|The Fellsman - why would you do any other race??|
So with my slightly altered training strategy this year, and the plan to build a bit more speed, I was to run the 3 Peaks. I last ran the race in 2010 so I knew that it's a race you have to run the right way: Work too hard up the hills and you'll suffer on the long flat sections between Pen-y-Ghent and Ribblehead and from Inglebrough to the finish.
|Doing it badly at Wolf's Pit|
GO!! We're off... Ooh, my legs hurt. I did warm up though, hmm... I'm sure I'll get into it. I tried not to run too hard up P-y-G, I'd written splits for my target time of around 3:13 on the back of my hand, which meant a Pen-y-Ghent time of 31 minutes at the top. As I ran I saw fellow Dark Peakers Rhys and Oli up in the top ten, along with Kim Collison who appeared to be chasing Ricky hard. I knew I was further back than my target position (I reckoned sub 3:15 should give me a top 15 ish position) but people in front would fade later and I tried to concentrate on time rather than position. I was worried about my legs though, things felt very tight and sore and I couldn't help thinking I was working harder than everyone around me.
|On the first climb with eventual ladies' winner Helen Bonsor|
|BG-ing with Richard Pattinson, quite a few years ago!|
|Hill Inn - a great pub when you're not racing!|
Despite the weather, there were a lot of supporters around all day and particularly on the little road near Hill Inn, which was great. I'm very grateful to these guys and the long-suffering marshals for all their support! By the top of Inglebrough I was exactly 10 minutes down on my plan, but the climb had gone better than that of Whernside, having lost only one minute this time. So after 2 hours 50 minutes I set off from the top of Inglebugger (as Rhys calls it).
The run in is around 7km, which after dropping off the hill takes you through a quite stunning landscape of limestone pavement and potholes. In the rain it was pretty trecherous though and I came very close to losing some blood a few times. My quads and calves felt tight and sore but I did seem to be catching a guy in front of me which helped. I eventually passed him, then another guy with just a few kilometres to go. The Totley vest in front was getting closer too as we went over the last little climb, but after eventually succumbing to the limestone and losing a few seconds and a little blood I wouldn't quite get him...
After the final drop into the village and through a very generous resident's garden I was in the finish field, and crossed the line in 3:23:39. Basically 10 minutes down on my target and 36th place.
|Finishing (Cheers woodentops for great photos!)|
It's now Thursday and I have still not run since the 3 Peaks. Despite this my resting heart rate is higher than it should be and my legs still feel sore, so it seems even now I have not fully recovered. I'm gradually getting better though, and Coach Stu has prescribed ice baths, stretching, eating and walking. Yesterday we even included a little hill!
|Seemed a suitable book for an ice bath...|
Finally, congratulations to Ricky Lightfoot on winning the 3 Peaks, Rhys on 6th, Oli on 9th and Kim on 10th. Adam Perry won the Fellsman again in an awesome time of 10:23. The respective ladies winners were Helen Bonsor in 3:27 and Jasmin Paris in a new record 11:09.