After congregating at the top of the street we were herded down to the Fleece for the official start line. It didn't seem worth jockeying for position near the front and then having stud marks up your back. True it was slow for 100m but there was plenty of time to spread out.
|making my own pace|
|and still- a decent surface for my foot|
|Sportsunday always make me smile|
|Hester whose kind words meant a great deal|
Usually I like the contour across from Mount Cross to above Tod but the mud caused my foot real problems and it was hard work concentrating on minimising the jarring. By the time I passed Andy Ford who had come out to support I must have looked pretty grumpy. I had another serious tweak in the mud by the golf course but luckily the tarmac afterwards gave some respite. I tried to be positive- I had not bailed at CP2, I was over half way now.... there were donuts and whisky waiting at Mankinholes.
|not just me fueling on donuts then|
Climbing up to Mankinholes I started catching some others and then even overtook a few. More positive vibes. Even better was the climb to Stoodley Pike.
Not running the muddy flats and the gnarly downs meant that my quads were in better shape than usual and the climbs seemed so much easier. I caught and ran with Brian S who was feeling pressure of Hester not far behind. Again I embraced the tarmac drop to Hebden and powered up the hill to Heptonstall. I was gaining places now and reflecting on those articles about negative splits. I had been really worrying about the drop to Horse Bridge but it was better than I hoped even if I was very slow. There I found Albert and the hung-over Toney sat having a picnic.
|Albert and Toney at Mankinholes|
I arrived in time to eat, drink and see the prize giving. Ken and Kevin had raced each other all the way round but crossed the line together. A recovering Rory was third.
|Josie and Kat|
Before long I was cheering in Kevin, Nick and others. My ankle was sore but happy not to be on uneven surfaces now. Chats with friends, trying to make sure spot prizes were taken, more donuts and tea before we took the flags down and went off for our committee meeting. The Old Sun was closed as they had tried to double the landlords rent so we went to the Old Silent where we met him again.
Not a bad day out in the end but my foot now seems to be bu**ered. I wonder whether the next races will happen- the Fellsman has already gone.
Update- went to bed knowing in my heart that our drive to Dover in the morning was not really going to happen. French Government have now closed all ski resorts, travel in France is being limited and travel to and in Spain even worse. Spent a depressing morning emptying the van of ski and climbing gear that has not travelled anywhere. An now the local climbing wall has closed and my foot is so sore I cannot go for a run on the hills.