This time I was fit and felt that I was recovered from The Hill- all that is except for my foot.
|Before the race... sore but running seems sort of OK|
It seemed to have multiple issues and this was confirmed by Angela W on Friday evening in the hall. Oh well, the forecast was good so I would see how I got on. Short runs in the week suggested running didn't make it worse so long as the path/ foot plant was predictable.
I slept well in the van and had plenty of time to chat with people in the hall. My plan was to wait until almost dawn so that my the time I reached the fell it was light and I would not need my torch. The good forecast also meant I could just about fir everything in my race vest. The staggered start is good- less pressure to use the toilet and also less pressure to shoot off too fast up the lane and over the first few miles. I started steadily up the lane and was happy to walk a bit. From the fell gate I picked up the pace a bit as I love the grassy tracks on Askham Common. As usual some runners went west on the main path but most went my way. It was now perfectly light and warm enough for me to take off my hat and gloves. Thank goodness I put thin tights on. It wasn't long before I passed John K and then Matt N came racing past me. Leaving the common I was cautious on the lovely ramp; it was too early for me to trust my foot. I then opted for the lower road route and the climb through the zig zags to Martindale church. At least there were no floods this year, just some large puddles. It must be faster that way because I ended up ahead of Matt again- although not for long. The road into Boredale suited my foot today with no sudden or unexpected twists. I felt I was moving OK but looking at my splits compared to carol and Fiona it was from Martindale to Side Farm that I lost most time (about 40 minutes!). I knew I had been slow on the descent over the rocks as I was guarding my foot, plus there was a queue at the Farm but even so that's a huge loss. I took advantage of the queue to eat and set off for Glenridding replenished. I chatted to Derek F for a bit and then Mark S and others as we climbed out of the valley and up past the old mines. I seemed to slow down here and especially so on the steep rough climb through the loose old workings. Then I spotted Tony, Josie etc ahead and that perked me up.
|Two cuddly Nav4 Santas|
|The biggest patch of snow this year|
|Steep down the Stannah and Thirlmere|
|The Winter Hill Billies- so friendly and always a laugh|
I found a good place to cross Raise Beck and was soon on the main path clambering upwards. It was wet but not slippery this year.
|Climbing Raise Beck|
|The trod I need to find|
|Tony recorded 59km, Albert over 60km. 38 miles?|
Several cups of tea, soup, bread and cake and I was feeling better. I applauded all the Winter Hill Billies in and also John K, Derek and Ian C (I managed to beat Ian by 22 secs). A quick change into warm dry clothes out in the van and then some more socialising in the hall. It seemed they had more than enough helpers so we wandered out into the parking field to say Bye to Joe before driving home. I would happily have stayed if needed but it was good to have a shower and my own bed even if a gradually ballooning and stiffening foot did keep waking me up.