Monday, 24 June 2013

The Swaledale Marathon Fell Race, 9th June 2013

I’m writing this after getting back from a mint evening ride at Hamsterley in the glorious balmy sunshine!!  For some reason my legs feel flippin' mint after feeling absolutely dead last week after the Swaledale.  Here's how it went.....

On the 9th June it was Swaledale's fell race day, when I was younger, maybe 12, maybe 13 years old or there abouts I used to come to the fell races with my parents and help out at the checkpoints.  I always remember the Swaledale as being a nice summer race and promised myself that one day I would sit on the other side of the fence and race it myself.  It seems a shame with the year my Dad quits racing that I picked up my trainers to compete in this one, it used to be one of his favourites.  

So anyway, I entered back in January and then focused my attentions on the Allendale challenge race in March (which can be read here: The Allendale Challenge) after that I kind of stopped running. I mean with the weather improving and the evenings becoming lighter my bike started getting more use again.  It wasn’t until a few weeks before the race that I remembered and then thought "Oh shit, I need to start running!".  I’d left it too late though, if I started training my legs would be probably worse during the race than if I didn’t train at all therefore I didn’t bother, merely doing a four-mile run with Steve’s mum the week before as a warm up. 

I arrived at the village hall at Low Fremington (which is near Reeth) in North Yorkshire on the Saturday morning, got myself checked in and was happy with my race number ‘510’ (the mountain bike lot will guess why!).  

The racing started at 9.30am and off I went, it started with a bloody big hill climb, it was relentless and my heart rate was off the hook!  It was also the hottest day ever, with no clouds to be seen Mary (Steve’s Mum) had smothered me in sun tan lotion.  

There were about 12 checkpoints altogether, it seemed to take forever to get through them all.  I only had one bottle of juice and had drunk it by the first checkpoint but I knew I would be able to re-fill there.  I re-filled my bottle at every checkpoint however once I hit the Gunnerside one later in the race I thought it would be a good idea add some salt to my intake as I had been getting cramp in my calves during the last few miles and knew I needed salt in the system to get rid of it.  Maybe I had put in a bit too much though, with just four miles to go until the next checkpoint I was stuck with salty water which tasted disgusting!  Gutted!!

Anyway, I cracked on and eventually got some fresh stuff, the last checkpoint was in view, I had just one more climb to go and then a descent the rest of the way.  I seemed to get a second wind (stop that tittering at the back!) and overtook about seven people, three of them were the girls that I had been passing and being passed by from all day.  No way in hell were they passing me again, I just ran through the pain and kept going!  

It was coming close to the five-hour mark and I really didn’t want to go past that so turned my music up and got my head down!  I came into the finish where there were loads of people waving and cheering me on, the sun was still boiling and I was sweating so much!  I got 4hours 59mins!!  Get in there!!  Considering I'd had no training for this event I was buzzing!

Gonna train like a weapon next year and smash it out with faster time I reckon.  I’m down this neck of the woods again next weekend for the ‘ArdRock Enduro’ Can’t wait!! 

Cheers you guys,

Angie xx

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