Saturday 19th January 2019

This running and/or walking event was previously organised by the LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association), and is now run by the Halifax Sea Scouts (as Cat commented, Halifax couldn’t be further from the sea but apparently they do lots of water activities).

I am not a regular of events starting near enough in the dark (8am) but my attendance this time was made possible with a welcome lift. I’d only entered the 15 miler, Cat and Alison were doing the full 22 miles. (You can decide to do 22 once you get to 15 or opt to do 15 if not up for the 22: a very generous concept.)

The event starts in Mytholmroyd, takes in part of Hardcastle Craggs and skirts Blackshaw Head & Stoodley Pike. There are a few strenuous climbs, a mix of terrain & 4 checkpoints on route (on the 15), with a mile or so on road near Hardcastle Crags and at the of the 15-mile route, but not the 22. The event prides itself on the refreshments offered, during and after exertions. Someone had complained of no cake at checkpoint 3 (after 3.5 miles). It must have been a walker.

I was very glad I had recced as the route wasn’t marked and at Stoodley Pike there was very poor visibility and snow. Fortunately I had others to tag on to before they carried on to do the 22 mile route. I would definitely do the Hebden again if training for a longer race but the event fills up quickly, the entries open in August and are full within a week or two, so it’s one for the diary.

I had forgotten what off-road long distance (for me) is like, it’s been nearly two years since I completed a race this long. I recognized that just-about-moving feeling when totally spent. All in all it was an enjoyable, well-organised event with lots of post-race food and a Scouts waiter service.

Well done to Cat and Alison for going the whole 22 miles!

—Kate Bell

Results here.