This was meant to be my big race! Somewhere this year the plan came off the rails, in fact it crashed and overturned. I won't go into the whole catalogue of excuses but it boils down to insufficient time on my feet at the wrong intensity.
Anyway, the race. Quite a few of us travelled up together and discussed the route and approach in detail. I'd descided to start pretty quick to avoid the crush then slow down to a pace that matched my fitness. The weather seemed promising although there were some warnings of thunder storms. As planned I moved quickly after the start until the start of the climb up Bessyboot. I slowed down and happily let folk past, trying to stick to my plan. At the start of the climb I was about sixtieth. I was determined to climb to Esk Hause steadily and enjoyed a bit of banter as we went. I did notice my heart rate was high for the pace I was going. I wondered if the speedy start was to blame.
I think climbing Scarfell Pike I started to feel slightly under the weather. Was it the heat? There are plenty of other excuses available! Down the scree okay and onto the Corridor Route. I seemed to be maintaining my position along here but thought I'd follow Jackie Winn on a few little trods, I think he's a bit nimbler than me, I'd have been better off on the path at times.
Gable. First half of the climb was fine, I chatted to a Peninne runner picked up a bit more water. Some mates were on the bottom and they gave me encouragement as well as some jelly babies. Second half of the climb I slowed considerably. I started to bleed places but wasnt overly bothered as I was still moving and my expectations weren't too high. On the flat towards Grey Knots I kept moving reasonably well although I was starting to get hints of cramp. Desending down to Honister my legs were suffering and just before the car park Pete Booth; 62 and Cieran Carr; 68! Came past me. Onlookers may have been puzzled by my gerning expression and hobbling or I dare say they'll have seen a few others who also had a crippling attack of cramp.
I should have called it a day there and then, why I didn't I'll never know. I won't go through all the miserable details but I walked and sat more than I ran up Dale Head and through the mines. It took me over an hour and a half to get back from Honister. Friends who I normally beat by quite a margin trotted past me, some concerned, most amused!
I eventually finished in 4:45, can't remember the position and don't want to look. The post mortem; better planning, probably with more mileage and be a bit less greedy with races. I'll be back next year!