Saturday, August 02, 2014

1st Place!

Oh, um, typo, 201st place. I had a mare. Conditions were terrible and I was out there battling Borrowdale for far too long. Way outside my target. 4:55. I'm not impressed. Having said that, it was a tad more challenging than I was expecting. With driving rain for three hours, drizzle for an hour and the bonus of an hour without rain it was not hugely fun. Add with strong winds and stormy gusts, pleasant it was not.

I set off mid pack and started okay. I got to Bessy Boot in good shape just a minute outside my target. From there to Esk Hause was were it all started to unravel. Running head long into driving rain and rough, boggy terrain pretty much destroyed me. By the time I reached Esk Hause I was ten minutes down.

By the time I hit Scafell Pike, with more battling against the wind and rain I was further adrift. And don't mention the rocks. I nearly came to disaster a few times. It was like they were made of ice and after those few times I slowed to a crawl across the rocks from then on. Better to survive in one piece to run another day. Then after the scree descent off Scafell Pike my shoes were full of bloody grit. I ran on for a time before I had to stop, struggled to undo my double knots, but eventually managed to get them emptied.

The corridor wasn't the speedy descent I was hoping for. I just had to take it steady in order not to kill myself or worse, break a leg, on the slippery stones. Half way up the Great Gable ascent I was reaching sense of humour failure. I just wanted it to end.

The run to Honister didn't improving things much and by Dalehead I was down to a slow crawl. The ascent took forever - and then with my legs drained, so did the descent. I still managed to overtake a few people though - obviously suffering more than me. Possibly the worst part was when the car park came into view and knowing it was still over two agonising miles away.

The silver lining was that at least I showed how soft us 'southern softies' are - not very. I was the only person I saw who didn't at some point put their waterproof jacket on. There just wasn't any point really. It wasn't cold, a bit cooler on the tops but let's face it you didn't hang around there long and with the rain the way it was, a light weight waterproof wasn't going to keep it out for that length time.

The final insult, and I kid you not. Literally - and I can use it here as it's been redefined by the OED - the moment I crossed the line the bloody sun came out. I kid you not. I entered the finish tent to drizzle, exited, all of ten seconds later and the sun was shining. Impressed I was not.

Didn't hang around long, got some food in me and then headed home on the five hour drive, hitting some pretty scary lightning storms on the M6. Home safe in the end though...

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