‘Grin ‘n’ Bear It’ fell race. Langsett Moors.
1st November 2014.
Less a fell run, more of a squish, slosh, splash and squelch really.
I entered the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Service race after Windgather, the last of the Accelerate Gritstone series was cancelled. A similar distance, with not too great an elevation. This could be a good end to the season, I thought
The race, a 16 mile circuit of Mickleden Edge, Outer Edge, Far Small Clough and Long Moor Edge, starting and finishing at Langsett Barn turned out to be a bit more challenging than I had thought.
It starts with a steady four mile climb up Mickleden Edge before bearing north west along Outer Edge and Howden Edge. That’s when the fun and games begin. The path isn’t too clear so I was grateful for the yellow flags placed to guide us through. Aware that at any moment I could be up to my thighs in peat bog I skipped and tripped around the more spongy looking terrain. All was to no avail, however, as I disappeared into the blackness somewhere over Featherbed Moss. Thank you so much the Totley runner who hauled me out or I might be there yet.
I hoped the splashing wetness of the moor might ease as I rounded to the Woodhead pass at around 10 miles, but the mud and peat, combined with precipitous contours made the race a challenge from start to finish.
I had been working hard on my heart rate training so made the decision to run this one at a steady 157 bpm. The idea was to have a bit left in the tank for a final dash to the barn along Swinden Lane. I’m really glad I started steady because this race must rank as the toughest of all my 2014 fell runs. I was able to maintain the heart rate but the last mile or two tested my resolve to the full.
Congratulations to David Lund who won the race in 2.07.39. Sally Fawcett took first woman and course record with 2.27.44, beating Nicky Spinks by nearly two minutes. I was delighted with first W60 in 3.14.44, though guess I might have been the only runner of my age daft enough to try it. My Smiley Paces buddies, Gaye Fletcher and Sarah Crossland and myself took the women’s team prize of a delicious loaf of bread each.
Many thanks to all the Woodhead MRT who took such good care of us, both out on the moor and back in the welcome comfort of the barn. The vegetable stew was proper comfort food at the end of the race. Thanks also to Accelerate for your considerable support for me, for the event and for the Gritstone Series.
The full results from Grin ‘n’ Bear It are available via the Gritstone Series Website >>
Dot Kesterton, Accelerate/Scott.
5th November 2014.