16 November 2008
Birthday Pain:The Tour of Pendle
Jane picked me up from work on Friday and we head up the M1 in fine Friday night rush hour tradition. 4 hours, yes 4 hours, later we were at The Inn at Whitewell, wow what a lovely surprise! And I was expecting some kind of winter camping birthday treat! After some extreme carb loading it was time to retire to the luxury of our room.
I had slept badly due to the sore throat that had now turned into a cough and a fell race was the last thing I could imagine doing. However, when Jane drew the curtains and we could see blue sky and rolling hills my mood lifted. Well, that and the opening of my new down jacket!!! We feasted on croissant and bacon at breakfast and I felt almost ready to face the day.
I am embarrassed to admit that I have never run this race or reccied any section before, I purchased a map on the start line. Feeling sluggish and tired I realised that a 30/30 challenge coupled with the beginnings of a cold probably was not the best preparation for an A Long fell race.
Anyway, it was a perfect day for running and I made the cut off in just under 1:30. I started to feel much better, my legs were working well and the only problem was my breathing. I got chatting to another women (Mrs Stagger from FRA) and spent the next hour happily running with her.
I then got a bit cocky and felt that I might be able to go a bit faster. I left Mrs Stagger at CP7 and made good time up the hill. Pushing on I'd lost sight of other runners and you can guess what happened next......suffice to say I didn't bother getting the map and due to having a good old chat previously I hadn't been paying attention to where I was.
Having realised that I'd missed out a check point I retraced my steps, passing runners clinging to the fell side as they made their way up Big End. As I passed Mrs Stagger clambering up I had a little swear to myself!
Anyway, I made the check point turned round and went straight back up. After managing to catch back up with Mrs Stagger I decided to stay with her for the remaining few miles! I am eternally grateful to you Mrs Stagger, you got me round!
I have to say that the route is the most sadistic journey anyone could embark on, you've certainly got to like your hills (or hill in the case!). I'll be back though, but next year there will be no mistakes.
We then jumped straight in the car and headed home, as we had dinner arrangements at the in-laws. I opened the rest of my pressies on the M1 whilst sipping recovery drink and eating sugary treats. For me it has been the prefect birthday!