23.3 mile 5280ft
This was my 5th race in 18 days, my way of getting fit again after being unable to run for 6 wks- race to get fit works for me and I was feeling quite optimistic about equalling my time of last year or get close to it at least.
Along with club mate Sam Ware we set off from Penrith early to make sure we got there in good time, giving us plenty of time to register and give our drinks to some top water mules who were going out on course to support Ricky Lightfoot, but also offered to take ours, thanks again Nick and Jackie.
Sam is in some good form at the moment and there's not much chance of me beating him this season, but with Sam not doing this race before I was hoping I could give him a little race at least, the long running section would suit me more then Sam, I hoped.
The day a little hot but very windy we both lined up on the start line and before long we on the climb of Pen-y-ghent with another 766 runners.
Sam was on my shoulder for a while but eventually got bored of me and pulled away, reaching the summit 25 seconds ahead.
The next section of the race I always enjoy, as its all good running to Ribblehead and I was passing runners easily and had caught Sam up and had even sneaked ahead of him again.
I was feeling fairly good and even thinking about running the Keswick half the next day. I caught another runner up and instead of going on the outside of him, I tried to steal a yard by cutting a tight corner...
.. race pretty much over.... Stupid F****R!!
I've rolled my ankle, the same one as last week, it wasnt even on the path, my own stupid fault, for the sake of a yard and a place.I hadn't even taped it it up, how Frigging stupid.
When it happened I felt everything drain away from me and I felt weak. I have rolled my ankle about 4 times in the last 5 years but this was pain like I have never known, it stopped me in my tracks, but I knew I had to keep running or I would never get going again.
A couple runners came past while I was trying to run it off and then Sam pulled up and slow down to my pace to check on me, I told him to carry on and keep going and I would see how it felt when I got on the road which was about 1/4 of a mile away.
Once on the road it was still unbelievably sore but I was running again and I was soon back with Sam, though I think Sam he had slowed down a tad. We even passed some of the runners who had passed us earlier.
Running to Ribblehead and I'm thinking about dropping out, but im too proud and stubborn. We meet Nick and Jackie for the drinks and then set about the climb of Whernside.
I can normally run a bit of this climb and eat something, but today I'm finding it hard and I get behind a runner who is walking fairly slow and I tuck in behind him, I know my race is finished, I just got to get the end.
After a couple of mins behind this fella I realise its too slow, even for me, and pass him. I look up and Sams not that far away, so I dig in again, kidding myself.
Eventually the top is reached (always sooner than I'm expecting) and the wind is so strong that I can hardly stand let alone run, but I try and soon realise its impossible, every foot fall is sore and again I'm soon getting passed again. Eventually I get down to the farm tracks and from now on its slow jogging, thru Hill Inn, words of encouragement again of Nick, slow jog and walk up Ingelborough, past Jackie and more words of encouragement.
Cramp as always on top and then the long jog back to Horton. Runners were passing me in small groups and you could see they were racing each other and enjoying it.
Meanwhile old sorry arse was stood having a beaker of water and a chat with a marshall, who showed me a good line of grass to follow.. every cloud...
I eventually finish and Sam is on hand to pass me a beaker of water. I fall down on the grass, exhausted, stating never again.
Sam had a great run and I dont think I could of beat him, but I might of ran him close.
A burger and a drink later and we pulling out of the carpark. I know too that I will be back next year, I cant leave this great race a beaten man.
Thomas Owens won in 2.53
Anna Frost was first lady 3.30