“Running is a mental sport…and we’re all insane!”
Castleton Fell race report
after promising Sheila the rain would clear for the race, she drove us over to Castleton and the rain got WORSE & WORSE.
So Sheila (wisely) decided just to have a run around the town while i was determined i was, in the words of Kate Bush ‘running up that hill’. bumped into Liz(not running) & Scott(running)
after walking across the bog of a rugby field, paying my way in and trying to stay warm & dry under a very crowded gazebo it was time to toe the line.
the race started by running thru the field and onto the road which resembled a river up towards Loose hill, running up the road was fine but as soon as we hit the muddy river of a steep path people started to stop which caused a massive pile up of runners, the column of runners would start running then someone would stop again and the pile up would happen again. this was making it tougher than it should have been. as soon as the path widened us ‘runners’ took the opportunity to push on and i started to pass people up loose hill, then turning towards the woods i used the strong tailwind and my windcheater to fly past loads of people.
thru the woods I continued to pass people using my downhill pace before exiting the woods, tailwind assisted across the fields, over stiles before we were turned left into the wind and UP the stone steps to back tor. climbing was hard on the wet stones and headwind forcing you back. i reluctantly started to walk/march up the hill before finally i reached the top.
now it time to run into the headwind & driving rain down back tor and towards the even higher Mam tor. running downhill usually comes easily unfortunately with the wind trying to force me back it was a little bit of a struggle but i was still managing to pass people and hold off the 3 runners who were snapping at my heels.
normally running along here the views are spectacular but last night it was just the wind that did that. i was feeling quite strong and despite the wind & rain was quite enjoying it. continuing along the ridge in the now driving ice & rain it was time to start the climb up the path to Mam Tor, the wind getting stronger and stronger. Rob little the leader came flying past and it must have been 5min of running before the rest of the leading pack came past, that is what you call a lead!
Finally after what seemed ages we reached the peak stone, (hats off to the marshall and his dog up there) the wind was so bad you couldn’t catch your breath. Around the stone and it was now time for me to run fast downhill in the tailwind.
Coming down the path was heaven but on coming to a stile i noticed the few people in front were hurdling a fence so i tried it but as soon as i put my hand on it i slipped and fell, rolled and bounced back up to chase the guys in front. i passed two guys just before the descent of loose hill and then with the way i descend(turn brain off, take brakes off and try to control the fall) scared the two guys i was chasing into letting me past. once i passed them, pulled away i couldn’t see anyone in front of me and the thought i had gone the wrong way crossed my mind.
finally i spotted a white vest in front. i chased and chased, practically sprinting, bouncing off rocks and was gaining. At the bottom of the hill was Accelerate Stu & Debs. as i passed Stu he said ‘nice descending!’ at which point i had to slow for a gate?/Stile? and subsequently fell on my left leg
Didn’t hurt at the time.
I jumped back up, gave a thumbs up to Stu & Debs and ran down the trail back onto the road. I could see the first lady Helen Elmore up front and she was being passed by Mr white vest. she was a bit in front but i thought i would use her to chase, running down the road thru the river of water again i was catching her very slowly, too slowly and as i turned into the rugby field she was already halfway up and close to crossing the finish line so i gave up the chase and crossed the line in around the 54min mark.
Despite battling up steep hills, thru gale force wind, driving & freezing rain and falling over twice i really enjoyed this race. Nice challenging course and on a better weather day be good for beginners to fell.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.