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Rowbothams Round Rotherham 50 Miles Race

27/10/2016

Just one week after running 42.5 miles in the Chorley six hours race Les Hill went to Rotherham to tackle this 50 miles trail race.

Having already completed it ten times he knew what to expect and so anticipating the effects of the previous week would make it tough he set off at a conservative pace. He felt fine on arrival at the first checkpoint, eleven miles into the race in 97 minutes but after a further six miles and at the second checkpoint he felt the tiredness in his legs and from there to the finish just focussed on jogging along without walking and without straining.

This tactic paid off and he was confident of getting round in under eight and a half hours until a lapse in concentration, no doubt caused by tiredness, caused him to miss a part of the route that he is familiar with. He was well beyond the turn off before he realised and having climbed to the top of a hill decided to go on, resulting in an additional mile, rather than drop back down only to have to another climb.

The route is not marked and navigation is required so taking alternative paths due to getting lost is permitted in the rules. The official route takes the shortest course between the checkpoints so any deviation adds on distance and time with nothing to be gained by not following the specified route.

Les reckons this cost him at least 10 minutes as several people who had been behind him finished ahead of him by 8 to 10 minutes and it was while he was off route they had got in front of him. He finished in 8 hours 43 minutes and he was delighted with this as it was six minutes faster than his 2015 time and it placed him 23rd out of 222 starters with only 192 finishers. He has promised himself an easy few weeks of small mileage to fully recharge before future races.

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