Tigers Todger, Sheffield
Tigers Todger, Sheffield
I did my first fell race last night and got my eyes widely opened (and my lungs). I expected 50ish people I got 262!
I arrived with only 10 minutes to spare. By the time I'd registered and ran around the field once it was ready for the off. I knew absolutely nothing about this race apart from it was 5 miles and cost a fiver! In the starting scrum it seemed more like a massive marathon than a local 5 mile fell run! And we're off, from the starting pace I thought everyone was going to ease off a bit once we'd settled down and rounded the corner out of the rugby grounds, no such luck!
Even though I was pushing my pace right at the beginning I thought I should to be further up the field than I was so I pushed it a bit further telling myself it's only 5 miles, how hard can that be?
The front runners had rounded the corner like startled antelopes and were gone........ I dug in and tried to keep my position, I past a few on the 3 mile hill but near the end a couple slipped back past me, I couldn't rise to the challenge so I just hung in with my lead legs. Just when you'd convinced yourself that the top was around the next corner you'd turn it to find disappointment waiting for you!
I saw a large boulder on the moor once we had left the trees with a crowd of people by it and I knew that my quest for flat or downhill had been answered. Just as I breathed a sigh of relief a young lady nipped past to the shouts of '1st lady, well done, keep going' I tried to keep up but her nimble foot work let her cruise effortlessly off past a couple of others. The path became rutted and rocky but I kept my place despite the heavy breathing over my shoulder.
We tumbled out onto a road and a quick look at my watch tells me half a mile to go, it's gently uphill so I squeeze a bit more out and start to gain on the gent in front, what the hell it's only half a mile, WRONG! I could see runners in the distance heading down a lane and that was defiantly more than half a mile away! I stuck with it, turned the corned to be faced with a Tarmac stretch that looked more than a mile long. I gave up on thinking where the finish was as I knew it was down there somewhere. I just focused on the road and pushed my stride as hard as I could, 'bloody good training run' was the thought going through my mind. Before the end of the road we turned right onto a grassy uneven path, I could almost smell the finish even if I couldn't see it. A short uphill section brought me out onto the edge of the rugby field and the final corner. I couldn't hear anyone behind me but never the less I used the last ounce of energy left in me to reach the finish line.
Having no fellow Spartans or family to see me over the finishing line was a bit of a downer but I'm a big boy now so I soon got over it!
My first proper fell race done and dusted 32nd out of 262 in 38:19. A good two miles of this was on road and I clocked 5.7 miles on my Garmin.
Sandstone Challenge 33miles for my next race, bring it on!