Saturday, 6 June 2009

Bedraggled runners unite!

Awoke at 0430 this morning to the sound of torrential rain pounding on the skylight. Oh great. The weather forecast was right. Then I realised that it would be another 8 hours before I was on the start line of Garburn (one of the Lakeland Trails series). Maybe things would improve.
They did. We set off in merely light sleet at 1230. For safety reasons, the organisers shortened the route from the projected 15 miles to 11 miles. This was because snow and strong winds were forecast on the Garburn Pass and the Mountain Rescue were concerned about runners getting hypothermia in the time it would take to reach them.
I must admit I was glad. My programmed long run today was only 11 miles, so this change of plan suited me perfectly! And it was quite hard enough thank you. We had rain pretty much all the way round which, as I have written about before on this blog, is a right b*gger for those of us who wear specs as it makes foot placement that much more iffy on the sort of stony terrain we covered. At its worst, we had great fat sleety dollops of rain blasting at us while running over moorland, through calf-deep puddles of freezing water. I knew that ultrarunning collie, runningbear and hordes of others were out at Wharfedale and events around the country and felt we were all one soggy, chafing brotherhood. I hope you all had a good time. I felt pretty ropey but was chuffed when I looked at my Garmin stats later: 11.89 miles, with 1,521 feet of ascent/descent, in 1:57:29, at a moving pace of 9.58. Oh, and there was a curlew bubbling away at one point on the moor which always lifts the spirits.
I hope everyone racing today had an enjoyable time and has a feeling of personal satisfaction.

Things I learned today...
  • Having Mags (and niece Helen) at the start/finish was wonderful
  • Vaseline on the feet is great (thanks urcollie)
  • Frijj strawberry milk shake immediately post-run is great
  • I should have taken a peaked cap to keep, maybe some, rain off my specs
  • Resist the temptation to use fingers to wipe the rain off your specs as long as possible - you're into smeary-vision world very quickly else
  • Chocolate-covered Kendal Mint Cake at the water stations is brilliant - thank you organisers
  • My Montane wind/showerproof top, though fabulously lightweight, wasn't really up to the job. Must investigate a better alternative for serious rain

Smiley rating 7/10 for performance, 9/10 for the race organisation


  1. Hi Hayfella, am chaffed and a bit stiff but did have a lovely day. Would definitely recommend the Wharfedale but disappointingly no Kendal Mint Cake at water stations - not a local delicacy for the Dales race and not sure compeitors would welcome a Yorkshire Pud revive themselves.

    The weather was a bit wild but I kind of enjoy that don't you? Feeling immersed in the elements sort of thing.. Sounds like you ran well, when you could see ; ) Hope you recover well. RB

  2. top stuff hayfella. sorry i cant offer any tips for the fogging etc issue. how good an inventor are you?! i wore my montane too which did me proud so i guess your rain was wetter than ours! ;)
    see you soon hopefully