Well what a difference 7 days can make to a running schedule. Earlier in the week I sat down and mapped out how much gear I still needed to get for the Lakeland 50 event in July. A complete list is below:
- First aid kit
- Full waterproof trousers.
- Hat and gloves
- Emergency foil blanket / bivi bag
- Emergency food & drink
- GPS Handheld Device
Now looking at this it will probably cost me no more than 200 pounds, maybe less with some bargain hunting. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money but considering I have already spent 60 pounds on a waterproof jacket, 50 pounds for the entry fee and transport costs to get to the event it is probably going to cost in total around 350 pounds for the Lakeland event. When I looked at this in detail it instantly occurred to me that I might have to cancel an informal race meeting in the Peak district in June and the Ridgeway 85 race at the end of August. Actually I would have to cancel the races. How could I possibly afford to the transport for these races, entry fees, food/drink and accommodation all within the space of 3 months.
Suddenly I started developing a very empty feeling inside as I realized my whole summer schedule of racing had collapsed. Now I am certainly not impoverished but I thought to myself, how do people who racing consistently year round afford this. I started to feel pretty down about the situation. Even though the Lakeland 50 is my major event for the year I just want to get our there and challenge myself by entering some fantastic events. After all I don’t train extremely hard not to put all of that into action.
I contacted both the organiser of the Ridgeway 85 race to cancel my entry. Anthony the organiser was very accommodating and cancelled my application and wished me well and said that he hoped to see me next year. Then I emailed Matt who had helped organised the Peak district event and he was disappointed we couldn’t meet up after months of chatting over email. The one thing I couldn’t do though was not race at all until Lakeland. I immediately went to work on looking at booking a race locally within 30 miles between May and June but it had to be below 30 pounds to enter, no small challenge. Training wise I am very much prepared for a marathon or 50k but most races locally had already been booked up but I did notice a race called the North Downs 30k. Now this certainly wasn’t a long distance but the profile of the race looked fantastic.
First staged in July 1984, the North Downs Run is one of Kent's most enduring and popular running events and not without reason – the out-and-back course passes through some of the beautiful scenery of the North Downs. Its undulating paths and tracks thread through woods, fields and parkland in a vista of summer colours – blue skies, red poppies and the welcoming green of shady woodland paths. You’ll dash through sleepy hamlets before being treated to jaw-dropping vistas over the Thames Estuary in the distance. Not only that, the race lays on free pre- and post-race massage, homemade cakes, fruit and water, a well-stocked running goods tent, and four sizes of finisher T-shirt.
This race is only 30 miles from home and just 20 pounds to enter, it seemed like a bargain to me. Now the only caveat was that it was on Fathers day (20th June). I spoke to my wife and said to her that if my daughters were getting me a present then entry to this race was what I would love. I said to her afterwards that we could spend a great afternoon together as there was also Live Music and BBQ. In the next 5 minutes I entered the race via The Runners World website. I started to feel better about things and although I don’t feel completely satisfied I have somewhat filled the void with a potentially exciting race.
I still want to put another ultra distance race on my 2010 roadmap and with my birthday in October I had put the Caesars Camp Endurance races on my list of potential events already. However I will have to look into all the logistics during the next month to see whether or not it is viable. It’s amazing to think that something as simple as putting one foot in front of the other could work out sometimes to be expensive. But of course the feeling at the end of every successful race makes things absolutely worthwhile and I’m sure I will have that feeling after the races coming up.