Will Thames

swim, bike, run, tech

2014 in Review

Although it’s a few weeks late for writing a review of the previous year, the announcement of Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc places also makes it quite timely.

2014 really was all about qualifying for the UTMB. They announced early in the year that the qualifying points had been raised from 7 to 8. And it’s always been from three races. With my point from TNF 50 in 2013, I could have just(?) done two three-pointers to qualify, but the increased point meant I’d need to do a four-pointer or just do an additional two-pointer.

Things went well enough in that regard - I felt I did myself justice in the North Face 100 given how unwell I was for the previous 10 days (I wasn’t that sure that I wouldn’t give up after 5km but I was feeling good so carried on). After that a friend’s bad luck turned into my luck as a Kokoda place fell into my lap. And then I finished it off with the Glasshouse 100km for the final two points.

Sadly, qualification isn’t the same as getting in, and I was unlucky in the draw. I also didn’t know that to transfer to the Tour de Savoie, I’d have to immediately transfer without awaiting further instructions. But now I have double chances for the next draw (failed previous entrants get two ‘tickets’ in the following year) and guaranteed the year after that (although I’d have to qualify again - my points only carry over for one year)

2014 Highlights

  • 2257 km of running (400km more than 2013, my previous record)
  • 237 hours - 55 more than 2013
  • 48,888m of elevation - more than double 2013. (according to Strava)
  • My first 100km run. And second. And third.
  • Qualification for Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
  • My fastest half marathon and marathon
  • A 14km race that was faster per km than my 10km PB.
  • Personal bests at the Pinnacles, Lake Manchester
  • Personal bests at Sandgate and Bunyaville parkruns

2014 Lowlights

  • Achilles niggle meant I had to take January easy (I did 180km but almost zero elevation)
  • Worst cold in years prior to the North Face 100 - no running in the previous 10 days and I wasn’t sure how my chest would affect my race. It might not have done too much harm.
  • Knee tendonopathy going into Kokoda
  • Calf strain following Sandgate Sunset run meant I didn’t run most for much of a month.

Plans for 2015

With Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc not an option this year, I’ll concentrate on remaining qualified and enjoying running and racing with friends. I’d like to continue to increase my elevation - less kms but more vertical gain is perfectly acceptable. With that in mind I’m likely to do more trail races and fewer road races (for example Nerang 50km and Twilight Half clash this year, so I’ll probably do the former).