When will I learn?
I should off known accepting a lift off Phil Winskill to Nine Standards fell race on New Years day would have its price to pay.
Normally before a race, my pre race warm up consists of keeping my jacket on just before the off.
Not so with Phil though, who after registering insisted we have a look at the start of the race. Some miles later and im doubting we will get back in time for the start !
The route goes on road for about 2 miles and then continues on the fell for another 2 miles before turning at the cairn and running back the same way, all runnable and this year free off snow, which last year was over a foot deep.
Back at the start line and there's another good turnout from eden runners, who last year won the team prize.
Also wandering about is Steve A, who is running competitively for the first time since August after a stress fracture forced him out for 8 weeks. His account of his race can be read here.
The race sets off and after the initial mad rush I settle into about 8/9th place and try to concentrate on keeping my pace even.
Once on the fell the field is really stretched out and I notice a club mate 200 yards ahead off me, I try to keep him in sight.
A couple of runners go past me with still about half a mile to the top still to climb and I start to think that maybe im struggling and then to make matters worse there's a horrible noise in my left ear. I try to ignore it but it gets louder and louder, it has a horrible Scottish twang mixed with a bit of Geordie in it, the next insult confirms my worst fears....
..its Steve A having a storming run and wanting a bit of crack on the toughest part of the course, I tell him to f**k off but he just laughs and carries on yapping. He yapping away whilst I can hardly breath and eventually we reach the summit where Steve turns in 11th and me 12th.
In a bid to get give my ears a rest I throw myself down the fell and slowly Steve voice trails away.
I have a good descent passing 5 on the fell section alone.
Once on the road though I knew Steve would be gaining on me again so I put my head down and pretended I was doing a 10 mile road race where I had to push to get under the hour!
This seemed to work because I slowly began to catch my club mate . On arrival back to the village/town I was right behind him and settled in to finish in that position...... and then I got a rush of blood with about 300yards to go and sped up to get past him, to my amazement he didn't react and I crossed the line 60 minutes after the start and in 6th place out of 95 runners.
Phil Winskill won convincingly in 56 minutes and I deliberately hid away from him in case he wanted a "run down"!! (not making that mistake again)
I was delighted when Steve A crossed the line only 20 odd seconds behind me, the only thing missing was the absence of Steve b (whom I'm lead to believe is in training for something quite a bit longer).
As always the "meet up" in the club afterwards was as good as ever meeting new folk and catching up on others. Fell running is quite unique at this, I think.
Eden runners got the team prize and Eden's Julia King got fv50.