Never heard of it.
There has, however, been a 20 mile race since 2008 which has borne the moniker of The Trimpell 20.
Used by many as a build-up to spring marathons such as Manchester and London it’s a 99% traffic free route through Lancaster and the Lune Valley countryside.
So a bunch of DH Runners piled into a bus and headed down the motorway for an 11am start. Most, if not all, of us were training for marathons so this distance was already on the training plan. I had originally planned to enter Lorton 10k on the Saturday and still do my training run on the Sunday. But it made more sense in the end to do an easy parkrun on the Saturday and then get myself entered into the Trimpell 20.
My plan was to do a steady first 10 mile hitting the 10 mile marker at around 1hr 20mins to 1hr 25mins. Then I was going to slow down to about a 9 minute mile pace for the final 10 miles potentially pushing hard on the last two miles for a sub 3 hour finish.
The race started at 11am. Arriving at 10 am we had about 30 minutes to kill before pre-race stretching and the like. Once I’d picked my race number up, visited the toilets and popped and locked to The Beastie Boys the 30 minutes flew in. A bit of pre-race stretching out of the way and we were all soon on the start line. It was becoming more and more noticeable that it was a fairly hot day. Having done most of my training in wind, rain and cold this was a bit of a shock to the system. I was already patting myself on the back for making the decision to race in shorts and a vest. The thought of running in a t-shirt and leggings in this kind of weather filled me with dread.
As I was waiting around for the start I had a glance around and saw a guy dressed as a gladiator. Each to their own but running is hard enough as it is without making it harder for yourself. There was also a guy facing the wrong way towards the back of the pack. I was later to find out that he ran the whole thing backwards. Mental.
The first couple of miles were quite pleasant. We’d spotted some secret DH Runners support crew who had made their way down to support on the QT, which was great to see. Just after mile 2 I started to see some runners heading towards me. It was at that point that I realised that we must loop round and come back on ourselves. I’d set off a bit fast to be honest, I was running 7 ½ minute miles, I felt fairly comfortable though so I thought I’d see how I was after five miles and take it from there.
Five miles in I was still fairly comfortable but fairly sweating a bit. I was doing ok though. We pulled into the countryside around mile seven and the headband had to go. I found a little wall and threw it just behind it with the intention of retrieving it later. It was a fair slog through the next three miles and all it seemed like was just an endless row of trees. I hit mile 10 at 1:21:07 which was pretty much job done for the first half. It was now time for me to take it a bit steadier. I was starting to work out where I would be time wise at miles 11 – 15 and estimated that I should hit mile 15 at 2hrs 6 minutes. If I continued running at around 9 minute miles that would put me on a 2hr 51min finish.
Things were to go a bit awry at mile 13 though when something in my groin popped. Instant pain!!! I was managing to struggle on though and my thinking was that I could get myself through the next seven miles. I was determined to finish, the pain hurt and I wanted a hug.
Suddenly I was running 10 minute miles and it was a definite slog. I had to get my head round the fact that people were passing me and I probably had no chance of keeping up with them let alone catch them.
The mind was playing tricks by mile 15 as it was telling me to start walking. I kept saying to myself to run the next mile and then start walking. Essentially I was tricking my mind to keep myself going. Every time I hit another mile marker I was saying keep running for another mile and then walk. This seemed to keep the legs ticking over at the very least.
I’d been running for 2 hours 56 minutes and I was only at mile 19. All times were out of the window at this point and it was all about the finish. By this point I’d been running 11 – 12 minute miles for about four miles but I knew the end was in sight. On the approach to Salt Ayre leisure centre we ran to the end of the path and then turned back on ourselves before hitting the track. It was at this point, and upon seeing the DH crew, that I decided that no-one else was passing me… except that lady that had just passed me.
She was in my sights, much like The Terminator locking in Sarah Connor, and I was going to catch her first. I was going to finish despite my injury but I was going to finish hard and strong. I caught her soon enough and then targeted the next person in front and imagined he was Sarah Connor. Caught him as well…
I hit the track and quickly did the math…ten people on the track (all called Sarah Connor) all in reach. Let’s do this.
I caught one, then another, then another. In the last 100 metres I’d caught them all and pushed on for the end. I don’t mean to sound competitive but I’d had such a grim few miles that I was determined that no-one else was passing me and I was going to give myself a jump up in the positions if I could.
I finished in a time of 3:06:08 at position 355.
It was a hard run in the end. But if I hadn’t have been injured I reckon I’d have enjoyed it. It could have done with being a bit colder mind.
I grabbed my medal and a t-shirt and was then handed a doughnut, water, banana and a sandwich. Top finish line effort. I’m used to just being handed a medal and some water but these guys really pushed the boat out. It was at this point that I realised my right nipple hadn’t had a good journey either…blood everywhere.
It wasn’t long before the last batch of DH Runners rocked up and the lovely Frances reunited me with my headband which she’d procured along the way.
There were a few tears at the finish line for some. It seemed that some had finished at the top of the emotional rollercoaster and were on a high and some had finished at the bottom having had a bit of a grueller. But all finished and that’s the main thing.
In the aftermath it was diagnosed that I have some hip misalignment which is causing no end of pelvis, quad, knee and calve pain. I’ve got some stretches and some foam rolling to do to sort myself out. It’s good that I’ve found this out with a month before the marathon though because that way I can start to fix the issue. Best case scenario I go into Manchester and can manage a sub four hour marathon. Worst case scenario I’m looking at a finish of around 4hrs 30mins. Either way, I’m not overly fussed. This, on the lack of training, was always going to be a no stress marathon. Anyway, one last long run and the taper begins.
I’d like to give Trimpell another bash next year, it might destroy me again…but then it might not.
Next up is another visit to Salt Ayre leisure centre for The Three Bridges 10k.
MUST REMEMBER TO START SLOW.
Fundraising continues in earnest and I’ve had a few local businesses supplying items for the raffle/auction for the fundraising night in July. If you’d like to donate to myself raising funds for Cure Rett then you can do so here. I’ve got loads of events on throughout 2015 and all of them are dedicated to raising funds to Cure Rett.
You can find me on facebook here.
And on Twitter at @SteveNaive1980.
DREAM, BELIEVE, TRAIN, ACHIEVE