This morning I have spoken with Jim Mann who was one of the support runners on Saturday’s leg 2. Jim provided a fascinating insight into yesterdays running and the highs and lows experienced. Based on a brief telephone call I have summarised Jim’s words below. I hope I have all the details correct!
“Overall Steve was going well and leg 2 was a success. He seemed to switch quickly between highs (going faster) and lows (going slower) and this really reinforced the importance of getting the hydration and nutrition right. The first 1½ were muggy and warm but then the temperature started to drop and there was a little rain, and Steve picked up noticeably at this point and I know that the warm muggy weather earlier was Steve’s not preferred running conditions.
Steve had long periods of good form and was particularly strong on the hills going over Great Cable and Kirk Fell. Stopping to re-fill our water bottles it was a struggle to catch back up and I had to work hard (Shane’s note – bear in mind that Jim won the LAMM elite at the beginning of the month and he is quick up hill!).
Arriving at Loweswater Steve seemed in good shape but after a twenty minute stop (we had planned for 10 minutes), Steve seemed slow to get going again and had stiffened up. He was clearly looking and feeling a bit tired but I’d expect that after 13+ hard hours running on the fells.
At the top of Mellbreak I’d ask Steve directly how it felt and he said. “Tired but no problems or injuries”.
Steve was taking a no nonsense approach and running hard lines in the hills: pretty much straight lining everything, ignoring the easier running on the less direct and taking a real mountain marathon approach.
Asking Steve about his schedule he explained that the mapping software accounts for height gain and loss in the predicted time, but it does not account for the terrain. Obviously some of the terrain is much more runable than other sections and so Steve is not worried if he is loosing or gaining 5-10, 10-20 minutes here and there."
Clarifying this point with Jim, he felt Steve could easily afford to loose or gain and hour or two over the first four days and that would make no difference to his predicted finish time over 7 days.
Thanks for the update Jim.