So the race report –
Aim was 2hr 30 to 3hrs depending on how fit I actually was.
In 1,2,3 go! We were off, around the cricket pitch and out onto the road for the first one mile steep climb.I knew I had to start easy and slowly get faster. Halfway up you had the choice of straight up the grass field or the slightly longer but less severe winding road. I chose the road but quickly realised the grass bank would have been quicker and easier.
Finally at the top there was a bit of a flat bit before we descended down the path to the valley and I started to pick places up. At some point i remember going over on my ankle but reached the bottom. Unfortunately this meant we then had to start climbing again thru the woods that seemed to just keep going and going. I started to lose a few places but could also see other people was suffering too.
On reaching the top there was around 2miles of flat gorse land which enabled me to recover enough to fly down the next downhill and back up the other side, despite standing on one muddy patch and sinking thigh deep in mud. It was now along stannage edge and the long descent into hathersage and the halfway point. I had felt ok but the knowledge I had to climb back up to just the other side of higger Tor seemed to sap me. I finally forced myself up the hill, then down into the woods and towards padley gorge. My race got slightly worse here. I had been, since hathersage, in a team of 3, me, a totley & a southwell runner, and getting towards longshaw estate the totley runner who had ran the race twice before, stated ‘I think we’re lost’ and promptly pulled out of the race. Then so did the Southwell runner. I was now off course and on my own.
I made it to the road, sat down on some steps to read my map in front of temptation. Well an ice cream van on a hot day and I had money on me. I Resisted the cold treat and worked out how to get back on course. Doing so meant I added about a mile and bit to my run.
I spotted other racers and joined them but I was struggling, really struggling. The 2hr 30 point had gone and I had around 3.5miles to go and 3hrs was a definite doubt. I climbed the last hill onto totley moor, I was walking more than running now, I aimed for the last checkpoint but my ankle was hurting a lot. Turned around at the totley trig Cp and began the descent into totley but my ankle started to seize and was hobbling a little. I made it back to the cricket inn, around the cricket ground and over the line. 3hr 25min almost an hour slower than I reckon I could have ran if I had given myself time to train for it and recce the route.
Despite this Still taking positives that I finished a very difficult fell race, got miles in the bank and the last few times I have pushed myself so hard I have managed to set my fastest times this year a few week after. I have the stocksbridge chase 10k in 4weeks so will take the 17miles from the exterminator into that.