Sunday, 10 March 2013

No 15 Howarth Hobble/ Wuthering Hike

This is where I did my first ultra and signed up for what was then the Vasque Ultra series. A fellow Preston Harrier took me and said you might as well have a go! I therefore have a soft spot for the race and this was to be my fifth consecutive outing.  I never seem to have a great run here but my times are fairly consistent regardless of where the bad patches come. A meal out with friends the night before was not the best preparation but nevermind. This year I drove and tried to persuade another harrier that if they did this and Calderdale they might as well sign up for the ultra series. We arrived in plenty of time (even allowing for me to discover I had parked on a 2 hour limit and needed to move) so it was good to catch up with friends.  The forecast was fairly awful but as we assembled on the cobbled hill it did not seem so bad. I am sure I have memories of being herded back to the pub in previous years but this year we were strung out some way up the hill as the started announced off you go. I had promised myself a steady start and really meant it this year. It meant that when we left the road I felt much better than usual, but I then hammered the next bit!

At the time the run up to Withens ruin and then down to the reservoir seemed easy and I felt I was flying. In retrospect it was perhaps too fast. and after a brief chat with Mick C he steadily pulled away into the distance. I'll never get it right.The weather up to CP 3 was OK but as we climbed onto the moor it was chilly enough to put my hood up and to put my gloves back on. From Long Causeway I struggled a bit and was disappointed to find no tea yet brewed at the next CP, although the hot dogs were ready.
The leg to Mankinholes was my low point - I was hungry, my thigh hurt and I knew I was going slowly. I turned down the whisky but accepted the ibuprofen. It took 20 minutes to kick in but then I was much better and was cross I had not taken some earlier. Stoodley Pike was wreathed in cloud but was just as tough as usual.

The run down to Hebden was less painful then I remembered and I even gained a place or two stomping up to Heptonstall. From there the race picked up for me and despite the deteriorating weater I enjoyed myself. The sleet was atmospheric and I never eally got very cold. I used the road upto Penistone to pick off a couplemore people and was then joined by a runner who did not know the way. He was faster than me so in an effort not to slow him down I increased my pace and led him back. At least the bad weather had kept most of the tourists away and the run through the town was less hazardous than last year. My time was faster than last year and my first attempt but slower than my best two. I could not decide whether it had been a good run or not. Mick C was back on form, but Graham T and Tony M were pleased with very good runs and had beaten me. Still, 15 ultras now completed and I am still in reasonable shape.
The pairs results were kept seperate so I am still not sure what the fastest lady really was but Josie can be pleased with her first lady on her first attempt at this distance. Her garmin clocked it at 31.8 miles and I think my time was 5.34. 3rd lady (excluding pair teams) and first old lady, so not too bad. The organisation was great, as usual, and Brett even timed to prize giving to perfection - just allowing me to pull my clean trousers on as he announced my name. The kitchen did great service and I was very grateful for the many cups of tea.


  1. Congrats on a great finish Karen, I was many miles behind you when your first cup of tea went down! ... Good for me to get a take on the event from a much faster perspective!

  2. Mike
    Thanks for letting me know someone is reading this. Not sure I felt it was very fast at Haworth but I did enjoy myself. Have read your blog- keep going now the weather is improving.
    say Hi next time? are you at Calderdale.

  3. Considering this was number 15 you don't make it sound that hard! Nice one - well done.

    1. I tried to resign myself to the fact that doing lots would make me slow - but it was still tough when I got passed by those I sometiimes beat or run with. Fortunately got my energy and sense of humour back at Stoodley Pike!