Hitting the road again
With my legs still tired from my six-day race, I take on the 32-mile Dartmoor Discovery, while Faith Kipyegon goes turbo boost on the track
“You’re nuts,” Colin Kirk-Potter said to me a couple of weeks ago, as we ran 32 miles across the wilds of Dartmoor. He was talking about the fact that I had entered the Dartmoor Discovery, a 32-mile race across the very same Dartmoor National Park. The big difference between the two runs, however, and the reason a committed trail runner like Colin thought I was nuts, was that the Dartmoor Discovery is entirely on road.
For some people, road running is running. That’s what they do, they hit the tarmac for 10Ks, marathons and half marathons. Trail running is less serious, they think (I know, because I was one of them). On the trails you can’t really run, you can’t get in a rhythm, it’s just a bit of fun.
For other people, trail running is running. Why would you run on those boring roads, with traffic and all that flat, hard concrete, when you could be out skirting through nature, leaping over rocks and trees. To these people, road running makes no sense.
But for me, I like both. I love the trails. They’re tough, gnarly, a roller-coaster thrill ride. But I also love getting into a groove, a rhythm, churning along the roads at speed, not having to think about anything but your forward motion.
Anyway, partly because of that, and partly because I’m just a sucker for a race, I entered the DD, as it’s known locally. I entered it months ago, believing that six weeks after the 6 Jours de France I’d be fully recovered and building back up the miles again, starting to zero in on the 3100-mile race in New York. Instead, my legs still felt bashed to pieces, I had barely restarted running with any regularity, and to be honest, I was struggling to find the motivation to get training again.
So I almost didn’t run, but at the last minute I decided I would. I’d paid my entry fee. The race had a good reputation. And, like I say, I’m a sucker for a race.
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