The God of Hell Fire Meets The Great Gonzo

The God of Hell Fire Meets The Great Gonzo

Ah well. That would have been the trip to the Lake District then? Lovely drive down on Friday evening, wonderful day pottering around Keswick Saturday. Glad I took an extra pair of clean undies when I saw THAT hill in the flesh. And then today ... the Great Trail Challenge itself.

Landesman's post from last week encouraged me to go and buy a Garmin Forerunner 10 'watch', which I did find much more informative and 'runner friendly' than either Nike+ or Endomondo. I stayed in Cockermouth and did a 5k on Saturday morning. Quite liked the Garmin device but the big thing is the stats you get. Here they are -

I'd like to write my usual 50,000 words, musing on everything that went wrong. But it's been a long day. Suffice to say that, having sat in my car too long and missing the start of last week's Parkrun, I got there on time. Found the start - OK so far. Started the run, and felt awful as usual for the first half mile. The bad news is that it didn't go away until about 5k into the run - the first steep uphill section. My plan had always been to walk (briskly) up the two really steep sections. In reality it seemed to be the wrong strategy - loads of "real" runners zipped past me up the hill. We had been told to take on water because of the weather and at the top, we had the first water post. I don't usually take water with me on a run but took a bottle 'just in case'. After this, I found that the 'walking uphill' strategy was in fact sound - I soon zipped past most of those that had overtaken me and who were now "puggled".

Down a stony path, over a stream and then it was the long, long climb to the top of the Fell. this was the second water post - but since I hadn't opened the first bottle I flew past it. In fact I jettisoned the still sealed bottle about a third of the way through the very enjoyable downhill 3km to the finish.

Overall, it was a really good run. I just wish I could learn to relax, and not worry so much in the early stages. My time was just over 72 minutes for the 11.5km route. I can live with that :) - given the elevation profile, I was really delighted!

I finished 228th out of 700 finishers, and 9th in my age group.

The stats are at

I did manage to take a passable video of about half the run (start and finish, but not the highest part which, for a reason I'm not sure, didn't record). I guess I didn't press the button hard enough. If I can work out how to use youTube, I'll put up a quick edit for everyone to see.

My next "Great Run" is in Edinburgh in July. It'll be different, but am already looking forward to it.

What's this to do with the Great Gonzo? Did Gonzo win the event? Maybe he was cooking the burgers? Or just doing his celebrity job - pressing the flesh? None of these. I simply forget where I had planned to take that bit of the story :) I guess it's just another sign of the aging process ...


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33 Replies

  • Well done Malcy

  • Well done, you make it sound easy, I'm sure it isn't (at least not for a hillphobe like me!). Congrats to great Gonzo too whoever he is... :-)

  • Well done Malcy, glad you enjoyed it, great time too! :-)

  • Amazing feat..terrific! I may be old too but my only awareness of a Gonzo is the muppet with huge grey nose and buggy eyes! Anyway, grey noses, incredible hillsides, video clips, and water bottles aside .... That was an awesome experience! Well done, and hearty congratulations :D

    Linda ;)

  • A muppet with huge grey nose and buggy eyes? sounds a bit like me ...

    One of my favourite episodes was when Gonzo was leaving for a career in show business. Until, that is, the person hiring him discovered that he had made a mistake. He hadn't meant to hire the Great Gonzo - it was the Mediocre Gonzo he wanted. Exit stage left, drooping and looking very upset.

    Poor Gonzo. He was a nice guy ...

  • You may know this already but according to Wikipedia (so it must be true) "Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy through the reporting of personal experiences and emotions, as compared to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations that can be verified by third parties. Gonzo journalism disregards the strictly edited product favored by newspaper media and strives for a more personal approach; the personality of a piece is equally as important as the event the piece is on. Use of sarcasm, humor, exaggeration, and profanity is common."

    In our family the Gonzo effect refers to a product you searched for years to find suddenly turning up everywhere. We had a friend nicknamed Gonzo after the Muppet and wanted a Gonzo figure for him. We asked in every suitable shop (and some unsuitable ones!) and eventually got one. Then there seemed to be a glut of them and we wondered if we had distorted the market!

  • I just loved the guy. He aimed for the stars. Everything he tried went wrong, but he never gave up. A bit like Del Trotter, except Del got his million in the end (even though he lost it again ...)

  • It sounds like a great run and a memorable experience! Happy days :)

  • Well done, Lucky you to finish on a downhill, my up hill finish was a killer.

    Great time.

  • Did you know there's a C25K forum on the Garmin connect site?

  • Thanks for letting me know. I've joined it and recognise several names 'Malcy' had already been taken so I used my car registration - M44LCY. Mrs Malcy says I'm a pretentious old git. But I still quite like it (and Mrs Malcy)

  • Well done. Sounds like it was fun.

  • Congratulations. "The boy done good" :-)

    If you stopped worrying at the start you'd only have to find something else to think about.

    Good Luck for Edinburgh in July.

    Just got a Garmin10 too, my new favourite toy.

  • Great going Malcy! Were thinking of you and wondering how you had got on. such a lovely place to run, allbeit the hills :O

    So you got your Garmin then?! I love the stats too...

    God of Hell Fire and King of the Hill!! Way to go!

    Sue :)

  • God of Hell Fire and now my Hero :) Wow what a run, all those UPS and not much slower than on the flat, Malcy you really are a mountain man ;) By the way your flat running times are very consistant no more than a few seconds time difference on your earlier run over the whole 5K. Welcome to the Garmin Group too.

  • Yes - this is where the Garmin comes into its own over the other tracking systems. I can see me going slowly on the uphills but otherwise it's all roughly the same pace. That really surprised me. I also found it interesting that the graph for slowing down as I went up the hill almost exactly matches the profile of the hill.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how I do on a normal training run and, of course, the Parkrun on Saturday.

  • Great run Malcy. Those look like a couple of steep climbs for a run - killers I should think, if gone at too hard. But exhilarating when at the top no doubt - and hard on the legs going down, probably.

    It's worryingly tempting, seeing that, to try out some hill runs... :)

    Glad you like the Garmin stats and find them helpful in analysing your runs.

  • Yeah - you should give it a try. It's certainly a bit of novelty to start with ...

    The downhill isn't so much hard on the legs as a case of watching where your feet land (easy to land awkwardly and maybe damage an ankle) and holding back from letting gravity take you down too quickly (hence my time downhill isn't much different from the flat). I'm glad I did the West Lomonds though - that was invaluable experience. And having yesterday's run under my belt, I'll know what to expect next year. I was holding back for the second steep climb. That didn't seem as bad as the profile suggested (it was certainly nowhere near as bad as the steepest bits of the Lomonds) and with hindsight, I could have gone a bit harder in a lot of places.

    See you there in 2014?

  • Actually one of the reasons I started the Couch25k plan was because I was almost defeated totally by a very steep hill while hiking in the Pyrenees last year. So I'd kind of like to go back and run some of the paths and lesser climbs to get that monkey off my back.

    Need a bit more work on the flat before I can think of that though. :)

    It is quite exciting even to contemplate though.

    Thanks for sharing your run - it's great to see. :)

  • Re see you there in 2014? - Sorry, I forgot you were in SW France. That's an area I have still to visit but the Pyrenees does sound quite glamorous.

  • Great run Malcy.

  • Brilliant work Malcy, shall look for you on Garmin Connect now :-)

  • Hi Delia. I went to get a pack of Cadbury Flake and some Twixes to send to you. Got the Flakes but no Twixes ... by the time I got to work, all 4 Flakes had been gobbled up! Still, they were delicious.

  • grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Sorry to get you angry :( :)

    Look out for a small parcel arriving at your work address soon ...

  • Wow, I can't wait! How sweet of you :-)

    Btw, do you remember "they're coming to take me away, haha, hee hee?" It must have been around the time of the god of hell fire!

  • To the Funny Farm, where life is beautiful all the time.

    Just like being employed by a university ...

  • You're telling me. Just back from the craziest meeting of all time. When on earth did we stop being academics to become administrators? When exactly did students become clients? At least the UK is (a bit more) credible than this lot. Sssshhhh.

  • Erm ... that sounds incredibly like my own institution. Not quite in terms of 'clients' yet, but certainly 'expectation'.

    Illegitimi non carborundum

    (Sorry if the 'pigeon Latin' offends your linguistic sensibilities, but it amuses me as much now as when I first heard it in the 1970s)

  • Not at all, I am extremely interested in pseudo-languages (see Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel) and have actually published on that kind of cross-Language humour ! When I was at school I used to get the giggles just thinking of

    Romulus et Remus in ripa expositi sunt.

    But back to the present day, they have ground me down already I'm afraid.

  • That sounds like a fantastic effort, God of Hell Fire! You rock! :)

  • Wow! Well done you! But all this talk of garmins is confusing to a newbie runner....

  • Hi. Garmins are watch style devices that use GPS to track your route, in much the same way as apps like Endomondo, Nike+, etc. do. They are a lot more accurate than phone apps though, and they give you elevation data (up and down hills).

    Garmin watches let you upload your data to their web site and you can see your route on a map, see a graph with the elevation, your split times for each km (or lap, or mile), etc. It also has a 'community' that you can join - the NHS Couch to 5K is one of them. so you can share your runs with others, and see how others have been doing.

    I use the cheapest version - the Forerunner 10, which you can get on Amazon for about £75. Great value. You can get others that have more functions or that have options such as heart rate monitors. But I think these are for "serious" runners who are looking to maximise their performance. It would only start to worry me ...

    Other sport watches are available :) and different runners have their own preferences. You certainly don't need one but most runners eventually give in and head for the shops. Just have a look around the forums to see what people are saying about current models - that will help you make the right choice.

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