Monday, 27 April 2009

3 Peaks Race

24 miles, 1500m ascent.
I've had better days.
Got to Horton reasonably early and was registered by 9am - over an hour before the race start. Went back to the van to get changed and found I'd picked up the bag with cycling shoes in, rather than running shoes - not good. A quick phone call confirmed that the desired running shoes were back at Diane's house in Bentham and they were promptly delivered to me in Horton 7 minutes before the race start.
Up Pen-y-gent was fine. On the way down I was consciously trying to take it easy and was probably being too casual about it until I tripped and landed flat on my face. No real damage done, the bloke behind asked if I was OK and then remarked "well, it looked quite good!". I was feeling fine at Ribblehead and shortly afterwards I passed Cath and then Derek from Tod Harriers and had a few words with them. Started feeling less good as the climb up Whernside steepened. Cath passed me, then Derek and we had a few words. Just below the summit I felt a twinge in my right calf, but nothing serious, had a quick stretch against the wall at the top, because I'd read that it was a good idea to help stave off the "Whernside cramps" and set off along the windy ridge.
At the first stile my right calf locked up - I could see the muscle was in spasm - assumed it was cramp, tried to stretch it off and it calmed down but it didn't go away. Walked on for a bit, stretched some more, shuffled on, stretched again, but it wasn't really getting better - I was going to have to do the rest of the route with just one good leg. Walking was OK, I could do a slow run with short strides, but my right leg wasn't doing anymore than that. It had stopped being a race for me (not sure what I was racing against, but still...) and was just about finishing now. I briefly considered retiring at the Hill Inn, but decided to push on because I could.
Eventually shuffled into Horton in 4h57m, feeling a bit tired and a bit frustrated, which was a bit weird as I didn't have a target in mind - I suppose I just wanted to go as fast as I could - and that didn't happen. But you can't take anything for granted in something like the 3 Peaks. Even though I felt fit enough, strong enough and pretty confident before the start, it's still a hard route and there's plenty of scope for things to go wrong.
Guess I'll have to do it again next year :)


Steve J Makin said...

Good work Ali, I only finished the 3PCX race out of bloody mindedness after tearing my dodgy achilles up the first climb :-0

Steve said...

Tough one. We ran together a bit on PyG...

Coming back for more next year do you think?