Friday, 7 August 2009

Whittle Pike

Unsure about which race to do Whittle Pike, Chorley Harriers 4.4m trail or Steel Fell, I actually fancied Steel Fell but a drive alone up to Grasmere for a 3 mile race seemed a little much. During the day Emma had messaged me about sharing a lift over to Whittle Pike and so the decision was made. Both of us had sat nav on our phones but as they both failed to work properly Emmas directions she had written on paper proved the most useful.

Due to a good turnout the parking was running out by the time we got there and when we did find parking the residents watched us park before telling us we shouldn't really park there. Anyway, once registered there was a little chance to chat with familiar faces before the start, Emma receiving some encouragement from some noisy girls on the park as she had manage to get there attention for being the PINKEST lady in the race.

The race has 3 good climbs, the first climb was shared with junior runners that were still finishing off their races and the ones I saw looked like they were doing really well (all the future talent). After a good slog up this first hill I could here someone closing up behind me, then expecting one of the senior runners to pass me, one of the juniors came flying past. He turned back just then on reaching his race marker and I started the first descent. This was a nice decent where I made up a few spaces, only spoilt by the exhaust fumes from the scramblers at the bottom tearing up the land. Now though nature called again and I had to take a break and lose those spaces I made up on the way down.

Now the climb up to Whittle Pike, where a marshall now tried to spur me on by telling me this was a Championship race until a couple of years ago. With the big wind turbine luming over it I was hoping this was the last of the climbs (not knowing there was a third) however as I rounded the Cross that marks this peak I saw the line of runners ahead of me in the dip and realised there was yet still another climb to go, this one though not as long but steep enough require scrambling on all 4's. Eventually though the incline leveled out and the last of the climbs was behind me. Now the long run back down the first climb and the run in.

This race has a nice little 100m or so uphill finish across a field just to push you that last bit where Emma was waiting to give me words of encouragement "C'mon, you've got the car keys!", just the words I needed to push myself that bit harder.

I finished the race in just over 1hr 06mins in 135 place from 156 runners and had the usual in race hatred and post race appreciation of the route. Tea and cakes in the village hall after the race (No sugar for the tea though, terrible) and 1/2 dozen eggs from Chicken George. He still owes me 10p change though, I'll short change him by 10p next time he sells me eggs though.

A good tough race let down only by the noisy scramblers and the short change of 10p, I can cope without sugar in my tea!!!!


  1. Well done Mark, good to see you getting plenty of races in. What's next on the agenda ?

  2. Three Shires is next for me. Think that'll be my first "Long"