Lantern Pike

That was a short, sharp lovely little race.
As we drove over to Hayfield from Glossop, Lynne remarked “you’re going up that”, as we looked at a hill ahead of us.
It is not a long hill, but it is a bit of a shock to the system.
We got there in good time and parked in the field- the weather was nice going on ugly- Sunny spells interspersed with sudden downpours.

We wandered around, and recced the first 200 yards or so, just down to the stream – noting the small chicane around a fence- definitely a good idea to get in the first group before the fence, and then, well, we looked up. And up. and there were flags going up the hill.

Back to the car before it tips it down again, and watch a couple of Pennine lads jog out for a quick recce.
We met up with Chris and a couple of other of the Glossopdale contingent who were’t over at Old County Tops (incidentally winning the team category), and had a quick chat about the route. Then change and off to the start.

25 Hardy Fellrunners, huddling in the lee of a hedge against one of the squalls that came in, a lovely image.
Without too much further ado, Andy came forward, got us to the start line, said some stuff about stiles that we paid lots of attention to, and then we went.

Andy talking about stuff

Down the field to the chicane was dominated by Pennine – all of whom charged off like loons. It was all we could do to keep up. Down, past the whippy tree that more than a handful of us got in the face, through the brook and up the hill.
At this point I was about 10th, and Chris was panting alongside saying something like “damn they went off fast”. I couldn’t speak, but I promise I was thinking something witty.

Up the hill, round the corner, and then, the Hill. (note capitalization). Chris was immediately in front of me, and I decided not to take him up on his kind offer to go ahead of him. Correctly as it turned out as he strode up the hill.
I could see 3 at the front, pulling away, and then 7-8 others, of which I was the last in the group. And I assume the rest of the field was following close at hand, though I never looked back.
Up, and up, and I tried to stay in touch. Everyone else, pumping furiously at thighs with their arms, something I don’t do – maybe I should, but I’ll talk about that another time – suffice to say its something to do with muscles and oxygen.

At the second of the stiles, (I’m sure Andy said something about them… stability issues? oh, I don’t know), up and over, down a slight hollow, and then back to the gruelling up – the last bit to the top.

Half-way up, the leaders have already started their descent. I’m still behind Chris, but not by much, more people starting the descent, and I’m in sight of the trig point.

By the time we got round the trig, the next guy in front of us is pretty much down the first part of the hill and back over the stile. Crikey. I might have to just be happy with taking Chris.

Trail of runners up t’hill

Which almost went badly wrong as I tripped over some heather. Thankfully, I roll, and am up, equal with Chris, who voices concern – but don’t worry about me, I’m chasing the next bloke.

I reach the stile just as the last guys are coming over it on their way up, I can see a Pennine runner, now, a lot closer than he was. Down over the flat(ish) bit before the second crazy descent. I can see him gingerly going over the other stile. (what was it about those stiles…? Ah- that was it, barbed-wire).
I leap over the stile, and the Pennine runner is already halfway down. Right. Brain off.
And straight down. Catching, Catching, just about… bang, my right foot goes down, doesn’t hit the floor where it should, my knee extends more, then blam – into a rabbit hole – shooting pain through the knee as I go down – and roll, and up again.
Damn, my knee hurts.
But I’m now level with that guy.
Limping (fast) down the hill, I keep ahead of him – there is another guy – in a red top – but I can hear breathing just behind me. Chase the red, ignore the knee.
Ouch – that really hurts.
I run after that guy in red, pursued all the way. Can I keep this up? Its so short, I have to.
Down, over the brook, and the last ascent, its all of 200 metres, but feels like hell. I catch the guy in red just as we are going through the last hedge, but still fearful of Pennine, I sprint for the line, pain in the knee forgotten as I pass him and into 8th place.

Getting the guy at the post

13 mins and 45 seconds. Now that was a mix of energy systems – and my lungs are burning.
Still, not a bad race, but my knee hurts.

We hung around for the kids race, and the prize giving, and then headed back. Spent an hour or so with my knee elevated above heart level with an ice pack on it. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), but then had a client to work with (calf strain issues).

Now my knee still hurts – mainly on the tibial tuberosity – where the quads attach on the distal aspect of the leg. More ice and rest, a bit of lymphatic drainage, and I’m afraid I won’t be at Trunce tomorrow. This is not an overuse injury, but is very much an acute sporting injury. As ever though, rest, and NOT “running through it” is the way forward.

May Queen this Friday though… we’ll see how the healing goes this week, I may well see you there.

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