Despite the very civilised start time of 10:10 my reliance on public
transport meant getting out of the house by 5:30 for the train to
Manchester, then on to Hebden Bridge.
Walking up to the start a very kind (and trusting) fellow stopped to ask
it I was on my way to the start and it I wanted a lift, to save my legs,
which I willingly accepted. Getting to the cricket club I think I was
only the second to register and had about an hour and a half to wait,
The venue soon filled with nervous looking runners, the previous days
clear sky had been replaced by a good hill fog, visibility was about 20
meters at best.
From the off I hang back, which was a mistake. The early sections had a
few of real bottle-necks; a river crossing a couple of squeeze styles,
so I soon found myself very near to last. On another days this would
have given me a clear line of runners to follow, but not today. The
route is a tortuous meander across Wadsworth Moor and the bogs around
High Brown Knoll. About half is on reasonable paths, made slightly less
runnable my the piles of snow (easier to follow the route though).
Returning south towards High Brown Knoll I made a slight navigational
error and ended up the wrong side, adding a good 20 minutes to my time
I’d guess. However it was all good fun, the bog was reasonably firm due
to the layer of ice a couple of inches below the surface. As one fellow
runner said ‘good for the fertility’.
It was a tough race, being my first real fell race for well over six
months it told me I’ve a way to go before getting back to my old (poor)
form, but I’m getting there and for that I am happy.
Any fell race is “real”, surely…. Ed