Crowden Horseshoe

My second fell race of the season. I didn’t really think about entering it until a couple of days ago – I knew that Burbage Skyline was coming up, but this wasn’t really on my radar.

Barely 6 miles from home, this was a good one to start getting used to a longer race. Herod Farm was short at 5 miles or so, this was a slightly more challenging 8(ish).
Lynne kindly drove me over, and then wandered about the hillside taking rather marvellous photos of people plunging down toward the end.

The beginning was fast – over road for about 300m, and then a stile. I started somewhere near the back, never really wanting to blow my legs out before the mid-point of a race. So I was quite far down the field by the time the bottleneck appeared.

That over, the long pull up the hill began. That was a looooong way up. basically 4 miles up hill. There were a couple of slightly rocky descents along the way (not very big ones), but they were sufficient to notice that the guys that I was pretty much keeping up with along the flat and losing out slightly to on the ups really were not all that good at going down.
So I sat there, biding my time on the ascent, making sure that I wasnt being left behind too significantly, and making sure that my legs weren’t being totally sapped by a pace that I couldn’t sustain.

Toward the top I was not happy, but I was in touch, we turned around the trig point and theoretically down hill, but very much into the wind. As it happens, the gradient down wasn’t all that much at all, mostly flat, so it turned into a complete slog into the wind. I gained some on the downhill bits, and lost some on the uphill (well, slightly up-slope – by this time anything that wasn’t downhill constituted a mental uphill effort).
I knew that the final part was a vicious little downhill which, if I was right in my observations at the beginning of the race, the guys around me would not be happy about.

778 – Tim

Brain off, legs on, and go.
I think I overtook about 5 people in the last 500 metres and eventually came in 26th in 75:49.
Not that tired, feeling good.
Need to work on the old climbing skills though.


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