If you thought last week was good this week was amazing for Spartan results.
Seven Victories in Seven Days for Adrian Busolini
It’s hard to describe the achievement of Spartan ADRIAN BUSOLINI who ran seven marathons in seven days, WON all seven of them and broke the event record by more than 30 minutes. He is the Enigma Week @ the Knees Champion following an incredible week in Milton Keynes. Adrian’s total time was 22 hours 56 minutes 11 seconds, so he took 39 minutes 24 seconds off of the course record.
His average time for each of the seven marathons was 3 hours 16 minutes 36 seconds. His fastest: 2:53:11, and his slowest 3:33:58.
Here’s his story:
“Seven marathons in seven days with 7 wins and a new7 in 7 record (finishing the last one in 3:05:09). Enigma Week @ the Knees Champion.
After the Arc of Attrition, I felt I could use a different sort of challenge. One that didn’t involve wading through bogs, or slipping down rocky paths in the middle of the night. The answer popped up on my Facebook feed: Foxy from Enigma Running had one place remaining on his “Week at the Knees” 7 marathons in 7 days race.
The journey started on Monday at Willen Lake. I planned to run easy 3:30s. However, once I got going, I was delighted with my free-flowing gait and got a bit carried away, finishing in 2 hours 53 minutes – barely five minutes shy of my personal best (PB). This seemed to raise a few eyebrows amongst the competition. Unfortunately, this was immediately followed by my picking up a flat tyre on my return journey, which threw a major spanner in the works for my recovery plan!
On Tuesday, I paid for Monday’s hard effort and impaired recovery with a 3:19 finish. Still quick enough to secure first place, but the effort it took felt significantly greater than my 2:53. Wednesday followed a similar pattern, with muscular tightness and fatigue taking its toll, resulting in a 3:33 finish, my slowest of the week. By this point, I was sensing I might have blown my chances on the very first day. Would I be able to recover and complete the week?
Thursday brought a change of venue to Caldecotte Lake. The different scenery, coupled with fantastic sunny conditions, on-site support from FVS’ own ultra legend John Nelms, and a friend who joined the race alongside me (taking first female spot), all helped raise my mood. I kept it fairly slow & steady, and at least managed a more consistent race, finishing in 3:28. This felt much better than the previous two days. Was I recovering?
Post-race, John dropped the idea to Foxy and I that the course record of 23 hours 35 minutes, set back in 2014, might be achievable. Back at home, I calculated it would take an average of 3:26 on the remaining days for me to break it. The seed had been planted.
So on Friday I set out with the goal of running 3:15, to give myself 5 minutes more leeway heading into the weekend. It was, frankly, a horrible day: I was battling intermittent muscular problems, a caloric deficit, and all without knowing whether I was, as I hoped, recovering from Monday. Despite not looking at my watch for the last half, I ran 3:14:45, hitting my target pace more or less dead on.
Saturday revealed a mysterious problem with my tibialis anterior. It could have been anything from a muscular injury to a nasty bite. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to complete, and was prepared to bow out if need be, but otherwise set myself a target of 3:25 to give myself another eight minutes leeway on Sunday. Fortuitously, whatever it was resolved itself over the first 10k, enabling me to dig in and secure a 3:21 finish. Going into Sunday, so long as I completed, I was guaranteed the overall win. The question was whether I could break the course record by running sub 3:44.
Frankly, Sunday felt like a formality, but it was still a marathon that needed to be run. There were lots of fresh faces today, and even though I set off at pace, two of them sat alongside me for the first couple of kilometres. I feared I might have to settle for a third place finish today, but when I tested them by increasing the pace by some 20 secs/k, they both dropped off. That was the last I’d see of them.
The rest of the race was a case of focussing on the task at hand. I vaguely fancied the sub-3, but was cautious about applying too much speed, just in case I pulled something in the final furlong. So it was a case of keeping the pressure on to keep my two rivals at bay, whilst juggling gels, electrolytes and pace changes to make it as comfortable as one can on the seventh day of marathoning. I finished the final race in 3 hours 5 minutes 9 seconds taking 39 minutes 24 seconds off the event record with a total of 22 hours 56 minutes 11 seconds.
And with that, I won the Week at the Knees, breaking the course record by over 30 minutes. For good measure, I won each individual day too. This was my first attempt at the multiday format, and I think it went fairly well.”
Milton Keynes Festival of Running
There were two Spartans at the Milton Keynes Festival of Running. STUART ARCHER ran a great new 20 mile personal best of 2 hours 20 minutes 13 seconds and JOHN HARRIS completed the 10K in 42 minutes 45 seconds for 37th out of the 576 finishers. John commented it was a great course with a sting in the tail – a horrible hill in the last mile.
Oundle 20 Miles
There was a new (personal best) PB for ROBERT WRIGHT at Oundle. He ran the 20 miles in 2:36:40 for 67th overall.
ROB EVANS took part in the Burghley 7 mile race that took place in and around the Burghley House Estate in Stamford, near Peterborough, which is best known for hosting the Burghley Horse Trials each year.
Burghley House is the ancestral home of the Cecil family and the house provided a stunning backdrop to the event. Weather conditions were good and Rob completed the seven mile race in 59:34 despite a nosebleed at mile 3!
Inter County Cross Country
JONATHAN PARR finished sixth scorer, i.e. counted for the team, for Hertfordshire, 211th overall, in the Inter County Cross Country men’s senior race on Saturday.
Yuko Is A National Champion
Spartan YUKO GORDON is a national champion. She won GOLD at the British Masters Cross Country Championship (National) in Tonbridge, Kent on Saturday
Yuko won W70 over one of the toughest cross country courses 6km (for all women 35+ and men 65+, 8km for men 40-64). If the boggy Parliament Hill is a 10, this was 9, probably Royston Heath is much kinder by comparison at 7.5. It was a long up slope followed by steep up hill, down to catch up the speed before next up with ditches and slippery mud between. The top three of Yuko’s age group W70 were very competitive and all faster than the winner of younger category W65. It was very competitive race and winning it was fantastic.
Parkrun Highlights 12th March
CIARAN MCANENY leads the way this week as the fastest parkrun Spartan running at Holy Cross College parkrun in Northern Ireland, finishing at 18:07.
Fastest lady goes to HAZEL SMITH who completed Stevenage Parkrun in 23:41 which was a year best (YB).
Hazel said, “A week after my 20 miler and I’m over the moon to have a year’s best at Stevenage parkrun today. I was fourth female and first in my age category with 23:41.”
There were plenty of unofficial milestones achieved by members this week, with LUKE SILVER completed 40 Parkruns, PAUL SHELLEY with 50, ALISON SHELLEY with 80 and MO WARRILLOW with 150.
GRANT RAMSAY ran his eleventh sub 20 minutes parkrun in succession at Stevenage with 19 minutes 39 seconds.
Well done all!
Spartans at Parkrun
|Holy Cross College parkrun
253 finishers at Stevenage.