What better to start the year than a 3 mile fell race! When I looked at the route the day before I was slightly surprised that the race was just the uphill and you had to jog or walk the 3 miles back to the start whether you liked it or not!
Fear not, the next day was a beautiful day, blue skies, no wind and i didn’t drink the night before. Sounds perfect right? Not quite.
In my head I repeated ‘It’s only 3 miles. It’s nothing’ and all was well until about 5 steps into the race. I was dehydrated and i’d fuelled up on a single croissant. I’d have probably been better fuelled if I’d drank the night before. Anyways, the only way was up. The race followed a rather picturesque route over fields and fells.
The ground was muddy and boggy and even the harshest of grips were slipping in it. It was half way up when i decided to make a rookie mistake and follow the person in front without checking around for markers. This resulted in a rather painful scramble through heather and marshland until eventually navigating back onto the actual path.
It wasn’t until we reached the final climb that we felt the wind pick up and it was seriously cold! I managed to keep moving up the muddy and rocky climb even when feeling awful. My uphill walking speed is where i am seeing the biggest improvement from training so this gave me the boost required to get up to the finish line.
No-one hung around to admire the view other than the poor marshalls left at the top. The rest of us did a quick U-Turn to get down out of the icy wind and started the descent back down to the start line.
I chose to jog at this point as quite honestly, i walked most of the way up! It was a nice quick descent which i spent talking to some of the Northumberland Fell Runners about other races in the area.. friendly bunch!
Finally made it back to the warmth of the Newcastle Hotel in time for the presentations. The RD made a point about not carrying the compulsory kit, and rightly so! So the prizes were given out only to the people with the right kit which nicely resulted in me getting my first ever race prize!
Brilliant race and, as usual, mistakes made and lessons learnt. Definitely back for the repeat next year.