I’d not done a fell race for ages, but it’s great preparation for the 3 peaks cyclocross race, I’ve been running a lot more than usual in recent weeks and it’s also just up the road in Edenfield so it would be rude not to (entry was a more-than-reasonable 3 quid too). 15 minutes before the start a huge raincloud appeared, complete with thunder and lightning and changed the warm and dry conditions to completely wet and muddy. Luckily the rain ended as quickly as it had started and we were off, running up the hill in the direction of the Scout Moor wind farm from the farm yard start line. Almost immediately the ascent of the hill had many walking and scrambling – I was pleased at this point to be keeping up with the quicker runners around me and successfully getting past the slower ones. The route continued to climb upwards for a mile and a bit, crossing the new(ish) wind farm access road and ending at the highest point of the race, the wooden cross on Whittle Pike.
After this summit the race went steeply down the other side of the hill towards the broken track to Waugh’s Well. I lost loads of places on this descent (and the other 2 steep downhills) as I was mincing down whilst other runners appeared to be turning the bravery up to 11 and throwing themselves down the slope. Another climb, I advanced up the pack. Another descent, drop back again. This was a frustrating pattern. I just couldn’t seem to ‘let go’, I was getting slower in fact as the gradient got steeper.
The race was 4 miles long and I finished in 42 minutes I think. So not too bad but I guess I’d have done a lot better if I’d not been such a big jessie on the descents. At least the £3 entry fee included a cup of tea and use of the farmer’s hosepipe for cleaning your legs at the end. It’s all glamour in Lancashire.