April 23rd, 2022
Having recced this one and raced it in the past I was quite confident of the route and hazards. Caroline, Niamh amd I were only there a couple of weeks before so I had got my bearings and knew it would be tough.
The long track and road section at the start of the race wasn’t my favourite stretch, but knowing I would soon be in the depth of Lakeland landscape I wasn’t too put off. My running suddenly came to an abrupt halt as I clambered-up the side of Robinson, (almost hands and feet in parts) . When I appeared at the top I was knocked sideways by tremendous gusts of wind , steadying myself I was immediately knocked over again and again before the wall of rock that greeted me.
Being terrified of heights was my main concern, along with this wild wind knocking me over, but I really didn’t want to lose my hat.
After the first climb came more fierce winds and a second rock face. Once over this my energy levels were almost zero and my jelly legs took a while to recover , I was all over the place. I had a word with myself, pulled myself together and trundled on.
During the recce I had run most of the hills but that wasn’t happening in the race, (probably due to not stopping for picnics and photo shoots). I had quite forgotten what these Lakeland races were like. Down and over Hindscarth and Dale Head wasn’t bad but by this time I realised I was carrying far too much in the way of supplies and laughed at myself for being over cautious. I had a bag of cooked, chopped tofu, a pocket of dates, a bar and a gel. (Plenty for a Bob Graham round).
Dale Head was another gusty one but I stayed upright. Up towards High Spy and my brain wouldn’t shut up from saying, “high spy with my little eye something beginning with.. H…hill, S… sky” etc etc. I even said “shut up Ann” out loud.
I enjoyed Maiden Moor but then I started singing folk songs with the word maiden in the lyrics. (Shame I’m not fast enough to run away from myself.) I began to feel at peace when I knew I was nearing the end and was greeted by the support team. Hilary was shouting, “do you want some sweets?” but I declined so she shouted, “but I searched for these vegan ones especially for you!” (Sorry, Hilary.)
The last section was easy enough but as soon as I hit the road my calf cramped up but as the end was in sight it didn’t bother me too much. My time wasn’t quite as fast as my previous time but I had done it and was pleased enough with that.
Free beer would have been great if I drank. I asked if they had zero alcohol beer and the bartender told me there was alcohol free tea and water outside so I downed some of that instead.
What a great race with breathtaking scenery. Thankyou to the support team of
Hilary , Caroline, Martin, Linda and Jonny with his cowbells.
Ann Brydson Hal
Credit for cover image: Harry Bolton