It was a pretty special weekend in Lulworth Cove with about 40 LFTC clubbies and friends competing in the CTS Dorset event. We woke to the most perfect winters day you could imagine. Not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky, the sea was like glass and the scenery spectacular. There was a real sense of excitement in the team as we left the YHA and walked down to the race start on Saturday morning.
The ultra-marathon runners set off first with Joe Dale, Sebastian Arroyave, Guy Holbrow and Andrew Finn taking on the epic challenge. Andrew and Joe completed the full 50km with Joe taking gold in the ultra. Sebastian and Guy completed the marathon distance, an awesome effort by both.
The vast majority of the group took on the half-marathon distance. This is one of the toughest half-marathons in the country. It was so exciting to see Ellen Greaves come bounding down the stairs, second in the women’s race and 19th overall. Gail Wilkinson was 5th female and Amanda Wilmer 8th female. Three girls in the top 10! Nice work LFTC girls. This kind of challenge is great for building a team and the camaraderie within the group could be seen as people came over the finish line in twos and threes having supported each other (and other competitors) throughout the race. Rhodri Gabe, Stuart Hitchcock and Scott Millar were the first of the lads across the line.
In the 10km event Sarah Allen took gold in the women’s race. In fact she finished 11th overall! I finished 3rd in the men’s race. I loved the event and found it much easier to push myself continuously on this type of terrain. I added my own Clif (bar that is) to the cliffs of Dorset vomiting at the top of the third climb proof that I was giving it some that day!
So it was a massively successful weekend topped off by a very lively party at the YHA after dinner that continued into the early hours. If you want to see just how lively it was check out the photos taken by Colin Steele! I was very impressed by those brave (read silly, nuts, crazy, ballsy…) enough to swim on Sunday morning too.
Well done everyone who competed in the CTS Dorset. It is a brutal but spectacular course and for those who missed out I am quite sure we will be back next year. Thank you to Scott Millar and Amanda Wilmer for doing a fantastic job rallying the troops, organising transport and arranging accommodation for everyone!
Following the race there was quite a lot of discussion about cold water immersion (CWI) to assist recovery. People within the group had quite different views. There is of course going to be a placebo effect given the rapidly increasing popularity of water immersion recovery strategies. So does it really help? A recent meta-analysis (fancy pants review) of 14 studies suggested that CWI is effective at reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and improving recovery of muscle power but has no effect on recovery of muscle strength. While it is apparent that CWI has no acute negative effects on recovery from strenuous exercise, it is not clear whether the long term application of CWI has a negative or a positive effect on adaptation to training (Leeder et al 2012).
So at the very least we can say that those who did not take a dip in the sea on Sunday could have eased the pain somewhat by stripping off and getting in the water. But I’m no Sam Hart when it comes to cold water so I’m quite happy to put up with a little more pain when I take on the half-marathon next year!
A little inspirational video and some wise words from Scott Jurek, ultra-distance trail running legend.
See you poolside Sunday. Tim (LFTC Coach).