A 'small' but perfectly formed field of 60 started and I was glad to have scouted the first 600m of the route to discover the 2 simultaneous bottlenecks. Through the woods and across the 1st style I was in the lead without trying very hard, but knew Glyn and Mark of Glossopdale, Noel and an old DP guy were with me. Onto the path up Chunal Moore I let Glyn and Noel get ahead by about 30-50m and yoyo'd with the DP guy. Above Wormstones and on to Harry Hut where Mark joined me for the descent to the Chunal Road.
|Harry Hut looking towards Kinder.|
Down (surprise surprise) into Long Clough I passed Mark and gained on Noel, even with my far from economic gate-hopping ability, watching a stampede of Sheep going before us. Then onto the second climb - a mix of not-at-all-runnable hands on knees walking followed by climbing at 45degrees up a slope which, after the previous climb, is not too easy to run. On the steep climb I was about 2m behind Noel, but as soon as we hit the more gentle slope he was suddenly 20m ahead! Mark and I had a duel going up this runnable bit, yoyoing continuously as one walked and the other jogged. However, we still managed to gain on Noel, even though he maintain a good steady pace all the way up. Crested the summit and immediately pulled away from Mark, allowing Noel to stay ahead until we hit the top of the terrifically steep, bilberry-covered, terraced descent to Herod Farm. I managed to crack my left ankle but knew there wasn't long to go and cruised down the track to finish in 2nd place in 32.40, 47 seconds behind Glyn, 11 ahead of Mark and 18 ahead of Noel. The route was 1.7km shorter than advertised due to course changes, but a cracking race and I'm not complaining! The route and my race data can be found here.
Off to Oban on Saturday for a week of top notch Orienteering, which I'm really looking forward to!