Sunday, 22 October 2017

Peak Raid - Hayfield. 2017

Ah, I'm getting back into the swing of things again now. Rehab is continuing and I thought that a nice nav event might be a good idea. No fixed distance, the ability to bail at any time and no-one really to race against. This had the added bonus of not being a million miles away, and also on relatively local stomping grounds.

The course may or may not have been altered because of Storm Brian (I think it was a shorter course than originally planned), and I cleared the whole course, which was nice. This is really a bit of an aide memoire for me as to what happened and how it went.
Aside from getting up late and having a bit of a fraught time getting over there - certainly not my normal calm self from the get go, I thought it went ok.

The start was at Bowden Bridge carpark, so a bit of a distance from Race HQ - the warm up jog was quite welcome, considering the longest I have been on my feet running in the past few months has been 45 mins. This could be interesting.
From the start it was a short run back down the road and a hook through the campsite to CP11.
Then a nice run back up the final part of the Mount Famine fell race where I spent a lovely 5 mins searching in totally the wrong place for 12. Having got the brain fart out of the way, got back on track with Pennine Jims words ringing in my ears "what are you doing up there?!" I ran on to get 12, and up to 13.
To get to 6 a number of runners were contouring around under the Dragons back. Yes, there was a lovely trod there, but at the end of the trod was a fence which on the map is a purple bar, so *technically* not one you can cross. To stay within the rules I headed up over the Dragons back and down onto the main path to hit 6 in good time.
On the way over there I passed Matt Huxford who very nearly sent me the wrong way with some light-hearted "banter"... but when I'm in nav mode I tend to be very doubting of my own abilities...managed to keep it right though.

From 6 to 15 there was some amazing bog/heather/turks heads to bash across for a long time if you wanted to. Or. You could go along the flags for a way, hang a left and bash straight down 400m to the CP. Best to save the legs from large amounts of rough ground. I chose ohms law and took the line of least resistance.
14 to 5 was a bearing, and went without hitch, and again, 5 to 10 was pretty much straight lining it through heather to find big paths up to the 3 knolls. No problem.

10 down to 9 was again a bearing. By this time there were people overtaking me and I was trying not to follow their lines. The bearing was taken and I headed a lot lower than those that had overtaken. Turns out I got a better line as they got to where they thought it was, and then had to shufty back round to where I was heading to.

9 to 8 could have been taken by a direct and very heather bashing line through 4 streams. I saved my legs and took the paths. Slightly longer, but much easier and more runnable. No idea if it saved me time, but it certainly saved me effort.
8 to 7 was a direct path, as was 7 to 4 and 3.
3 to 2 was a horrible bash. No decent paths, a lot of up and knee high + heather. If there was a better line I have no idea where it was. Those that were moving fast, I suspect, were just good at moving fast over very rough ground. By now I'd been out for 2 hours and I was getting tired. My line was terrible, but I got there, and then the line to 1 wasn't too bad. Also helped John Stephenson out as well as he was walking past the CP.

The final push off the hill was past 20 trees, and relatively straight forward, and there was tea and biscuits at the end.
8th overall in 2:22 and 5th in class. I'll take that. 

AND I was allowed to wear my number on my shorts. Nice.
Thanks to the guys at Peak Raid and Accelerate.

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