Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Hebden 18 Jan

As my first 'event' last year I have fond memories of this. Bob and I drove over to Mytholmroyd on Friday evening and after a quick half in the pub fell into bed. I hadn't reckoned on the church bells chiming every quarter hour, including 12 chimes at midnight but it was better than getting up at the crack of dawn, just. By 7 we were registered and on the look out for the rest of the RF crew. I had prizes to organise and was fretting about having enough time to do this. Well before 8 I was back in the hall and finding so many friends to chat to. I started near Albert, Josie and Tony but knew they would disappear ahead before long. I was regretting wearing two thermals and my cag  as we climbed from the valley road but was reluctant to stop and take them off. I plodded on steadily if not speedily. I passed Nick earlier than last year so perhaps I was doing OK. The course was muddy and slippy which made the sections with rock and boulders tricky. The CP near Old Town came and went very quickly and I enjoyed the run to the woods at Hardcastle crags. Isaline shot past as we headed to Gibson Mill. The climb out from the river took its toll but I hung onto the rear of the runners ahead. I was not 100% sure of the way after Colden Water. In the end some went wrong and I ended up alone anyway. There is such a maze of paths there but at least it doesn't matter exactly which one you take and I emerged at Blackshaw Head just the same. The next bit had some tricky narrow paths and then the concrete road which should have been so runable seemed very slippy. As we headed for CP I was caught by Gill and her friend. We sped past the CP and over the railway ready for the climb towards Stoodley. The ridiculously cheerful photographers were in their usual place, although this year they were not getting covered in blown snow. Somewhere here I hit a bad patch. Gill sped off and I just lacked motivation and energy. I had eaten but it hadn't helped. As I picked my way through the bog and puddles on Dick's Lane Albert, Josie and Tony appeared. They had unintentionally added a little extra! It sort of spurred me on  and I kept them in sight as we headed round the hill and into Cragg Vale. From the pub in Cragg Vale I was suddenly on my own and eased off the pace... if only I had had my racing head on there were others just ahead.  CP5 came as a total surprise as I had no recollections of this part of the route at all. I got two guys ahead in my sites and worked on chasing them down. It worked and I led them through the tricky bit as we dropped towards the valley and houses. It always seems odd in this part of Yorkshire as paths lead through so many people's gardens. It was a hard plod back uphill but by the time we reached the beacon on a pole I could see Albert et al again. I tracked them all the way to the finish. I was joined by Catriona and Kevin.  We flew down the last fields but I could not raise my game in the big path alongside the railway. It should have been easy to just make a bit more effort but somehow I just couldn't. Albert et al stayed ahead but in sight to beat me by a minute. Catriona beat me by seconds in 4.13.  It was faster than last year, plus longer and muddier so I guess I should be content. Andy had a fantastic run in 4.05 and was very pleased with himself.
Andy still looking pleased some time later (photos Nick Ham)
 Much later I found Bob enjoyed himself more than he anticipated and so paired up with Elaine, switched to the long and completed in 6.35.
I refuelled in the hall with countless cups of tea, pie n beans plus crumble and custard. Andy and I were restless and full of anticipation for the RF meeting. We hobbled across to the van to change, set up in the pub and waited with wine and beer in hand. The relaunch meeting went well and so did the prize giving.
Dick - not only a Grand Slam but has worked hard getting us to company status
Considering only a week earlier we had virtually no prizes I think we had a generous amount in the end. Bob was shattered and never made it to the pub but he did drive home (for which I am very grateful).
A great end to a good year.
Thanks to the rain I took no photos and my camera man missed the prize giving. I will have to ask Nick if I can use some of his.
Thanks Nick- our treasurer to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment