Thursday, 9 July 2015

Hope Wakes Fell Race 2015

I couldn't make this race last year and listening to how much Chris and Andy enjoyed it, it was high on my list for this year. Thankfully I could make it with Teresa being on days.

After cycling to last week's race at Riber on a stunning summer's evening, it sowed the seed in my head that whilst it's warm and light until 10pm - why not cycle to most peaks fell races ? Stick a lock in, stick lights in, job done. In the days leading up to this one I'd told a few people that I'd cycle there. What I'd not taken into account sadly was that the night of the Fell Race was going to be the hottest July day in 8 years ! Well into the 30's.
Win Hill - looking very ... distant!
I'd cycled to work and back then a quick change of top, pick up bag and head out to Hope. It genuinely was some of the warmest weather I've ever cycled in - easily comparable to towns in the bottom of valleys in the Alps and although it was pouring off me, I enjoyed every second of it. Cycling in the heat is a pleasure. Running in this heat ??? Hmmm, this wasn't going to be pleasant!

Nice to see Steve Meath on the start line - his first fell race of the year - but what a tough race to pick. I had my fingers crossed for him!

I'd been warned about the two big climbs on this route, so was more than ready for those. What I wasn't prepared for was the length of the track round the back of win hill - from when you enter the woods it must be 3 miles. Mostly downhill too, although the heat meant that I was in "just get round" mode instead of "race" mode. I think the heat was getting to everyone though as no one was really making ground on me and conversely I wasn't making ground on anyone else either.

Hope Wakes Route : "Just" over Win Hill twice then
Hope Wakes Route Profile
Whilst running along the track at the back of Win Hill I'd suddenly started to come over very shivery with goosebumps. Not a good sign ! I'd had this before if my body was running out of something or other, but I didn't know if it was water or food to be honest. If it was water, I'd be stuffed as there was a good way to the finish and I knew I'd be cramping badly before the end. If it was food, then I could just slow up and "enjoy" it. Thankfully it was the latter.

The views from the 2nd climb up Win Hill were truly memorable - back over Ladybower and all the glorious High Peak Moorland. I won't forget those views in a hurry and that's exactly why I fell race.

I crossed the line in 30th - higher than I'd expected as I'd gone into limp mode for the second half and didn't feel that strong on the first climb either. The finishing field was littered with bodies in all sorts of states - the heat had really taken it's toll on folk. It took me about 15 mins before I was in any state to talk to people! Thankfully, Chris and the other Harriers agreed I looked "knackered" and told me to chuck my bike in his boot. For once, I wasn't going to argue!

No team shots from the end - I was too tired to take any!

Results here 30th out of 215, Top 14%
Strava flyby here
Strava link here

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