Sunday, 24 July 2011

Great Hucklow

The latest counter in the Accelerate Gritstone Series, the Great Hucklow Race, being in the White Peak, is a bit different to the usual Dark Peak fayre. A smidge under 10km it's a standard length, but most of its 300-or-so metres of ascent come over fields and undulating cloughs. I've run this race the last 3 years and never really seemed to have a good run - the last time I was beaten by the first (2!) ladies was in last year's race - for some reason I just can't get to grips with the undulating section through Bretton Clough - one of the few O areas on a fell race route on which I prefer orienteering! (most cross-overs are on moorland where O is boring, but FR is better due to the head-to-head aspect; Bretton Clough however is a cracking little technical area).
Bretton Clough - my Nemesis!
After a cold earlier in the week (courtesy of the hours spent awake at the Harvester) I'd had a couple of runs to get the legs back used to running, but today wasn't really to be. My quads felt unduly achey and I didn't really have much get-up-and-go. People I'd normally expect to stick with went past me, and it was only courtesy of digging in on the last hill and knowing the following descent that I managed to regain the places lost in the clough to finish 18th in 50.20. 1.20 quicker than last year's time but really not very good. Bond won in 43.11, 59 seconds ahead of John Heneghan - so a good field at the top end!

Oh well, sometimes you just have a bad day at the office, I should be thankful that this is my only (non self-inflicted) one this year. Hopefully I'll be feeling better by Wormstones on Wednesday, but the main aim is to be raring to go for the Scottish Six Days starting next week, at which I'm really looking forward to taking on the Men's Elite course for the first time in real anger!

Now I need to find something to do with myself after spending most of my time watching a cracking Tour de France - although their final montage this year was no match to last year's!

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