Hope Wakes Fell Race and Massage

We got over to the Hope side of the valley nice and early – for a quick bouldering session over in Burbage South – but the write up of that is on my other blog.

Got back to Hope in good time for some decent eats at the Woodbine Café – who do the most amazing chocolate covered flapjack in the world.

We were massaging for this event so we had to arrive at the race start a bit before everyone else. It was a beautiful evening, and the marquee was already set up, Hope Valley Icecreams were just arriving and we were able to set up quite happily. In fact, just as the first table was going up, our first client of the evening approached us and asked for a pre-event massage.

Right. Well. Ok. Sit down and have a cup of tea, and we’ll be ready for you in just a moment, sir.

One table set up, I treated the runner while Lynne carried on setting up the other table. We had a fair few come in for pre-event massage, each and everyone saying that they felt a bit decadent. Don’t know why. I had a massage as well and I didn’t feel decadent, I felt great!

Kitted out and ready to run/work

Saw quite a few Glossopdale around, they came and said hello and see how we were doing. I’d been in two minds whether to run this one or not – for two reasons. The first, I was meant to be massaging at the end of the race, so I didn’t want to be a sweaty mess, and the second is that I’m doing the Dark Peak 15 trigs on Saturday and don’t really want to destroy myself before that.

Happily I decided that I was just going to bimble around the course, enjoy being out in the countryside, look at the views and generally have a nice evening out, get back, not too sweaty and help out with the massage if there was anyone left to treat when I got back.

The organisation of the race was fantastic, the kids race happened, everyone got their numbers ok, the cup was returned from last year (always a bonus, even if the same guy took it home this year), and we were all lined up and ready to start.

The starter this year was Bob Randles, the winner of the first ever Hope Wakes Race in 1946, which was a nice touch. 3,2,1 and we were off.

First off there was a very fast start, heading across the field and through a (wide) gate, still a bit of a pinch point with nigh on 200 runners. Then over some fields, over a stream (by jump or by bridge depending on your choice) over a road and then along the track under the railway bridge. I started off nice and slow, chilling out and in with the pack, not wanting to hoon away under speed. This one is a bit like Herod Farm, with 2 ups, you need to keep something tucked away in your legs for the second up.

So we wandered along, me slowly overtaking a few people who sounded like they were dying, passed a trio of spectators with red wine and thought about taking a quick pit-stop, but I couldn’t work out if it was Merlot or Pinot Grigio, so decided it probably wasn’t worth it. Going through the gate onto the first hill the marshal was counting us through and I was bang on 100th. Up the hill and there were a number of people walking, so I took it easy, running at the pace I wanted to be going when I got to the top, and happily overtook a fair few walkers, happening upon another Glossopdalean, who I didn’t know. So I introduced myself, and found he was ANOTHER Andy. I think if I get stuck for names in the club I’ll just have to call everyone Andy and I’ll be pretty close.

Over the top and down t’other side through the trees on a track that was ankle-twistingly fun, and then along quite a rough path/track thing that looked like it had been gnarled up by treelogging machines. Maybe it had, maybe it hadn’t, but I jogged along there and let a few people past as I admired the really quite spectacular view up the valley to the north. If I’d had my camera I definitely would have stopped to take a few pictures. Ah well, next time.

We turned up the hill and again, I picked a pace and stuck to it, passing a fair few people (including the Dark Peaker who honestly sounded like he should be in hospital) and up onto the top heathy part of Win Hill. I could see a couple of the Glossopdale lot ahead of me- including Chris, who I normally battle it out against when I’m running at full pelt… I was going a bit faster than I wanted to be going, so I reigned it in a bit, and then paid for it big style as I got caught behind 4 plodders who I just couldn’t pass. If I could have done that I could have dropped my final time by about 2 mins I think.

But this wasn’t the time for speed, this is a chillout run.

So I plodded up and over Win Hill, cheerily saying hello to all the Edale Mountain Rescue bods who were out in force for marshalling. As we crested the rise I struck out again, and took the pace up a bit (not by much, but it WAS downhill) and off we went.

I didn’t want to risk twisting my ankle or anything silly like that so reigned in the normal “brain off” approach, and bizarrely enough found the going a little tough! Maybe I should have just let myself go and hooned it down the hill. Ah well. So down the track, over the stile (in good style, of course), the steep hill and the even steeper hill, where I caught up a couple of people that I could have caught going UP the hill, but never mind), under the shower kindly provided by a couple of lovely young ladies with a hosepipe, and down the track.

Decisions… down the tarmac, or down the grass. Tarmac was undoubtably faster, but grass was better…hmmm. Ah well, I’ll keep on the grass, and then switch to tarmac. Down to the bottom and round the corner – again a cheery wave and a hello to the marshals, along the road, and there was someone right at my back. Ah, one of those that tails you all the way to the end and then tries to overtake right at the last second.

Ok, we’ll see how that works.

So we did the road crossing – thanks again to the marshals and to the motorists who were so patient, up into the farm and over the field with this person directly behind me. As we went over the field there were a couple of juniors, one of whom piped up “c’mon glossopdale!” I could hardly believe my ears, and grinned wildly – and said thank you very muchly. Over the field, taking it easy, a jump over the stream, and up to the last corner and the final hundred yards. The guy behind me getting closer all the time, breath ragged in his throat. I slowed a little, letting him catch me, as we turned the final corner, I thanked the marshal courteously, and struck out for the line at a sprint. I’m pretty sure he was no where near me and I crossed the line in 52:38.

And for the geeks amongst you, here is my garmin track of the race

A group of Glossopdaleans at the end commented- “hope you were doing that pace all the way round!”… nope, but I’ve got to get off to work though…

Took off my running vest, had a drink, and put on my work top, wiped my face and started massaging.

Stuart enjoying the decadent life…

There was quite a queue that didn’t really go down for a while, as soon as we finished one person, there was another who joined at the back. A good selection of runners as well – Lynne treated the winner – Stuart Bond, who broke the record this year, and lay on the table with his winners ice-cream, and everyone else besides, runners with injuries, suspected injuries, people who just wanted a warm down massage and a fair few more.

We had a good response, and I hope that the advice that we dished out was useful for those who came and asked. I also hope that the massage that was given has helped you all feel a little less battered today that you might otherwise have been.

We raised £69.99 for Mountain Rescue – all proceeds went to Edale MRT, so thank you for your donations.

After the last runner left, we packed up and headed over to the pub for a pint. Mmmm. A good end to a lovely day.

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