|22nd out of 242 finishers|
To help - it was amazing weather (first we've had for ages). So amazing that I was actually worried about cramping up on this 5 mile fellrace. Thankfully it didn't happen.
So, how did the race feel ? Well, I was a little uncertain what pace to set off at as I've not raced on the fell for years and years. I set off at fast, but below threshold. Not a bad idea as we'd not started climbing !
Going up the climb 3 guys came straight past me - fine I though - let em go. And true to my estimate, I picked them off within a few hundred yards. It's a steep tarmac climb that then turns into gravel then flattens onto a Bridleway. The climb I took at just below threshold / threshold with me finding it easy to notice when I'd added the extra 5% to push me firmly into the red zone at which point I'd ease off.
Once it flattened out I made up ground overtaking 2 and again once we climbed up the steep singletrack to the summit I overtook another guy or so. After the summit it was flattish over moors for a mile or so and again I was absolutely convinced that guys would come flying past me but they didn't. I was nearly maxing out mind !
Then came the bit I'd feared - the descent. It started off down a tiny path and within a few hundred yds 2 guys had come past. I think that perhaps another 2 came past on the rest of the descent - and considering the path was quite long, I was quite happy with only losing 4 places. What a great descent it was though - fast , long and ever so slightly out of control !
Another climb overtaking 2 to the top of the final descent. To my surprise I didn't lose any here and instead overtook another 2 on the road to the finish line, 22nd overall.
Very pleased really and yes I was red lining it most of the way round. I was going as fast as I possibly could on the descent and these guys still came past me (not that much faster though). I was really having to work hard to go downhill. I had nothing in reserve come the climb.
First short fell race in years and didn't turn out at all bad. 22nd out of 242 is top 10% which is generally as good as I'd ever had gotten 5 years ago. Clearly if the terrain had been rockier I'd have struggle more on the descent, but that'll no doubt come later in the year.
Thanks to Andy B for driving too.
Strava link here