‘To wrestle or not to wrestle….that is the question?’
Well that is a thought which must have ran through the mind of the entry gate official at the Alwinton Show today near Rothbury as he asked Phil and I, ‘Wrestlers or runners?’ Lol (The show had a Westmorland Wrestling competition running as well) After pointing out that we were for the fell race we had a matter of minutes to register then leg it over to the start line. Dashing round the grounds I noticed that this is truly an old fashioned country show. Dog shows, knock the skittles over win a teddy competition, Westmoreland Wrestling…hmm don’t they know the y-fronts over the top of trousers isn’t a good look? (I wasn’t going to tell them though hehe), beer tent and a birds of prey stand and more.
I just make it in time to the start line, to find, that out of all the runners, there are only two others that are of a similar build to me. Oh dear I think to myself, I guess I’ll be last or somewhere near that!
Anyway the clock hits 1345 and after being counted by an official off we go! Way hay! Yee Haa!!!!! Bloody hell these skinny fell running types can shift! I soon find myself falling closer and closer to the back of the pack. After literally a quarter of a mile I’m hurdling a rather large farmers field gate, then up a cheeky little hill a few hundred yards after that, its a cheeky little hill indeed! Only 80 yards long but 65% incline! Oh dear I think Im going to hurt tomorrow. Then the steepest hill I’ve ever seen, well steepest hill I’ve ever seen that I’m expected to run up appears in front of me with an ambulance at the foot of it…..Hmm I thought this, is going to hurt. Colin this must be the little tinker you spoke of in your email to me??
You are certainly not wrong, this hill was a killer. My calfs were screaming within 50 yards of starting to climb it and I had to walk/hike the full height of it! (610feet). Will and the leaders ran a lot of this but even they had to yomp parts of it I found out from Will at the finish. That’s a steep hill! After levelling out for a half mile its downhill to the finish, and its certainly a fast downhill. I love downhill sections, I’ve started to just throw myself down them lol If I fall, I fall, the adrenaline rush is awesome! Then after crossing a small road it was a very boggy last few hundred yards to the finish line, where to my surprise, the vast majority of the runners that have already finished are waiting to cheer you in! 🙂 This is what I love about the fells (well what I’ve found so far) people wait to see you in and congratulate you, it’s such a friendly atmosphere. I love it! Oh and there were about 8 runners that finished after me! Awesome! Well done Phil on a cracking run too! Cheers for the photos that accentuate my bald patch as you stood 20 yards higher up the hill to photograph me lol 🙂
I will definitely return to have another crack at this race next year. Right lets see if my legs recover for the Hellhole 10k tomorrow morning up at Derwentside AC 🙂