Aka, the first race I’ve tried to lose.
I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet. This was a great race, with all the important components: Beautiful friends, perfect weather, brass band and a trumpeter.
I turned up on a Sunday morning a few weeks after Bacchus Marathon for a fun race with friends. I knew this was going to be hilly and planned to run with my pals for 8miles and enjoy myself. Nothing too hard.
There was no way I was prepared for these hills. The one you see above is the first one, the hardest and you get it out of the way first. I have never used my hands in a race before, but we crawled through the bracken with our hands and knees to get up this beast . Whilst crawling I completely lost site of the girls, tucked my head down and got on with it.
I love downhills but the first downhill was so steep and covered in exceptionally slippy grass and I freaked out a little bit and 30 people over took me, most on their bums.
I’d already caught up with some of the boys who had a five minute head start but after being overtaken by so many put aside any chances of getting through the 8 mile checkpoint on to the next section of this knock-out race. More hills ensued then shortly before the 8 mile point I saw David and his Dad who enforced me I was 28th lady (until I slipped in front of the lady ahead). I thought nothing of this until I stopped for water at the 8mile finish and they all starting shouting at me to keep running. What? Eh? Me?
I ran a couple of hundred metres, stopped realised that as 28th lady I would be running 18 miles unless I dropped some serious places. 18 MILES?!?! I had no water, no fuel, and crappy socks on. PANIC.
Despite this panic my run addled brain did not contemplate pulling out, instead I ended up getting the best flapjack ever from lovely volunteer Chris. Thanks Chris you saved my life and coming in 19th place overall and getting knocked out at the 18 mile point. Much to my relief, during the last 6 miles I met the lovely Claire Pepper and we started letting people overtake us and having a nice chat to ensure to having to run the extra 3. In hindsight I would have probably got to the food quicker if I’d run that 3 miles but I would have needed to gain 9 places in order to do so.
I shan’t go into my fun times trying to get food at the BBQ. But lets just say the staff at The Castle in Castleton are the queens of hospitality and looked after me in my post 18miles fuelled by only oats brain.
Red Bull provided excellent hoodies and medals to all finishers and although I had to wait I did get a hoody that actually fits which is quite rare. All in all a great event. If you fancy tackling some hills. Look out for the next instalment of the steeplechase or venture up to the peaks for a fell race.
If you like reading about hills I’ve also run the Chatsworth 10km
Have you ever used your hands during a race?