Friday, January 23, 2009

LONGER LEG (3.1m/950') - Sunday, 18th Jan 2009

An early start and a beautiful blue sky emerged for this short but strenuous race.

This race is part of the Hayfield Champioship 2009 and covers 11 events.

My first venture into the Dark Peak races, and as i soon realised looking at the terrain, i wasin for a baptism of fire.

The entry was at a pub called the Lamb just out of Hayfield, you could eitehr park in a lay by 400 yrds up the road or in a Public Car park in Hayfiled 2 miles down the road.

Signing on was at a bench in the car park of the Lamb, and i could see i was in good company Lloyd Taggart, Simon Bailey and Jon Fawcett to name a few.

The start was a mile further down the road with just in from the main road and i stood there i realised that this was going to be a toughie,

Setting off ( the strated shouted GO!) it climbed up and up from the start and after what seemed like and age we reached a wall, which we had to get over, then on and on, looked at the garmin and it said .85 mile, and we had just reached the top of the first climb,

I had started of well holding my place in the mid field, as we took in a small ridge and then descended at a fair pace, not really a path but more like a sheep track. Difficult decent and then over two maybe three small streams and then a climb up and over to another ridge.

After anothe mile or so i notice the field in front of me climbing high to my right, as i reached the bottom i realised that this went on for a full mile, just constant climbing up and up, very steep and no path " the majority of the race was posted and flagged but no paths"

The final stages after reaching the top of the final climb consisted of heather, deep and rutted and two field descents on very slippy rock.

As i reached the final section i was exhausted and my foot fall was getting loose and lax, footing went coming through a gate and i slid for what seemed like ages, on my knees and chest, both knees were bruised and cut terribly, but i just got on and finished,

Finished 105th out of 108 entries in 47 mins 35 seconds - for 3.3 mile and 998 ft of climb.

I real introduction to fell racing in the dark peak.

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