Saturday 6th Feb 2016
I signed up to this race as a friend suggested it would be a good one to do for some mileage and climbing training. I’m not very good at turning up to races to use them as training so I was slightly hesitant however, I found out it was a championship race and it was the day of Johns 30th birthday party so thought it would keep me out the way whilst John and his friends went off climbing or something.
As the week before approached it transpired that John and his friends weren’t going to be doing anything too epic as the forecast was just miserable and the guy who recommended it had a chest infection so was out. However, I was signed up and my boss from work ran for the club who organised it (Calder Valley Fell Runners, CVFR) and sold it to me so up I got on the 6th of Feb and headed out to register in yet again wet and windy conditions. I don’t know what it is with me at the moment but every race I’ve done recently I’ve had the elements against me and I think I actually got blamed for the weather!
I can’t say I was feeling totally ‘psyched’ for the race and I was still feeling the effects of the weekend before completing the Dark Mountains race and I was still catching up with sleep. It’ll be good training though…..I’m sure!
I got to the event and got myself signed up and had the usually bag faff….trying to decide exactly what I might need. Everyone at CVFRs were very supportive and the overall event was very well organised. It was nice to bump in to an idol of mine before the race , Nicky Spinks, and this gave me some inspiration and I thought:
‘I wonder if I could try and stay with Nicky Spinks? That would mean I’d be on track for the Bob Graham!’ Ha!! I never saw her again!
I got the chance to have a little catch up with some Preston Harriers fell runners before the start too who I haven’t seen for a while.
We set off for the short walk to the start and all of a sudden we were off…I didn’t actually hear the start, I’m not sure whether it was because I started quite far back but it started because everyone started moving!! At this point I was with my boss, Lee Shimwell who runs for CVFR and I tried to stay with him for a little bit as I knew he knew the route but after a few miles I thought this was never going to happen at this pace and I backed off and decided I’d have to rely on my map reading skills if need be. I’m glad I did back off as this race was one boggy….muddy…wet and hilly race and I would have never kept going at that pace. I can safely say I would like to rename this the Wadsworth Bog not Trog it was flipping awful. The boggy bits felt like they went on forever, I thought that this was me forever…lost in this bog never to be found again ha ha! Bog just saps the energy from your legs, you can’t get in to a rythm and there is always that thought in the back of your mind…what am I running in here?!
‘Probably will go down as one of those days where if you went to see a psychologist and explained to him what you did all day Saturday he would have you certified clinically insane and have you locked up for a very, very long time.’ (Jim Doherty)
I persevered though having fallen over and now had a nice soggy glove too and soon we were running on nice runable ground all be it for a short period only. It was a pretty crazy run actually, it had everything you might want from a fell run…good strong climbs, more mud than you could shake a stick at, turk head grass to negotiate, some good runable sections with bits on a bridle way, muddy fields (I don’t want to know what I ran through in that bit :-/), cobbles and rocky steam type paths with the odd fast descent where my hamstrings felt like they were hanging on for dear life!! I was slightly disappointed it was so foggy up there, visibility was poor to say the least and I can only imagine what a beautiful place it would be in the summer.
Plodding on….you can just about see the guys in the haze behind me!
I definitely had some low points on that race, good mental training though. I was definitely pleased to see the finish although you couldn’t just run to the end, nope, you had a nice little lap around a football pitch first! Someone has a wicked sense of humour ha ha!!
‘It was like running on a wet sponge, covered in treacle, with an underground swamp monster trying to pull you down into the earths depths like the morlocks in the time machine.’ (Jim Doherty)
I was absolutely soaked at the end, im not sure how but I was soaked to the bone and as soon as I stopped the coldness got me. I looked at my soggy gloved hand and noted it had gone a nice white colour too! I needed to get dry and warm asap so headed straight to the car and changed as quick as I could and stuck the heater on. Possibly a sensible thing to do however that was it then, I wasn’t getting out the car again which meant I then just drove home and got back home car shaped!! Eeek!! Needless to say a bit of dancing later that evening helped loosen the legs off :-)!
I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was 4th lady and felt disappointed I hadn’t waited around at the end. I honestly thought I’d done rubbish, I thought I’d been going at snails pace through that bog but perhaps my mind kept me going better than I realised and I guess everyone else was having a similar experience! Id definitely put this one in your diary for next year!