5 mile 1400ft
Done nowt since Saturday so decided that this 5 mile race would do me good, a speed session if nothing else.
118 runners set off from Whinlatter visitors centre and the first couple of miles is all uphill on good forest tracks which makes it feel hard and fast (note I said feel).
As always I give it my all but it's not enough to stop club mate Sam Ware pull away and shortly after 159 year old Jackie Winn strolls by too ( im hoping to beat him when he's 200 though).
As we leave the forest track and set foot on the fell, Howard Seal too decides he has had enough of my company and scarpers off, leaving me to struggle on alone up to the first check point, Barf.
In between Barf and Lords Seat a Pennine runner gets past me ( he beat me easily 2 weeks ago at Loughrigg) and I try hard to keep pace with him.
I notice Steve Bennett and Nick Ray are close behind me and as im climbing Lords Seat Nick gives me a shout to take a slightly different path to the summit, its no good though im knackered and Pennine runner gets to the summit a good bit before us.
To be honest, getting to the summit the same time as Nick and Steve was my worst nightmare as we are all pretty much evenly matched, we also all try to beat each other in races, so the chance of a fast gentle run in were gone.
From the summit its all good running on forest tracks to the finish with only a sty to negotiate. Whilst me and Steve fannied about trying to get over it, the "flying" nick took us both by surprise and hurdled it and in doing so passed us both in and mid air..... it really could of ended in tears...I was having trouble lifting my legs let alone jumping fences!
With Nick ahead we battled to catch him up. Eventually I squeeze in front again and then concentrate on running hard, all the time though I could hear footsteps close behind.
I was glad to see the finish line, finishing 18th and and only a few seconds in front of Steve and Nick, next year I'm going to recce it and try hurdling the fence too.
A good race route, and one that I have done 3 times now, but it is more like a trail then a fell race.
I feel as good as I was before I got my stress fracture now and I don't think I have the ability to get any faster, but I will keep trying, after all Jackie Winn is 116 years older then me!
Chris Steel (Borrowdale) and Emma Clayton (Bingley)both set new records ( I think).