Saturday, 28 January 2012

Kinder Trial Race Report

The only picture of me
The long and short of it is, good race, snowy, did some really good navving, and then screwed it up by not following the cardinal rule of nav events. Don't follow someone else.

It was snowing quite a lot last night, big floaty flakes, and the hills were whiting over quite nicely. There was a minor concern that we wouldn't get to the race, but had it been that bad, we could have just run over to Hayfield anyway.
The girls are off
As it was, the day dawned beautifully clear, and the roads were fine, soon enough we were at Hayfield scout hut getting out dibber tags, and engaging in general pre-race banter. Although it was cold, I knew I was going to warm up soon enough as we left, so opted to wear a thermal, arm warmers, gloves and shorts, unfortunately it just wasn't bad enough weather to break out the new spektr smock. Ah well, its time will surely come!

This being Lynne's second race, and first one of the year, she wangled her way to getting a couple of partners from the club and went around as a gaggle of glossopdalers, which was nice, they went off early, and went the other way around from me, so I saw them once, about halfway around the course.
I decided that I'd take a camera round, as it was such a gorgeous day, it would be a shame to let it go to waste. Because of this decision I figured that I wasn't exactly going to be competitive in my time, but at least I could make up for it with a decent bit of navigation.

Ian on the way up to Mount Famine
Time for the off, and after looking at the map and pondering it for a while, I decided that I was going to to head around anti-clockwise. The route up Mount Famine, Dimpus Clough is bad enough when you've done a short race, at the end of a long race, in the snow, would be a killer. I caught up with a Pennine runner, and we tag teamed up to the first check point, and then up to the top of Mount Famine. A quick discussion about whether to contour round to hit the next before going into the clough was had, and I had pretty much already decided that a down and up approach was the best.

Down the hill, half running, half sliding, we faffed for a fair while looking for the right clough, but staying relatively high. There were a load of runners who were doing the same thing, but had been sucked down into the bottom of the clough. After a bit of investigation, we headed up the hill, he went to look at another clough, and I continued up the same one, and got the flag. Whistling at him, I carried on. The next part was a slog uphill, and then, a delightful bash across some fields, staying well ahead of the runners that I had unintentionally guided into that previous checkpoint. I took a stonkingly good line, hit the check point, and then following a single line of footprints, instead of the majority which had gone off in what I thought wasn't the best direction, I came up around the corner of Swines Back and dropped into the clough with the next Check point. Fantastic.

Just then, a load of runners came storming down the hill, so I stopped for a moment to take a few pictures,  and carried on. This was obviously the area where I was going to be passing people in the opposite direction, Chris went past, then Charlie, then John Hewitt (who shouted at me for taking photos when I should have been getting on with the more serious task of running), Dave Hogg, Sikobe, Lynne, Alison, Beccy, Carl and Beryl. I had also caught up with Sue who was going in the same direction as me.
SBRT with Sue descending behind him
SBRT was also there, and we took a moment for a bit of mutual photo taking.
Down into the next clough and clipped the checkpoint, stopped to take a picture of Ian of DarkPeak. It was at this point that Julien caught me up and overtook. Ah well, I'm not going all out today, and anyway, its a delightful day to be out in the hills.

Carl and Beryl
Carrying onto the next checkpoint, a racer was stopping to have some jelly babies and very generously offered one to me, which was very nice (thankyou Mr Springfield Strider!) and on through some pretty gnarly terrain around Cluther rocks down to hit the next checkpoint.
Clip and away, and down, and whats this? Julien coming back up towards me?! He had missed the checkpoint by a distance and was doubling back. Ah well, he had started 20 mins after me and was 20 mins up on me anyway. Not a problem. So then on up towards Sandy Heys with this horrible climb that seemed to go on for quite a while. I consoled myself that it wasn't going up Mount Famine. To the top, clip, and Julien comes past again, I'm not entirely sure how to get to the next one, so I tag along behind him.
At this point I was well aware that I was breaking the 1st absolute rule of not following someone else on a nav event, however, it was a nice day, he knows this hill like the back of his hand, and, yes, he went pretty much straight to the point.

Fantastic, now to the next one, he set off down the hill like a rocket, and I was in close pursuit, deciding to take pictures of him descending. So caught up in the brilliant fun of running downhill fast with a friend, taking photos, and just enjoying the day out I didn't look at the map.
We got to the bottom, and surged up the other side of the valley, following Jude, who we had just caught up with. At the top of the valley, Julien turned around. We've missed a checkpoint.
D'oh. That'll teach me to follow anyone blindly every again. I was running faster than I could map read, and I wasn't concentrating. Now we were 3km from home with a 2km round trip to get a Checkpoint that we missed.

The fateful photos!
All the time that I had built up with good choices and intelligent navigation blown away by following another person. Ah well. Entirely my fault, caught up in the moment.
So back to the Checkpoint watching others that I had passed, pass me, damn.

Then the run back down the hill, and up to White cabin, I was getting tired and the line just didn't appear under my feet for ages. It felt like it took a long long time to get up there, and as the cabin came into sight, Julien was shooting off into the distance, with 4 runners that I should have been in front of.
Clip the paper, and off down the hill. I was a little unsure of the path as I'd never been along it before, but it was a wide scar through snow covered fields. I no longer cared about the puddles with ice in them, splashing though them with complete disregard for the water in my shoes.
Down, down down into Hayfield, overtaking 2 or 3 people on the way back in.
I finished in 2:43 ish, no idea, but probably well down the pecking order.
I'd be disappointed, but, I had such a cracking day out, it really doesn't matter!

Glossopdale also won a fair amount of prizes as well, despite his various detours, Julien won V50, Susan, Jude and Beryl all won their respective age catagories as well.
Well done Lynne!
Lynne came in and had quite amazing leg cramps, which surprised her quite a lot. At least she now knows what they feel like!
Now at home, sipping a Rescue Ale, courtesy of IDP and Woodhead mountain rescue, writing my blog so that Beryl doesn't get disappointed when she see me down the pub later on today!
Taking the camera around was a vrilliant success, and I might end up taking around an SLR if I can work out how to carry it without breaking it.

As a bit of amusement, here is my track in garmin, have a butchers and see where you thing we may have gone slightly wrong

I have only one slight disappointment about the day. Nick Barber didn't wear his flat cap for the duration of the race. Next time maybe?
A terribly cheesy photo of baba

1 comment:

  1. Nice report zephr, and fast time too. I don't know how you all do it.