Sunday, 3 April 2011

Edale Skyline Race - 27/03/2011

I arrived in Edale just after nine, having had a nice drive down to the Derwent Valley from Leeds. I registered, bought a bottle of "Rescue Ale" (named for the Woodhead MRT, and excellent), and went to prepare with plenty of time.

After a nice calm pre-race I wandered up to the start, arriving about five minutes before the "off". My calf was still sore, although not as bad as on the previous day, and I was doubtful I'd get round, but I felt I needed to try.

The start was fairly fast and frenzied but as the gradient increased on the zig-zags up to Ringing Roger, I found myself climbing past people and feeling quite good. I reached the checkpoint in 17 minutes and got moving along the path, keeping up with those around me but taking it fairly steady. Jagger's Clough came and went, and I was running well, albeit with a bit of soreness in the bad calf. I did jar it jumping off a rock and that hurt, but I managed to run it off and was moving really well at Crookstone Barn.

I crossed the col and started the long steady climb up towards Win Hill, then on the first steep grassy rise something just went wrong in my calf and all I could do was hop to a halt. Bugger!

I knew straight away that I wasn't making it anywhere quickly, and I couldn't get running again despite a couple of tries. I hobbled back to the marshall on the gate at the col, and let him know I was retiring. I managed a kind of jog / hobble down the path to the Youth Hostel and back to registration, where I had a welcome cuppa, and then headed up to the start / finish in time to see the leaders finishing.

Lloyd Taggert was in sight first followed fairly closely by Ollie Johnson and then Mercia's Pete Vale. Tim Werrett came a very creditable eighth. I've a couple of video clips of the lead guys coming in that I'll try to add to this post later.

There were some positives: I was comfortably inside my 4 hour splits, and was well up on the speed I needed to do to avoid being timed out (this would be about a 4¼ hour time if I kept to the 2:20 timing for Mam Nick all the way round). I felt strong in myself and very in control - it was just the injury which found me out. I was pretty disappointed stewing over my first DNF on the way back to Shropshire, but probably more worried about how much damage I'd done and how long it might be before I'm running again.

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