Barry, the evil mastermind behind High Fell Events, knows how to make you suffer yet somehow enjoy it?! So, this race was always going to be on the cards, and was my first outing in a Tynedale Harriers vest.
|Helz, Tricia, and myself, blissfully unaware of what was to come...|
Starting at the Valley Cottage Café in Ingram, we had a quick safety briefing and then everyone started moving. Being fairly near the back, we didn't know whether the race had started or whether we were all just being directed to the start line. Before long I decided we probably had started and set off properly running and trying on make my way up nearer the front.
A short road section soon gave way to rutted double-track, and the uphill slog began. Three weeks of essentially sitting on my arse had made quite a dent in my fitness, and by 5k in I was reduced to hands-on-knees hunched over hiking; nothing in the legs. Not helped, of course, by the boggy ground on the lower slopes and the ice on the rocks at the summit! The plan was to at least run the return leg but my descending wasn't good either and I ended up mincing my way down quite a lot of it.
|Disappearing up Cunyan Crags (copyright Reiver Guiding)|
Made it back down to the road section after some quad-destruction to be confronted by one of Barry's surprise endings... We had to wade through the river. Well, better than an ice bath and cleaned the shoes off nicely! Made it over the line to pick up my finisher's mug, which was then filled with a rather tasty broccoli and Stilton soup by the folk in the café.
Good to be out, if a slightly disappointing performance, but it's taken its toll. I thought that my foot had healed enough to be OK, but it turns out that running up and down the second highest peak in the Cheviots isn't great for fractures. Funny that... I came to the frustrating conclusion in the hours after the Wipeout that the only option was complete rest and so I'll be taking February off to hopefully allow it to heal properly. Unfortunately, this means I won't be able to run the Kielder 80k in April, as I would be missing all my scheduled long runs and have no time to safely build back up. Frustrating, especially given how stupid the injury was, but I have to accept that if I don't rest it there's no guarantee I'd be able to run Kielder anyway, and I'd be jeopardising UT110K as well; at least this way I stand a chance of regaining some fitness by July.