Reflections on 2017, the ups, the downs and the near-death experiences:
2017 has been a very exciting year for me in terms of running. Here are a few of my best (and worst moments) as I look forward to what 2018 might have in store!
My 2017 fell season started off with one of the local fell races, Wolf’s Pit. I dragged my housemate along for her first fell race and I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it!
Lesson learned: although it is not ideal preparation, sometimes being covered in glitter from the night before can help motivation during a race!
Then came the Trunce, a local trail/fell series. I had a cracking race and managed a massive PB, also getting at time which I think puts me in the fastest few women ever in a race that’s been going for years and years!
Lesson Learned: it’s always best to splash straight through the puddles/rivers (it may or may not be quicker but it’s infinitely more enjoyable)
After that I had an embarrassing race where I was beaten by a 14 year old and also smashed open my knees after falling off a gate (Wirksworth Incline)
- Don’t accidentally die your hair ginger
- It was not a fell race
Inter Counties time! Here I am racing for Norfolk (flattest county ever) in the British Mountain Running Inter Counties. I was 3rd U23 which is an improvement from 2016!
Lesson Learned: I’m still asthmatic and need to take my inhaler with me on longer races!
Next up I started on the English Champs races – first up: Barnoldswick Weets
2nd Under 23 and just outside of the top 10 senior ladies on a scorching hot day. Pictured below with Ellie Crownshaw who was 3rd U23.
P.S. I’m brunette again wahoo!
Lesson Learned: smiling makes you feel less like you’re burning up in the million-degree heat:
Next up was another local race, part of the Gritstone Series – Castleton Fell Race. Here I took 3rd, just not quite able to outsprint Zoe Procter (pennine) after letting her get away too quickly up the hill! Lesson Learned: Castleton Fell Race gives really good prizes
Another championship race (this time and English and British counter): Tebay Fell Race. Again, temperatures reaching boiling but an incredibly beautiful day with amazing views. 3rd U23 and 16th lady.
Lesson Learned: making friends with your competition makes racing so much more enjoyable. (Pictured here with Hannah Russel, English U23 Champ)
Team Accelerate outing to Hope Wakes Fell Race (Gritstone Series). Total chaos ensues as everyone takes different routes. Read my blog post about the race to hear more about this! 1st Lady despite taking an extra detour up the hill!
Lesson Learned: It’s amazing how much time you can gain even if you get sent the wrong way and end up right at the back of the race. I kept pushing and fought my way back through the field to take the win!
This is the part where I run the Hodgson Brother’s Relay with team mate and bestie Megan Ellen and fall over and break my coccyx. Oops. In true fell runner style we battle it out to the end and come in first female team having set off on our leg in 3rd place.
Lesson Learned: Broken coccyx is very very very painful and everyone gets very panicky when you get funny pins and needles in your legs, but it’s okay because I’m fineeeee.
Another Gritstone Series – Curbar Commotion. Featuring a broken coccyx but some fab new, extra grippy, shoes from Inov8 to stop me falling over and making it worse! 1st Lady.
Lesson Learned: You might want to give up but it’s amazing how much time you can gain on someone on a downhill finish – Sorry Caroline!
Time for a photo shoot with Accelerate Run Store and Inov8.
Lesson Learned: There are some really cool parts of Sheffield if you want to run on the roads (which mostly I don’t!)
Nearing the end of the end of the season and time for another relay with Megan. British Fell Relay Champs. Another fall and another trip to an ambulance.
Lesson Learned: maybe it’s not the best idea to continue to race with a broken coccyx but if you’re going to do it, make sure you race with someone who will sit in the ambulance with you afterwards!
Then came our infamous adventure at the OMM. (read OMMbelievably we survived if you want to hear about us nearly dying but generally enjoying ourselves anyway)
Lesson Learned: The most beautiful of days come after the hardest (and in this case coldest and also soggiest) of nights
Final fell race of 2017: Dark Peak Fell Championships. 1st U23 and 2nd Lady
Lesson Learned: Dark Peak Dinners are fun
Last ‘race’ of the year – Christmas Day Parkrun with Daddy, complete with tinsel.
Lesson Learned: it’s worth getting up on Christmas Day to spend the morning running around a park with 798 other mad people.
So that’s it for 2017, thanks for all the support from Accelerate, Stuart Hale (what a brill coach), Issy (for the best massages ever), and Inov8 and SilvaGlobal for their support with kit.
Here’s to 2018! Happy New Year and Happy Running!