Sidmouth runner Kirsteen Welch tames ‘The Beast’

Sidmouth Running Club's Kirsteen Welch on her way to a secodn place finsh at the 2019 'The Beat' mee

Sidmouth Running Club's Kirsteen Welch on her way to a secodn place finsh at the 2019 'The Beat' meeting on Dartmoor. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

The Maverick Inov-8 Exmoor X-Series is labelled as ‘The Beast’ and is the toughest event in the Maverick Events calendar, writes Hamish Spence.

It was given this name due to the massive 1,800m (6,000ft) elevation gain over the whole route.

There were three distances on offer, a 15k, 21k and the full 42k in-which Sidmouth Running Club (SRC) member Kirsteen Welch took part.

All three races started at the same time with Kirsteen opting for her usual speedy get away, with the intention of up keeping the pace with Lucy MacAlister.

However, Kirsteen didn't realise that Lucy was doing the 21k route, so at the split in the course, Kirsteen carried on alone, along the coastal path.

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When she reached the next aid station, the marshal told her that she was the second runner and first lady at this point.

Kirsteen remained in this position for the rest of the race, although she did have the Maverick Trail Division Elite Athlete, Julia Davis hot on her heals towards the end. Kirsteen kept ahead of Julia and managed to do a sprint to the finish line beating Julia by just 11 seconds.

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Kirsty, wearing her Mighty Green, crossed the line in a splendid time of 4:14:52, taking second place overall and was once again 'first lady'.

Back during the Women Can Marathon in May, Kirsteen found herself 'hitting the wall' at around mile 20.

So, for the first time she decided to trial the use of energy gels during this event. She got around with no 'wall hitting' and has found the gels useful.

Recently she also had a consultation with sports dietician Renee McGregor and is hoping this will help to fuel her training and racing more efficiently.

There is a very fine line between training, nutrition and recovery and Kirsteen has learnt a lot over the course of this year, but wants to learn more so that she doesn't end up injured or fatigued.

This was the last race for Kirsteen before her next event in the Snowdon Marathon which takes place in mid July.

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