours do-able? 4-mph was definitely possible, but could he keep it up over 45 miles? Opinions were divided.
I was curious enough to witness the event, even though that meant getting up for a 6-30 start. Libby even got up to take me to the start – an unheard of event!
I found Dan locked out of the Ashton Court estate, carrying what I thought was rather a lot of kit. Obviously walkers do things differently I thought. We were soon jpoined by Carl and Rob, who seemed to be carrying rather less. I was wearing shorts and carrying a camel back, feeling a bit under-dressed. We hopped over the wall and were soon ready for a 6-30 start.

Dan, Carl, Green Man and Strider

Rob set off at a very cracking pace, but I was able to keep up bywalking quickly unless I was held up by a gate or stile when I could only keep in touch by jogging like a terrier at his side. The other two trailed along behind, but more or less in touch at first. However, when I paused to turn around to show them the way after the Community Forest Path briefly joins the Monarch’s Way, they were nowhere in sight. Strider had the only maps, so I went back to find them while he strode ahead up the hill. I found them back along the trail. They had taken a wrong turning near the stables. I guided them up the hill where we met Strider on the Access land leading onto Dundry Down.
I took myself off to the side whilst they had a crisis talk. It seemed that only Strider could maintain the necessary 4mph pace, so he handed his detailed maps over to Carl and Dan and went ahead with me. Obviously Strider had a streak of steel about him I thought.
Later, we were both feeling uncomfortable about leaving the other two, so I left Strider to carry on from North Wick, whilst I went back along the trail to check they were alright. I eventually came across them a kilometre away below Walnut Farm in East Dundry. They assured me that they were content to play tortoise to Strider’s hare and thought they would would find him collapsed alongside the route later on. So I ran back along the trail to find Strider. I eventually caught up with him at the farm past Publow Church, nearly 5K further on.
We carried on without further incident until we reached the Lockkeeper at Keynsham, where Libby pulled into the car park just as we were hiding Rob’s last map behind a lamppost for Dan and Carl to pick up. This meant that Rob was going to have rely on his memory and waymarks to finish the challenge. I was going to wait for them, but it turned out that they were not much past Pensford an hour behind.
(In the event, Dan and Carl decided that 15 miles was enough, so they they took the train back from Keynsham – determined to come back and take on the challenge under their own terms.)
I was a bit worried about Strider, because he now had no map and was unsure about the stretch from the Banana Bridge into Easter Compton, where he did indeed go off trail a bit. However, he soon got back on track as I learnt from hourly updates during a family picnic on the Downs.
I eventually met him again on the Downs at the top of Mariners’ Walk and kept him company until we  met his girlfriend Millie at the Green Man. He had slowed down a bit because of his blisters, so it was a little easier to keep up, but he nevertheless finished in 11 hours 35 minutes, which is 3 mins inside Woodwose I’s time.

Strider pauses for a breather before the finish

So – we welcome another Woodwose – Woodwose XXIV, who qulified, appropriately enough, on 24th April. 

To pole or not to pole

December 22, 2007

After the last long run, I decided to read up on the web about technique. Apparently, I need to adjust the straps so I can let go of the poles at the end of the backswing and they will come to hand for the next one.

I wondered what the adjustment screws were for!

The bad news is using poles uses up 25% more calories than walking. How that translates into running I am not sure. The problem is whether the gain from inflicting less wear and tear on your joints is offset by the increase in energy use. Can I make up for it by taking in more calories on the hoof as it were?

Rob has found out that ultra-marathon runners use ibuprofen at regular intervals to keep them going. Is that a good idea?