• Barry Gerhold

Running Miles – Dorney Lake

Thursday 15th June 2017

Running Miles – Dorney Lake

Yet again this event I planned to use as a training run, to get miles in my legs prior to the upcoming 50 miler.

This event would take place at Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire. This venue hosted 30 medal events including rowing and canoeing during the 2012 Olympics. The start time was 9am and knowing what the m25 is like at that time in the morning I asked my Aunt & Uncle (Laurence and Bronwen) who lived near Windsor if I could crash there the night before and that is what I did.

The day was another hot one, somewhere in the mid 20’s; Whatever my pace intentions were it was sure to be a tough day. Quite a few of the usual suspects where there; Jon Drake, Craig Lovelock, Kat McVicar, Marc Bennett etc.

I was unsure whether to run by pace or by heart rate and even when the race was underway I still hadn’t completely made up my mind. I started off using heart rate and aimed on keeping my rate at a comfortable one (150-155bpm) this I managed to keep too perfectly. I let it creep up towards the half marathon point and then after that I changed the view on my watch to show pace with the aim to maintain 8:45 min/mile which I had maintained up until that point. This was a mistake! One that meant my heart rate would increase without my knowledge into dangerous territory where my legs would therefore start to suffer.

At mile 16 I saw a couple of familiar faces, Laurence and Bron who had come along to provide some support and also take a few pictures. Laurence often can be found at gigs at the request of song artists to photograph their performances. Today I had managed to acquire this highly respected photographer for some sports photography. Thank you Laurence :-)

It was a welcome lift seeing them both, as the course itself was a little boring. The out and back lap was 2.62 miles, so 1.31 miles out and then you come back again. Due to the vegetation you couldn’t really see the lake so all you could do was look at the trees, fellow runners and deal with the harsh sunshine.

Each time I saw Laurence and Bronwen I was suffering a little more than the last time, the sun and the elevated heart rate was certainly taking its toll. In my previous event I got to mile 20 before having to do any walking phases. I was adamant that I would exceed this distance, to which I did. I think I made it to the 22 mile mark, but by that time my legs were very tired and I was feeling somewhat nauseas. I ensured I ran past Laurence and Bron each time as couldn’t risk showing I was struggling and smiled towards the lens pointing in my direction (it later transpired that these were in fact grimaces)

During Lap 10 (The marathon distance lap) Bron ran beside me for a while. It was an opportunity to share the experience and also so that I could moan about how I was feeling. It was lovely to be able to run beside her although it meant I had to run on these sections when all I wanted to do was lay down on the side of the track.

Once I made it to the 26 mile mark I could relax a little as the plan was always to walk the majority of the last lap so that I could flush any lactic acid out of my legs in hope that they recover in time for any training I do in the upcoming days. Even walking these sections felt tricky, I didn’t have much left in the tank and am thankful that I have a full 9 days before the next event :-)

28.8 miles completed in a time of 4hrs 40mins.

Photo's by Laurence Harvey


#DorneyLake #RunningMiles #UltraMarathon

39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All