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Salomon Turbo X - 10 miles offroad - Borden

mhowoodby mhowoodNov 21st 2010

Sunday, and I wake up to a cold but most importantly, dry day.
Pre-race breakfast is Ready Brek with sultanas, and a fresh brewed coffee. It worked at the Turbo Marathon! Museli is so yesterday, gruel is cool.

Peter Stewart, club-mate and team Thames Turbo Power Bar member, did the taxi duties from Twickenham to Borden MOD training ground, arriving with 30minutes to register and warm up. Plenty of time as it turned out, as Pete and I were both last minute subs for an injured Ben and Jo, so had to change the race entries. Smooth.
Now, anyone who has ever had to deal with the bureaucracy involved with changing an entry on the day at a triathlon, will tell you it is either impossible or a stressful. Not in the world of running it's not! Pete and I were swapped over, stress free and lickety split.
Saying that I do feel like I've forgotten something when I do a foot race (only my third ever), it'll probably be the car full of lycra, neoprene and carbon fibre! I do like the ease of running.

Ready for the start, and standing in the third row, I looked at the footwear of the other runners, who where all shod in trail running specific shoes, and not for the first time wondered if my old training shoes were up to it.
No time to worry thoughÂ... 3,2,1. Go!
Pete and I quickly set off, setting a 6min mile across the fields and moving into the top 10. This wasn't to last as the terrain quickly changed, within 2 miles, into a course that looked more suited to tanks. I'd gone past Pete by now but felt for sure that he would be back soon, as his TT bike strength should through on the tough, hilly sections. My quads were already crying out; just as they'd done in Richmond Park at the Turbo Marathon 2 weeks before, as I pulled heavy, sodden feet out of knee high mud.

Never having run a Trail course before I didn't know what to expect, except that every mile seemed to get rougher, wetter and boggier! Super tough but super fun!
There was one water aid station at 7 miles, a problem for some I suppose, but I can't drink on any run under 2 hours, relying instead on pre-race fuelling and a gel every 30minutes to get me through.
At mile 8, as I stumbled through bogs and up-streams in the Turbo X section, I couldn't help but think of Sylvester Stallone on the run from the police in Rambo and more worryingly Deliverance! Duelling banjos?!
Up until now the run at been lonely, with no crowds, but come mile 9 we were looping around the finish, so supporters were around to clap and cheer.
Frustratingly I'd lost about a dozen places earlier on, as my shoelace had come untied twice, and I lost time trying to retie them with cold, numb fingers. Rookie mistake.
Finally, I crossed the line filthly and wet in 1:19 and 27th place, 2 minutes clear of Pete, but not 19th place as the announcer claimed. GrrrÂ....!

I'll be back next year for more mud. Definitely.
Turbo X is a proper, no holds barred, gruelling run and a refreshing change from the bureaucracy and stress of Triathlon racing! Seriously, Health and Safety would have had a fit if they'd seen the broken stumps and branches sticking out the mud, waiting to impale falling runners.

Salomon Turbo X website >
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