Monday, 7 March 2011

A silly weekend of fun :-) HPM 2011and 4th at the Open 5

(Somewhere on the edge of kinder - still smiling! Picture courtesy of Willy Kitchen)

Back in November the Pennine/Lakes ladies team failed to get an entry to the High Peak Marathon (42 mile night time nav race around the Derwent watershed) and by January I was quite glad as I was still getting ITB twinges and hadn't trained much. So when asked in Jan whether I wanted to run it with Accelerate I was sensible and said no.

However, 3 weeks of having a cold and finally feeling fit again last Wednesday meant I had spent enough time sitting still that when I got a phone call on Thursday asking if I wanted to run....well of course I said yes!

The Rucksack Club Vets team - resembling 1/4 of a rucksack club vets team - finally made it to the start line as: Andy Howie (captain), Helen Alison, myself and Wil Spain (agreed to run at 19:30 on Friday evening).

We set off at 23:10 on Friday night, the night started off clear but not too chilly (so we all knew the bog monster would be out in force...) and we made good headway across Hollins Cross, Lose hill, Win hill, High Neb and to cut throat bridge - in fact I was wondering if we were moving a little too well! I had a few problems with being able to eat between 1.5hrs in and getting to the A57 the final time, thankfully after 3hours I could force stuff into me as it was a long slog across the bog. From Lost lad onwards the pace slowed considerably. The clag was down but thanks to the marvellous navigational effort from Andy we made it across Bleaklow without incident! The marshals were extremely cheerful which made getting to checkpoints excellent! It was a good game, playing 'spot the high peak member I know' in the fog!

At the A57 I tried a piece of cake and suddenly thought it was the best thing I had ever eaten, so promptly ate 3 more pieces! Then, out of the tent behind us emerged 3 of my friends who we hadn't seen since cut throat bridge.....they had used the A57 as a relocation feature for Wainstones...oops....made me very glad we hadn't gone too crazily wrong!

The cake had an excellent effect on my legs and I felt like I hadn't run anywhere yet! However Andy's feet were paying the price of being frozen blocks of ice for 6hours and we couldn't get going across the final section. We lost a fair bit of time just on this stretch (maybe 1hr) and finished in 13hrs 35ish. It was a shame not to be able to run the final stretch (13 ish miles) but an excellent experience....can't decide just yet if I'll be back next year but if Helen has anything to do with it I think I might....I'll just block out the memory of the bog monster for now :-)

Seeing as I hadn't planned to do the HPM, I already had an entry for the open 5 adventure race in Bakewell on Sunday. I couldn't really put it to waste as I could still walk on Saturday evening, so was up bright and early Sunday! I decided to MTB first to 'loosen the legs off'. Even having missed a nights sleep on Friday I managed to plan a good route, taking in the fantastic rocky section and long steep mud slope both in the downhill direction = much fun! I got all but 2 bike controls in 3hrs, then headed out on the run.

How nice it was going from 1:50000 to 1:25000, I soon found I had well under planned the route, so adjusted it and continued. However throughout I couldn't stop thinking 'you're legs could go at any minute' and I didn't want that minute to be miles from home! So I played it a little safe, sadly a bit too safe, and got all but 5 controls with 18minutes to spare! I could definitely have got another in that time!

I finished with 525 points in 4th, 15points behind Karen in 3rd - very happy with my performance appearing unaffected by 42miles/13hrs on my feet! This weekend has been great fun and given me a lot of confidence that training is going well for the APEX race in May :-)

I'm still waiting for my body to realise it has missed a nights sleep....I'm sure it will soon!

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