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Mark Bissell - Double Day Bridlington Bonanza

Mark Bissell - Double Day Bridlington Bonanza

As the new year has started and the events are pouring in, I thought it to be interesting to look back to the last weekend of 2021. October to December were tough months after picking up and injury in the lower back and as I fast forward to present day, end of January 2022, I reckon the rest did me well. Such a cliche!

The back was feeling better as the weekly mileage increased upwards of 40 per week, longest run being a 14 mile progression. Christmas and with that, new year was fast approaching and the team at Grimm Up North had planned a double day festival of running. Low key events but they have an inclusive nature and are all incredibly welcoming. However, the best part was the fact it was in Bridlington, where my in-laws live! So what better way to start the year than to tie in a visit over the festive period and take advantage of a hot shower too, as our boiler had broken just before Christmas leaving us with no heating or hot water, not ideal.

So, what distance to do. They ranged from 5k to marathon. Well, I convinced myself that I was entering the half, even up until the HQ tent, but I just found myself penning my details on the form for the marathon. I thought “well, I should be fine, just take each mile as it comes”, and that's what I did…..

The course was an out and back loop along the promenade with public, stairs and sharp bends to contend with but that helped in regards to getting overly obsessed with performance as these obstacles caused lots of variation in pace, pretty much a fartlek session as I finally crossed the finish line. 2:59 and 2nd place was unexpected with the preparation which confirmed my belief that my injury had been dealt with correctly and that I wasn't in bad fettle.

Day 2

Yes, I know what you may be thinking, but I honestly thought that I was going to have a gentle recovery plod and support the wife as she had entered the half marathon. Then I saw a fellow local lad and decided to enter the half too! Fresh from a hot shower, courtesy of the in-laws, I rocked up to the start line, yesterday's marathon in the legs and thinking that there must be better ways to spend new years eve. But if there was I couldn't think of it. So, the gun went off and within a couple of miles, it was turning out to be a two horse race and either of us could blow as we was discussing our festive overeating and lack of training prior to the race. But, that's what makes racing so much fun. As the race unfolded, I was giving 100% to keep evenly paced and began to pull away and create a gap as we ascended a long incline before the turnaround to which I was informed my wife was also leading the female race, and with that I thought I was obligated to continue pushing in the hope that we may get a holy grail of a husband and wife 1st place.

The pace continued to be relatively consistent and I began to relax and take in the beautiful scenery of the east coast with glorious sunshine beating down on the sea.

Coming in 1st place with 1:27, it was a great way to end the year and knowing that going in to 2022, I was over my short injury layoff and ready to tackle to coming training block as preparation for the Crawley A.I.M 12 Hour in April begin to take shape.

The main takeaway for me from these two events was just how well the body can bounce back from setbacks if, over the years one is consistent in weekly and monthly training, not becoming obsessed and relying on that sporadic big session. I would not have been able to knock out a marathon and a half, competitively if it wasn't for 17 years of constant graft. The body holds up not just because of the 30 miler one may have done 2 months ago, but all those years combined. That's not to say those big sessions aren't crucial, they are, but they are not the be all and end all of performing well.


On the way to the event, my staple concoction of OTE Carb Booster powder and Mountain Fuel electrolyte mix hit the spot once again, allowing the body to utilise 60g of carbohydrate and relying on less bulky breakfasts close to the race start. Tried and tested this over the past 12 months for numerous endurance events and it goes extremely well with another key element I use to keep topped up, High 5 Hydrate gels. Light to carry, 25g Carbs and no need to consume with water, awesome.

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