Event Type: Multi-terrain marathon that goes along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that can be quite exposed to the sun. This is a small friendly event with a couple of hundred doing 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon and Ultra distances. It is a beautiful area and you can watch the way the amazing locks work.
Start Time: 10:15am
Weather: @25-28 degs C by mid-day
During: Checkpoints every 3.5 miles stocked with fruit, jelly babies + water + squash to refill
At the End: Medal + water + food to eat
Gargrave Start Point
Earlier on this year, I contemplated only supporting events that were cupless and using zero single-use plastic like the LWDA events and the many ultra events. However, with Cheltenham Challenge going cupless and using zero single use bottles (I grinned the whole day), that event indicated that every event needs a voice to redirect how they (and participants) manage their waste. So decided to be that voice to observe events and provide feedback about how they can enrich their event with waste reduction measures.
Thursday 21 June: Calf Strain
There I was racing round the field in a game of rounders as a fun social with my local running club, reveling the freedom of the sprint. Two of us were left batting on the team, sprinting round the field like lunatics and then it happened. Just as it happened last year as I sprinted in a touch rugby match, the calf muscle sprung its spring. Pain slowed me down, but I continued to limp to the last base and make a final round as Paul blasted the ball into space.
Last year when I tried to continue with the Touch Rugby match, it was nearly 2 months before I could run again. Lesson learned, I played back stop instead….no running.
The leg refused to support me properly and the calf was in pain. Iced the area then the next day used a heating pack, followed by another ice pack + Gentle Massage therapy + Arnica + whatever heat cream I could find. I wanted to be able to do the marathon on Sunday. Saturday, the calf still felt tight but I could do a poodle run (small steps).
So compression tight + poles came along for extra insurance on Sunday so that I could restart my mission to encourage events to go cupless and plastic free, and find out how good runners were at disposing their rubbish.
After all if a lady pulling a tyre, can carry her own bottle and refill at hydration points, am sure everyone else can as well. Cheltenham Challenge has shown that a 1/2 marathon distance can actually improve the overall running times if participants would be willing to take on the challenge of BYOB and/or BYOC (cup).
In this event I did notice an obvious good number of runners had their own bottles & hydration back packs, so this event should be able to commit to being cupless with very little grumblings.
Lost and Found
This event used plastic cups, had reusable water dispensers + provided sweets, crisps and fruit. Thankfully those runners that did use cups respectfully threw them in the bins at the checkpoinnts (so no grouse there).
Scenes of Skipton by the Canal
Being the last runner, meant I could do a final review of the course and runners’ litter behaviour. Thankfully very little runners’ litter was found, however there was a noticeable consistent dropping of gel tabs found: 4 tabs on the 10 miles out and 4 tabs on the 10 miles back to Gargrave; on the second loop 3 tabs on the 6 miles out and back. Some sweetie wrappers + Eat Natural bar wrapper were also picked up over the 10 mile out and back. Though this could be general public litter as well as the canal tow path is a public path.
If you recognise any of the tabs that you could have lost from your packets of gels, or if you dropped any gel packets on the path + sweetie wrappers, grateful if you can gift your cleaning fee here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tyrelady Your monies will be used to help EarthWatch continue their research on impact reduction measures we can take to work with our environment.
To runners who use “sucky gels”, those annoying plastic tabs are missed out by even the professional cleaners. Please pay extra attention to ensuring they are put in your litter bag as am sure there are a lot of them in our waterways as many marathon routes run close to waterways.
Personally I find the gel “prescriptions” are really a load of marketing BS. I’ll write a post on this later.
As for the calf, with careful poodle running steps and taking note of proprio-perception, the calf held up throughout. Now proceeding with calf raises on the step to improve the calf resilience.
- The event organiser for letting me join the event, who trusted that I would carry my tyre when the path was narrow
- Naomi’s place is in a great location in Skipton. The marathon passes her house! Stayed with her via AirBnB. https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13834105
- To the Leeds twins – you are awesome and thank you Twin 2 for your donation. Get well soon.
- Biscuit Man – Craig – lovely 20 minute chat to you along the canal (towards mile 10) and thank you for your donation.