Sunday, 30 December 2012

Festive Disorientation

At the end
I really haven't done many races this year, which is the reason why there haven't been many race reports- stands to reason really.
This, however, is the final race of the year, as far as I am concerned, a good reason to get out and about in the Dark Peak with a map, not following hordes of people, and making your own way between a number of checkpoints that may, or may not necessarily be there.

Chatting with a load of the regulars in the Bulls Head beforehand - it was the starting point, we weren't just there having a pre-race beer, Marvin (who isn't actually called Marvin) mentioned something about looking forward to the race report... so I thought I'd better do one.
This is for you Marvin.

Mr. Boyle coming in at the end
This was never going to be a fast one, more of a navigational amusement to get some distance in before the end of the year. The staggered setting off was all good, and I went quite late on. Struggling to see the map, I made a quick decision that Clockwise around was going to be the best way, though I had a hint of indecision about what to do in the middle.... but more on that later.
The first 2 checkpoints were fairly straightforward, and as I headed on up to the spot height I noticed that a couple of people who set off before me were already behind, but I hadn't overtaken anyone. Odd. But a nice feeling that I was holding my own really.
From the spot height, the old adventure racing rule of Ohms law came into play. Although the straight line to the next Check might look appealing on the map, its going to be over a bit of a fight through knee deep heather. The intelligent line, and the line of least resistance was along a path, past the reservoir.
At this point I passed John Stephenson, and we cheered each other on our way. We overtook a couple of others who had opted for the "straightline" route, which turned out to really not be the fastest way across.

There's the map. 
I battled through knee deep heather on the way up to the Checkpoint on the inspection cover, and was overtaken by Tom Brunt on the way up. Unsurprising. I think I need longer legs.
Got to the inspection cover and then kind of headed East, dithering whether to go up to the Trig point, quite a way away, or whether to go up there via another Check, which I was likely to get on the way back... I didn't make a decision for a long time, and lost out on a lot of height that I could have gained easily. As a result, Julien barrelled past me along the top as I struggled through bog, mire and heather. Dan C was up there too, but Julien just did his "thing" of keeping a relentless pace up on whatever is underfoot. He just disappeared further and further into the distance. Levitation. That's the only explanation I can come up with.

I got the Trig and then started the descent south, meeting Andy A and Andy O who were going Anti-clockwise around, making good time, and then, POW. Stitch.
I couldn't run, I could barely breathe or walk and was making some pretty spectacular noises. Rob Taylor, who was around the same area made sure that I wasn't about to keel over, and John Boyle zoomed past us at a rate of knots.
Wandering back to the pub
And I limped and hobbled my way down toward the next point. It was going well, my navigation had been excellent, (though decision making wasn't quite as spectacular), and I was running ok, but the constant lifting legs over heather while breathing heavily was taking a real toll on my hip flexors.
Matt D, having won a prize on Short score
Got to the next point and then found the pipeline across the top, which was heather free, and I managed a shuffling run round the Knarr. Down and up Arnfield clough to the shooting cabin, still nursing a bit of pain in my diaphragm, and then a final (relatively) slow run off the hill back to the Bull.

1 hour 50 mins or so. The winner was Tom Brunt in just over 1.5 hours. Impressive. So that puts me in about the normal place I would have expected to be in terms of time. Not disappointed with that, but a bit annoyed that the stitch came back.

The Food at the end was delicious, and the craic in the pub was excellent. A superb turn out from a decent number of clubs, and I'm off out tomorrow to collect some of the kites for Des.
A good day out was had by all, and thanks to Lynne for the photos.
And a race report wouldn't be complete without a picture of Brae. 
Postscript - as it turns out I was 8th out of 43. Not too bad considering the stitch, but annoying nevertheless.

No comments:

Post a Comment