Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Hebden

The first of my longer events of the year as the Hebden. This is primarily an LDWA event but it has become heavily attended by runners for the challenge of the event and route has great appeal.

Being my usual, organised self (much like tonight), I didn’t prepare my things the night before and instead chose to get ready in the morning when I blatantly didn’t have enough time too. Leaving the house without an accurate postcode I made my way to Hebden Bridge. With 400 people setting off at 8AM it can’t be that hard a place to find in a small village. Well I couldn’t find the start and the picture I had stored in my mind from Google maps wasn’t falling into place. So I resorted to the smart phone to Google the details of the event.

Of course I couldn’t find any of the 400 entrants. They were all in the right village of Motholmroyd which was about 2 miles up the road from where I was. NUMPTY!

I arrived at the event at 8AM and most had just set of. I still needed to park, get my kit out, put my shoes on and collect my tallies. As a result I set off some 17 minutes behind everyone else. I thought about cutting the start short to catch up to others but I didn’t come to race with others I came for the event, so stuck to the route description sheet.

Running along the start of the route the ground was littered with footprints of the runners ahead of me. It only took about 15 – 20 mins before I came upon the back markers (walkers) and the sweeper of the 24 mile route. Walking briefly with them for a chat and then I plodded on. This seemed to happen for most of the day and I really enjoyed it, there was no pressure (from myself) to keep up with other runners. Slowly picking of people it was great not being passed all the time.

The route itself has plenty of climb (4000ft) and combined with the 22 miles it’s a good challenge. However if you add to this a fiercely cold wind on the tops it becomes a little more of a challenge. As the day progress it seemed the wind on each top gradually got stronger. On reaching Checkpoint 5 the poor lady in the white van was trying to serve butties, cakes and drinks to everyone whilst the wind kept trying to close the van doors on her. Just after this point the wind became so strong and cold on my face I even had to don the balaclava as my face was stinging.

With a small mistake on the final section I finished the route in 5hr 35mins (after the 17 min late start deduction). Considering I did far too much talking I reckon I could probably get that down to about 5hr 20min. At the finish there was plenty of food, drink and mulled wine to be had. It was a well organised event and one I hope to attend again next year.


Other blog of The Hebden

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