Day: September 3, 2017
The final race of the Totley AC series, I had signed up for this optimistically hoping to get reasonable enough off-road to just get round. After lots of recces I was very confident of the optimum route, but on race morning I was distinctly nervous. This was going to be tough.
13C at the start, getting windy and clouding over. Had breakfast at home and parked up early. Put myself about two-thirds back in the starting pen. Race started at 10:30.
Felt good on the long uphill to checkpoint 1. As I got to it I noticed my race number was blowing about as one safety pin had been popped off by my backpack. Wasn’t carrying a spare.
Flew downhill to CP2, slipped on my backside on one steep downhill, no damage. Then walked the hard uphill through Blacka Moor to the road. OK crossing Houndkirk Moor, over Burbage Edge and slipped again going down to the stone bridge. By this point I got a feeling the runners around me would be on similar pace as me to the end. Think I was right, talked to a couple and kept passing and following the same ones.
Good along Stanage Edge following one of those runners, then found the good route down through the fern to the road, great progress. Some other runners clearly didn’t know their routes, held back a bit.
Towards Hathersage was a tiring downhill, but OK. Then a climb up through Mitchell Field was tough, walked a fair bit. Running from there to Padley Gorge I was pushing hard and had a few runners holding on behind me. Great feeling.
A long slog across Longshaw and along Moss Road, but I got going and did OK. Then after CP9 all downhill, just pushed on and loved it. Didn’t check watch at all throughout the entire race. Ran by feeling, and route knowledge helped a lot to anticipate when to walk, when to push on.
Through the finish shute I stopped my watch and saw the time was 13:34 and assumed I’d done about 3h 34. Only after a drink and some food did a marshall ask one of the runners I’d been near about their time. I said 3 and a half, they looked puzzled so I checked my watch and saw 3h 2min!?
Official time confirmed it and I was 68th finisher, 13th in age category. Brilliant! Best recce time had been 3h 42min.
Distance: 16.24 miles
Time: 3:02:04 official
Avg pace: 11:10 min/mile
Trainers: Brooks Cascadia