Friday, 15 July 2016

Rat Race Man V Lakes 2016 - OCR and Morecombe Bay

Last weekend Jemma took on Man V Lakes. A new event for 2016 by Rat race Adventure Sports

Gibralter Farm Campsite looking over Morecombe Bay for Man V Lakes 2016

This is the 1 st ever marathon and furthest I have ever run to date. This distance been on my mind for
some months. Having done my second Dirty Weekend and felt in rather good shape at the end gave
me a small boost that should be able to tackle it. After doing two trail blazer half marathons also did
some longer run training I started to feel a little positive. Till I started getting hip tightness in my
right hip this was effecting running and my strength training at CrossFit. This problem meant I had
to reduce the distances run and brought more stretching exercises in to remedy the problem.

Jemma at the start of Man V Lakes 2016 Rat Race event 

Come race day I was massive ball of nerves and only one thing was confident about was my race bag.
The weather wasn’t great for the start of the race and kept on my trusty Scott purple waterproof
jacket right up to the last min before tucking it away in my ruck sac. Kit wise I decided on wearing
with the 1 st 6 miles. We would be running across Morecombe bay in mind. Calf sleeves on to try and
reduce any twinges. Asics renegade shorts and a new Under Armour heat gear vest top. Shoes of
choice was my new Inov-8 Race Ultras with the distance in mind would want the comfort that these
shoes provided. Though after seeing how grim the start line weather was I put my trusty Sondico
compression base layer underneath the vest top. Which became a very good choice indeed
alongside a lightweight running peaked cap which I borrowed from Liam.

The start of the race was hard to feel what pace you needed to at and the high knees running
certainly tired you out. A few places where the water came very high up as making progress to finish
this coastal section. One thing I wasn’t expecting was the way the sand seem to dip down and move
side to side under foot like you are on a balancing board giving you a slight drunk feeling.

On normal roads I started to try and find a comfortable pace to stick to knowing I am not a fast
runner my whole aim was to finish and not be a complete wreck at the finish line. Advice from one
of my Crossfit friends was break the run into little pieces and aim for those. I decided the pit stops
would be ideal places to aim for and was rather thankful, for the 1 st stop more so for the toilets.
Taking on some Scooby snacks I headed off for the next target halfway mark. Was starting to find
having my race ultras may have not been the best option as been near the back of the field of a lot
of runners the path laid out was getting rather muddy and the small lugs I had on these shoes wasn’t
giving me the grip I am accustomed to. It just meant extra care was needed and that was that. One
point I stopped as needed to adjust my shoes and dig out the sand mound inside. After this I ended
up bumping into a Mudstacle guy named Carl who had ran the Wall couple weeks back and was
starting to feel the distance. We ended up chatting and kept each other company for the rest of the
race. As Liam says it’s rare I don’t finish a race without making a friend or two.

Getting the halfway mark a fantastic spread of coffee and cake was laid on plus other stuff. This is
where I found I had drank over a litre and half of drink in my hydration bladder. Topping this up and
spied more Cliff shot blocs (my new best friends). Grabbing Carl we set off again and that coffee and
cake certainly gave me a massive boost which was much needed. By now found we was bumping
into a few individuals again and again as you speed up / slow down and where you can't progress
very fast. One point I had lost Carl as found a pace and opening to make some progression on hills.
Which instantly lost wading through a large lake as took me an age to get through and got stuck
right at the end trying get out and the group helped me out. Jokingly asked Carl had he missed the

Coming to the final pit stop I arrived 1 st and started to mix a 50/50 water red bull mix as starting to
need some quick energy and Liam saying it’s easier to drink it like that. Polishing that off made Carl
one of those as well and filled his hydration bottle up as he drank we moved along. This is when get
to see the lovely views of the forest and then parts of Lake Windermere. We got the water element
turns out Carl is a worst swimmer than me so opted to look after my ruck sac while did the rope
jump and swim around parts. After these I was told was starting to look cold and put my Scott jacket
on to get a little warmer. Which came off again when had a final wade to get us closer to the finish
line as wanted the jacket dry just in case I needed again. The final few miles now joined by a Mudd
Queen Jenni banter was high and thoughts come to finishing. I finished with a smile and many hugs
given and really enjoyed the experience and this has given me such a boost of confidence for the
distance. I know as always need to speed up and get my time constancy right. Next stop is Runstock
should be a fun weekend and really do hope the weather will be a lot better

A marathon distance later- Jem at the finish of Man V Lakes

With a 10km run across the perilous Morecombe Bay followed by a foray into the Lake District with a splash in Lake Windermere for good measure it's arguably one of the most adventurous Marathon distance running events in the UK

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