Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Whernside or Scafell? Whernside won!

To be honest I wasn't sure which race I was going to do. Whernside for the distance (12 miles) or Scafell because I missed out on Lingmell and because I still haven't been up there yet. Scafell was my preferred race and Emma had suggested she fancied going up for it. It's a long journey and I'm trying to watch the pounds at the minute so if there was a chance of sharing the fuel then I would be up for Scafell. At Wednesdays head torch run Emma had decided she was going to do Whernside and Albert had already told me that he wasn't racing at the weekend because of work commitments.

I have only ever been up Pen-y-gent and that was in the rain and mist (cheers Chris!) so have never run around that area before. So yet again I watched the weather forecast as the week went by and on Friday evening decided that The day shouldn't be howling with wind and rain and it was worth a punt.

I'm always late leaving the house so decided an early start was in order to allow me to get up and ready with plenty of time to spare. Rucksack packed, clothes ready, shoes outside, a couple of gels, a cereal bar, Nuun tablets (missing, still not found them), GPS charged (to track me with), camera packed, wallet. Time for a cup of tea and some toast and out the door! The Sat-Nav said it was 1hr 30 mins so I took it easy until, just as I passed M6 J27 when I realised "SHOES!!!". I'd left them outside. So it now became a mad dash, I had to get home, collect my shoes and make it back to the race, in Dent before the start. Despite the Sat Nav saying my eta was originally 10:49 I actually made it by 10:30.

The weather was lovely and not even Albert could have called me for the number of layers I wore as I ran with just the vest on (and shorts of course). On the run up to Whernside I also passed the Abbey Lady and had a brief chat with her before pulling away. The path up wasn't too bad and I particularly enjoyed the final run to the summit of Whernside. This joy was only brief though as once I started the downhill my left knee started to ache. Knowing I still had a good way to go I decided that the best course of action was to use greater caution on the descent and finish the race. I didn't want to have to limp back to the finish.

The rest of the route had quite a lot of track running but the best part of the whole route would be the final descent from the last Marshall to the finishing field. It's a good long run downhill on grassy slopes right to the finish. By this point the heat of the day had stated to get me (and my water had run dry AGAIN!) and I had even taken to running without the vest on, I know it's not a pretty sight but needs must!!

Finishing in 2hr 33min this is definitely a race I will do again. I am still a little disappointed that I didn't make Scafell but part of me is a little glad as I think the run down from Scafell would have been harder on my knee than Whernside was so maybe next year!

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