The news no one wants to get. That email you hope you to never receive.
The unthinkable has happened. There’s an email from Strava saying, “Uh oh, someone stole your CR” (course record).
No record can stand the test of time. No record should ever be totally beyond the reach of others. Healthy competition is good, it’s inspiring, it’s stimulating and it’s fun. But that doesn’t mean I want my CRs beaten.
So when I had a chance to return to a remote corner of Wales, to the scene of the crime where my CR was stolen from me, I was determined to make a statement. To not just retake what was stolen from me, but to leave a mark. Looking at the local segments, most were held by one runner. I didn’t recognise his name but his achievements were plain to see – not only had he set decent times, but he’d come up with funny names and nice routes.
I decided that I must throw down the gauntlet at his feet. I set to work and devised a run that included all the segments I was targeting; a bit of up, a bit of down and a bit of flat. In total, there were five segments, all held by this local who had clocked up some serious miles over the years.
As I ran, I gained respect for this mystery runner. This hero who ran throughout the year on these gnarly trails, laying down some decent times. No matter how much respect I gained for him though, nothing could stay my hand as I demolished the segments one at a time, knocking time off left right and centre. When I got back to the holiday house I couldn’t wait to plug in my Garmin. Had I been fast enough? Had I stopped too long to close the gate? Had the magpie attack cost me too much time? No. The CRs were mine.
Anytime now, this mystery man would be receiving the dreaded email informing him of his loss of not one CR, but five.
After the run I popped down the pub to rehydrate and sample some local ales. The locals were a friendly bunch and soon introduced themselves. But I knew one name already, just as I knew of his running exploits. Suddenly, part of me felt a little bad. I decided to slip away before his phone buzzed with the notifications, before the news reached him. This wasn’t meant to be anything personal, but it always is.
If you want to have a crack at some of these segments, and I’d highly recommend them, then the Pumsaint Half Marathon takes in plenty of these beastly hills. This year the race will be held on Sunday 17th September, for more details check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pumsainttrailhalf/. There is also a 10k option for those wanting a shorter race.