Saturday, 24 November 2012

Up hill and down dale, the Kilburn Kanter Fell Race....

As the rain falls incessantly outside, summer seems such a long time ago....

Here's Angie's blog update from the Kilburn Kanter Fell Race.

Having not ran out on the fells since April last year I thought it would be a good idea to enter a 24-mile fell race, just for the craic!

With just two weeks to train you could find me in the evenings out there on the moors with some three to ten mile runs, oh and the odd eight mile walk!  Managed to pull my groin muscle as well so had a semi-limp going on for the week leading up to it, no smutty jokes from you lot thank you!

 Angie in training, well, posing on the fells....

My dad fell races all year round and it’s something I like to do over the winter, on one side it keeps me fit in the off-season and on the other I get to share something with my father.  This time I decided to do the race with Steve’s mum, Mary, she does quite a bit of running as well but mainly road and trail over shorter distances.  As you can probably tell this was going to be a challenge for both of us!

Angie and Mary

The route was down in the North Yorkshire Moors starting from Kilburn, a wee village near Thirsk (and not to be confused with the place in London!), the scenery in North Yorkshire is absolutely amazing all year round.  Both of us wanted a good night's sleep before the event so we booked into a friendly B&B aiming to be as fresh as possible for an 8am start the next day.  We awoke to a frosty morning and it looked set to be a beautiful day.  Our breakfast of porridge was soon down the hatch, got our numbers sorted out, kit check done and off we went.  There were about 150 people doing it with a mix of runners and fast walkers.  Following the route with our map and description across the Hambleton Hills hoping we wouldn’t get lost, I have to say that it’s bloody hard to navigate and run at the same time!

It had been raining hard all week leading up to the race, it was heavy going in some places with mud and clag all up your legs weighing your feet down. Great slippy fun but I love being up to the eyes in mud!  It makes it more exciting! 

We came across the first checkpoint, got our tally card stamped, grabbed a quick drink and carried on.  It’s best not to stop at all if you can help it as you lose time, annoyingly people might overtake and you end up stiffening up.  Once past the six mile mark we knew we were a quarter of the way around.  Passing some more check points further on we struggled with our navigation losing track of where we were.  After some dithering around it was best to back-track and head back on to the Cleveland Way, phew!  We lost about ten minutes and ran an extra mile, god dammit!!

The halfway mark loomed, 12 miles in and still feeling relatively fresh, we both grabbed a Mars bar which gave us a bit of a second wind.  Mary was struggling with food as she’s not used to running and eating.  I like to think of it as an excuse to eat a bit more so down the cake hole it went!  Mmmmm, chocolate!

Even though the second half had more hills it psychologically felt as though it was all be going to be downhill, errr..... nope!  There was 3,500ft of ascent and most of it was all in the second half.  

The beautiful Lake Gormire, Photo by Alan AKA The Tall Guy 

We passed some amazing scenery by Lake Gormire and then ascended a steep, and by that I mean a totally lung-busting steep-ass single-track climb up onto Sutton Bank Top.  My dad likes to call this the 'Cardiac Attack Hill' and the last checkpoint was at the top.  

Sutton Bank Top, scenery doesn't get much better than this.  Photo reproduced with the very kind permission of Adrian Ashworth, 

Took a quick swig of juice and then just three miles left along the cliff top past the famous White Horse at Kilburn – we felt like jumping on its back and hitching a ride back by that point!  A young couple were on our tail and pushed it on a bit faster!  Our legs at this point were getting a bit sore and we couldn’t wait to finish!

The White Horse of Kilburn

Finally we were running back along the road into Kilburn, handed in our tally cards and got our finish time of 5hrs and 52 mins.  I reckon that’s not bad considering we got lost and hadn’t really done any practice, a nice jump in at the deep end I’d say and I can’t wait to do another one!!  Bring on the winter running….

At the end of the event, Mary's poor feet....

Hope all is well out there with you guys,



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