After doing the recce and finding it hard, i new this was going to be a hard one,
I had mentally set my sights on a sub 2 hr finish,
After some careful organization we that is Steve Shaw, Steve Burt of Run Forest Run fame http://sbrtrfr.blogspot.com/ and Ray Mansfield all made our way over to Hayfield. Some in car banter was inevitable, and was somewhat overshadowed at times by the nerves i think.
Arriving at the right time we managed to get a place in the Scout Hut car park, booked in, saw my number thought it was 118 but it was 113, and generally had a mooch round, saw some old friends Caroline and Chris from Shelton Striders and also some new faces ....
A couple of kit check items sorted out, thanks to Steve B, we all had maps, and then we got ready to make our way to the start.
As we lined up saw Richard Hakes and John Gunee so introduced myself to them.
A few kit check numbers read out and that was it, off up the road and onto the snake pass, a real slog for the first 20 mins, and seemed to be going backwards really, i had prepared myself to just keep it going and then let my legs open up on the top, but the climb up William Clough just seemed to totally knock me for six, i just kept digging in, but seemed to be going backwards through the pack, never any good going up hill, maybe i should train for it a bit more,
Eventually after 4o odd mins i reached the finger post and still have the final climb up on the the ridge, when i reached the top i took on some water and half an energy bar to give me some back, for the latter parts of the ridge.
From here i was away really, i could focus on the task ahead, and the next runner, and try to pull them back in, i was pulling one guy in, and then he would take off, over to the left and then appear ahead of me, by some 15 seconds, Local knowledge hey!
The Downfall soon came and i managed to nip past two, maybe four by just thinking about my route, from here on in it seemed like an age, but i just kept going at it,
Soon enough Kinder Low arrived and the yellow flags showed the way onto the flagstone path, down that and keep left onto the drop towards Swines Back, the flags stopped and so did my concentration, i was tired, yes, but i just seemed to be moving to fast and that was it, over i went, it's the second race in a row that i have done that, as i picked myself up and did a quick check, the guy i had spent 5 mins overhauling shot past me, gutted, but it made me even more determined to pull him back, which you can see below, this is just coming down from Edale Cross.
I kept on pushing as i made my way down and across the fields with Kinder Low end to the right and then through Tunstead Ho, and onto the road towards the recreation ground, a quick check and i had 10 mins to get to the finish, i was conscious that i had to really try hard to keep it going. As i turned right and then sharp left onto the field i could see the finish i just put my head down, a few shouts of encouragement from Steve S and i was home, checked the watch and 1 hr 58, not great, but i have set myself a marker for next year,
Some post race banter with the guys, Ray had a fall and Steve B was first home, i think, but i will post the results here when they are published and then home,
Steve Burt - 1.40.07 - 154th
Stephen Shaw - 1.44.13 - 185th
Ray Mansfield - 1.44.25 - 190th
Martin Griffiths - 1.58.52 - 260th
A great day out with good like minded folk!