Sunday, 19 April 2015

Cheviot Horseshoe and the Anniversary Waltz race

No racing since December with one thing and another, mainly the pesky ongoing injury problems...... However, I've had a good stint of quality training sessions and long runs so I threw my hat into the ring to do a double weekend of races.

Descending Hedgehope
Cheviot Horseshoe race, 12th April 2015

The Cheviot Horseshoe was a 9.5 mile route up the Cheviot, Cairn Hill around Comb Fell then up and down Hedgehope.  After a glorious week of fine weather, it was typical that race day took a turn for the worse!  It's not often I start a race with waterproof jacket but on this occasion I did and didn't take it off until the finish.  The race began in the rain and wind and half way up Cheviot the rain turned into snow.  Heavy snow.  It was a winter wonderland and a long drag up to the summit.  The flags at the top were very slippy and took a lot of concentration to keep upright especially with the snow smacking the red raw skin of the face.  My gloves were doing nothing to protect my hands, they were probably making them more cold and numb being wet through.

The trudge along Comb fell towards Hedgehope was a bog fest, ending up waist deep at one point.  Thanks to Gary Robson for helping me out.  At the ascent of Hedghehope I began to catch the runners in front and was up to 7th spot, an extra mile and I would have closed up to 5th or 6th.  Great running from everyone in atrocious conditions and huge thanks to Glen and Jack McWilliams for putting on the event.  £300 was raised for Mountain Rescue, fabulous!
Link to the event page

Anniversary Waltz race, 18th April 2015

The Cheviot race gave me some idea of how my climbing legs were and was a good preparation race for the Anniversary Waltz.  I was humming and harring up until Friday afternoon whether to do the race or not having had a hard training week and heavy week with work.  I convinced myself to do it and to just enjoy it.  The weather was much improved from the week before, beautiful sunshine and 11-12 degrees when we reached Stair in the Newlands Valley.

Top weather
The race started and I strategically placed myself mid-pack.  The first 3 miles are good running so I relaxed into it and took in the atmosphere.  The climb up Robinson I was in fourth or fifth place and was quite surprised given that this is a very popular fell race and is in the Lake District with a great deal of quality runners.  I kept up with a guy from Keswick who was strong on the climbs but I gained time on him on the flat and downhills.  We yo-yo'd from Robinson right up until the finish.  It was nice to have that as it took my mind off the climbs and I could relax and take in the spectacular views.

The final descent from Cat Bells was so fast that it could quite easily have resulted in a fall or injury but thankfully I survived.  I was in fourth at this point chasing the Keswick guy with two or three runners closing in behind.  I thought that if I was up there at the final road section then I would have a good chance of a podium finish.  I dug deep and stepped up the pace and crossed the line in 3rd.  Way above my expectations.

Final descent from Catbells
This is a cracking event and would recommend it!   The Teenager With Altitude is held on the same day but is longer with more ascent.  I'l have to give that a try sometime.  The bait after the race was top notch too.  Mince and potatoes followed by some gluten free cake.  Back of the net.

Event page (results not yet available):

1 comment:

  1. Great running JB - bit of a contrast from the Cheviot conditions?!