580.23 – 600.23KM: Two Races One Day (Rother Valley 10k & Man of Steel)

July 23, 2013

This weekend was another weekend of firsts with two races on one day that would see me reach the 600km mark. Despite initially being a weekend worth celebrating it would end on a sour note.

580.23 – 590.23KM: Rother Valley 10k (10am)

The weekend started with the Rother Valley 10k . Throughout this year I have been hoping to inspire others to start running and convince them to join me on one of my many races this year. Despite this it was still a surprise when my sister, who as of two months ago had not done any running since school, signed herself up to a race. The race would have the largest family contingent so far this year, with myself, Mum, Dad and sister taking part. I still need to get round to pressuring my oldest brother into signing up to a race before the end of the year, so far he’s been conveniently busy.

As for the run the course was a simple two and a bit times around the lake, my third race around it so far this year. With an easy, flat course, it was a good opportunity to try for sub 40, but I could tell early on that my legs weren’t up for it. It probably wouldn’t have been a good idea with another race in the afternoon anyway, so instead I settled for a slightly comfortable pace and came in around 43 minutes.

Once I had crossed the line I found a free space of grass to lay down/stretch out on. Typically I’m really bad for not stretching after a race, but with another, more physically demanding 10k in just over five hours I wasn’t taking any chances.

Distance: 10.00km | 6.21 miles
Time: 00:43:55
Official Time: 00:43:48
Average Pace: 04:24 min/km | 07:04 min/mi
Playlist: Powerwolf
Goody Bag: Wattle Bottle.

View my run:

590.23 – 600.23KM: Sheffield Man of Steel 10k (4pm)

Whilst my first race of the day would be a rather simple, flat affair, the second race would be a little bit more difficult and eventful. Before the race I had done a little bit of research by watching videos previous year’s participants had recorded of the event. As a result I was more than prepared for the monkey bars, cargo nets and numerous other obstacles I would face, even including the ‘travellator’, a hill climb so steep it requires a rope.

The first lap was fairly simple, through the Rugby team, under the cargo nets, over the walls, across the pond, pick up the sand bag, walk up the hill, walk back down the hill, run/walk/climb/pull myself up the travellator, up and down some more hills before going under a couple more cargo nets and across the monkey bars.

As I approached the cargo nets in the pond for the second time I felt that the camera had got caught in the net and after a couple of seconds of trying to unhook it a runner behind me jumped in and pulled the net back, ripping the camera off my head and into the pond. After spending the best part of the next 10 or so minutes on my hands and knees scrambling around to try and find the camera, whilst the rest of the competitors came past I eventually had to give up and finish the race.

I felt like I finished the second lap of the race much quicker than the first, as I was fuelled by frustration and anger, the sandbags felt lighter and the ‘travellator’ hill less steep. Once I made it to the finish line and grabbed my tshirt and medal I headed back to the pond for another look for the camera. I then waited for them remove the cargo nets from the pond with the faint hope that it would locate and hook the camera up with them, luck was far from on my side today though. Details have been left with the race organisers for them to be passed on to the park wardens, but in truth I don’t expect them to bother trying to search the pond, but just on the off chance.

The camera would have been difficult to find again at the best of times, but in the middle of a race whilst other competitors are running through the area you were trying to search it was impossible. Hindsight revealed a whole host of solutions that would have prevented such a thing occurring, the marshal nearby even suggested that I should have had a flotation mechanism attached, yeah thanks for that, but after it felt almost too tight in the morning’s race I couldn’t have predicted it would come off at the worst possible time.

It simply just has to go down as ‘one of those things’ but ‘one of those things’ that always seems to happen to me. From what I gather the addition of the cargo net in the pond crossing section of the race was new this year too. I would have been massively frustrated had I lost the camera anyway, but to lose it in the middle of the race and subsequently lose the recordings rubs salt deeper into those wounds.

The whole situation is made worse by the fact that I was trying to record both races for purely selfless reasons, to raise awareness of my fundraising and the causes behind it this year. Instead I’m having to scramble to find the £300 or so to replace the camera and having to have a major rethink about what races I can now actually afford to do in the upcoming months.


With Jenny struggling to hold down even a part time job at times due to her health, it means that money is almost always tight. At the moment she is off work indefinitely whilst going through a rough patch in her withdrawal. This weekend was the first in a long while where I have left her to fend for herself for a couple of days and typically it was one of the worst weekends recently for her health wise.

Fortunately I already have the next couple of week’s races booked up with the Heckington Show 10 Mile Road Race this Sunday, following by the York 10k in the first weekend in August.

As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.

*Edit: If you’re still interested in seeing what was involved in the second race on Sunday I have found two videos on YouTube by a couple of fellow competitors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HiLtSHwL8o – Featuring a cameo by myself at 30 seconds.

Distance: 10.00km | 6.21 miles
Time: 01:07:35
Official Time: 01:12:07
Average Pace: 06:45 min/km | 10:53 min/mi
Playlist: N/A
Goody Bag: T-Shirt, medal & bottle of water.

View my run:

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