Sunday, 29 December 2013

Festive Disorientation 2013

Dez in pre-race mode
So, last race of the year. As ever it is the rather fantastic Festive Disorientation, run by local Leg-End Dez. This year we started from the Grouse up on Chunal, so the route was going to be a bit on the Bleaklow side and a bit on the Chunal/Rowath/Coombs edge side. Some of it would be paths, and the rest of it would be open moorland.
But all in what is effectively our back garden.

Thinking about route options
Buoyed up somewhat by coming 2nd in the Glossopdale Fell Champs this year, I was eager to get out and run as well as I could. I say that now, but at 9am this morning, I was well and truely stuck into revision for next weeks exams and I was in 2 minds whether to do it or not.

From the Grouse it was a simple choice of Clockwise or Anti-Clock. A brief glance at the map showed that going anti-clock would have a long run down Turfpits, where as Clock would have a long run UP it.
Considering that I'm not as good going up hills, I thought that I might as well get the practice in, and when Dez told our lot to go, off I shot.

Caught up with the group of people that set off 2 mins in front of me, some of which seemed to be having a bit of trouble finding the first checkpoint. I made the decision to take the path around the hill instead of pounding over the hill on access land as it would make homing in on the Checkpoint a lot easier. Slightly longer than optimal, but I hit the point bang on and was off before
anyone else had seen where I had got to.

The next group, who set off 4 mins before me were now in sight, and I caught up with them as we crested the top of Coombs tor and hit the next checkpoint. I felt like I was flying. Really enjoying the run. The day was bright, a slight breeze, and we were about to tank off down the nab, which is a fabulous descent.
The next checkpoint wasn't in the most obvious place, but the route was already in my head.

One used and one non used map
Which is where I made the least optimal route choice of the day. I followed my nose, knowing exactly where I was going. Had I stopped to look at the map- (not so easy when pounding down a hill), I would have noticed another path, which would have taken about 700metres off my version. Ach, dammit. Nevermind.
The point was got easily enough, and I set off over to Derbyshire level via a small Blackberry picking cut that I know from helping Lynne with her inordinately large Blackberry harvesting projects.

As I came up to the turning up Turfpits I passed Ian and Paul, who had chosen to go Anti-clockwise, so they had just come down the longest descent of the day. I hung a right and began my ascent.
Never stop running, never stop grinding it out. Just keep going.
By now there were no more runners in front of me that I could think of, so only people that were chasing me. Turfpits is long and straight, so if anyone was in sight of me they would have had something to chase. Me.

Coming in to the end. Don't stop til the clock stops
The only option.
Don't stop.

Hit the top of the path, got the checkpoint, no rest though, straight on up the bog to the Pennine way, a right, straight to Mill Hill and then down to Harry Hut. The final part of the run coming up, and a glance to my right showed someone thrashing across the moor. Well. Definitely not first then, but if I increase the speed a little, maybe I can hold him off just until the end. A little bit of pride left.

Motoring down the hill to the gate, and just hit the top of the spot height perfectly. I took a line that I saw Andy Oliver take on an evening run a few weeks back, and surprised myself by hitting the path about 4 metres in front of another runner who had appeared out of nowhere. Another person to beat to the end.

Ian and Paul coming in at the end. 
Down the hill, over a stile and a final sprint up the road to the Grouse. A lung burner, thats for sure, but I managed to keep running for as much as the race as I could. Maybe the hills weren't quite as fast as I wanted them to be, but I didn't stop. Some progress then?
Now the worst part. Waiting for others to come in. As a handicap event, you're never quite sure until the other fast guys come in whether or not you've managed to pip them or not.

As it was, I had held on to 3rd, a minute behind Nic Barber (whose GPS track was a km shorter than mine), and 6 mins behind the guy who won. (who was from Calder Valley- but I can't remember his name).
So my first ever race in which I came in the top 3.

Most difficult part of the day - choosing which alcoholic beverage to pick
That'll do for the end of the year.
Now back to the revision.

Thanks to Dez for a great race, and to the Grouse for putting on some fantastic grub for post race racees. Also Well Done to Lindsay for coming in 1st Female on the Short Score, and Beryl for winning the WV65.
Glossopdale Harriers results are up on our website

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