Saturday, 14 November 2009
Mam Tor from Castleton
OK the run up to the HP 40 was enjoyable, running was good, health was good. The day came soon enough. It was a bit of a fiddle driving from N.Wales to Buxton Derbyshire for the start and typically arrived a bit late. Registered and changed in a flash and next thing I knew we were cheerfully snaking out of Buxton's streets and onto the first section across open ground and off towards the Goyt valley. I decided I was not going to get into too much passing the time of day chatting with fellow runners and got on with the job of trying to settle into a sustainable pace. I had 8 and half hours of running in my mind. The early autumn cool came to an end with the first serious bit of climbing up out of Chinley and up onto the hills. In fact, it got quite warm. It was about time for my newly tried and trusted feed plan. 1 peanut butter sandwich every 2 hours and 1 gel an hour after that. The first sandwich went down on the hoof without too much fuss. in fact it tasted ok. Climbing the rutted, grit stone strewn track up to Mam Tor was interesting running, made the more interesting by the descending mountain bikers. Grim faced and 'get the hell out of my way' stares from most of them. Soon I was running the ridge and enjoying the cooling breeze and views towards Edale. Soon after Hollins Cross it was time to descend and head towards Cavedale and on towards 'Somewhere-elsedale' Must have been about 5 or 6 hours in the bag by then. Started feeling the sun by then on a tarmac section into Monsal head. Got chatting to a guy who was feeling the distance a little i ran with him for a couple of miles offering a little encouragement where I could, it was here that I got lost (lack of concentration) I ran around an unsheduled lake for a while before correcting the error and running back on track. I decided to leave the guy here and pick up the pace for a while. Run steady up until the long road section at about 30 miles, this was tough, stomach sickness was creeping in, I lost a lot of time on this section. Once on the grass again I cheered up and tried to perk up for finish. Through Deepdale 2 (Strange gash in the fields - comes from nowhere just when you don't need it!) and past the last checkpoint without stopping. I could see the church towers of Buxton now. Once again had to stop with a stone in the shoe which I had to remove. Bending to do this was a chore because a 'trapped nerve' in my upper back that made bending uncomfortable. I pushed on with one or two runners who'd been around my position over the last 10 miles. There was no speaking, just grinding out the last few miles. I caught a young guy who looked fresh enough to me. he was wearing some technology so I asked him how far to the finish - 2 miles. A quick check of the watch told me I'd need to put in 2 8 minute miles to hit 8hours. I tried to drag the guy along but he'd had enough. I ran up the ramp to the finish table flat out and finished 8hrs 20secs. So I didn't go sub8 - ask me if I care! A great day out was had and once I got my breath back I felt great. 40m in the bag.