On Saturday I ran the Sandstone Trail from Whitchurch to Frodsham. It was one of my most disappointing performances, however it was a great course and it was incredibly well organised, even the weather was well organised! Lots of friends were running which was great. Nice to see everyone before during and after the event!
I rolled home in 8th place at 5 hours 11mins, about 1 hour slower than I planned. Oh... and speaking of rolled, I managed to roll over on my ankle and give it a good twisting around an hour into the race. As I crossed one of the pretty muddy cow fields my shoe was pulled off in the mud and the next step I landed without said shoe on probably the only firm bit of ground within a 5m radius which was enough to throw me off track. I felt a sharp pain at the time but quickly retrieved my shoe and got back on the running with the leader just ahead. It didn't feel too good to run on but I still could run so I did, within the next mile or 2 my ankle was incredibly unstable and I managed to twist it a further 3 or 4 times within that time it felt incredibly weakened! I dropped my pace and mulled over the idea of dropping out trying to decide whether or not I was going to do any serious damage or if I was just being soft.... Basically anything that was cambered or any trail across a slope or involving side stepping and climbing over styles (practically 90% of the route) was painful, on the few smooth parts such as brief sections on pavement or road I could keep the pace I had planned, although far from ideal if I carried on being very slow on the rougher parts and just hobbling to the finish, I thought I would be happy enough.... 2 days on and the ankle is feeling sore if I try to twist it but absolutely fine for walking or lunging in straight lines, good news!
Before the race we were all on a bus to the start line as it was a linear route, we got off the bus and instantly everybody went into sheep mode, for some reason somebody started walking the opposite direction than the start line and everybody followed! After turning everybody around we set off to the toilets that were going to be opened by the council on the morning, which everybody again managed to walk past in sheep mode. Turns out they weren't opened but not to worry, it wasn't the organisations fault.
At about half way into race I remember passing someone near Beaston castle who was running mile reps and informed me and another chap we were 'going too fast' ... good job he didn't see me before I fell with the ankle! Just after that a young lad helping at the checkpoint who was stamping our cards wasn't quite strong enough to stamp mine, The young nippers helping out at checkpoints were brilliant, as were all the other volunteers and supporters. Thanks guys! The day was rounded off with lots of food at the end and then Mr Dave from Delamere Spartans put on a massive bbq feast for the Spartans with lots of spartany cakes! Thanks for having us all Dave and Steph!!!
I would love to do this again but without the injury although I doubt the weather will be so good next time! I should be back into careful running by the end of the week! Some photos to follow!