“You can never run a hill too hard; you will collapse before hurting it.”
My first race at Wolfs pit and even in the Gritstone series
Due to getting a lift of Ste Moran i arrived in Shatton early for the Junior races and helped set up the finish area with Accelerate Stu. The course was interesting with a straight run down the field, down the hill then back up a steep banking which would make some adult fell runners nervous about. Quite funny to see the kids go sprinting off then realizing that pace isn’t sustainable before the struggle up the banking. Good to see some good promising young fellsters learning early the art of fell.
Then it was time to warm up. a few laps of the field and it was time to kine up for the start of the fun. the course is hilly with a 700ft climb in the first mile.
Set off a sensible pace tucking in just behind Stu Hutchinson down the field, along the road, over the little stream and into the farmers fields and start the massive climb. The plan was to run as much as possible then fell walk(bent over and hands on knees) up the hill while trying to keep as close as possible to anyone going past me. At first people went past and pulled away then i could see the legs getting tired and heavy and not only was i keeping with them i was catching them by simply walking. once we reached the summit i then started to run again and passed runner after runner. After a while i settled for the current position and stayed behind a group of five.
Strangely in a race that required full weather kit it was, due to the fantastic sunny weather a lot warmer at 1200ft than at 500ft. coupled with the thinner air I passed a few tiring guys and caught another group up. It was then the business end and the first big downhill. I launched myself down the hill flying past less confident descenders and gaining around 10 places.turned to see if i could see Stuart hutchinson behind me but couldn’t. I was feeling the heat at this point but not as much as the guy who lost both shoes in a muddy puddle at a gate. A little climb then drop down again.
I turned a corner and could see the finish about a mile way at the bottom of the hill but in true fell race fashion we had to turn away again and begin the last long big uphill. Started to fell walk then carried on running till i got to the gate where we turned to go back down the first hill. I took a few seconds to compose myself before launching me at the 3/4 mile steep descent. Once we reached the bottom of the field we turned back onto the road, across the stream and back into the finish field. The legs didn’t have the speed so just coasted in behind the 3rd lady.
50min 34secs on my watch and not sure what position.
Do feel if i had known the course better i could have gone a little quicker, a few bits of not knowing was coming slowed me so next year i could goa little quicker if i do it.
Beat Stuart hutchinson the fell junky by quite a bit but don’t think he is where he would like to be running wise while i feel i am in a good vein of fitness.
Excellent race but very tough with the leg sapping climb to start with.