My lack of fitness showed and my foot caused me as much bother as it ever has. The shame is that it is a lovely race - great route, wonderful and varied views plus a very nice RO and team etc. Oh, and the weather is always wonderful. Except this year we started in light drizzle.
I started steadily and quite enjoyed the pull up onto the first tops. I then lost lots of places being a real softy on the greasy descent of Cave Dale. Castelton came and went in a blur as I tried to catch up runners as we headed up again to Hollins Cross before dropping to Edale. I didn't find the best route to the CP on the Druids Stone but it was OK. Then the wheels started to come off. My foot was really sore and my legs were just fit enough to run - even on the drop back into the Edale valley. Climbing up to the ridge and Lose Hill I slipped on a stone and jarred forward. Suddenly I was doubled over with a sharp pain under my left ribs. This has happened twice before and is very weird. It feels like a golf ball size lump that cramps and then with massage and rest it disappears after a few minutes. I am falling apart!
|I felt chilly after the heat of Albania|
At least now the sun was out and the views were lovely. I ran reasonably well on the moors and down to the reservoir but my foot was agony by the time I reached the old railway line. This should be a fast run but I was reduced to a walking hobble. At the next CP I fell into a chair, removed my shoe and tried everything I could to ease my foot. I nearly dropped out there but sheer bloody mindedness made me continue. The pull uphill and onto Stanedge seemed to go on and on and it was a relief to reach the top.
|Thanks to Nick Ham for these 5 photos|
Not sure what to do about my foot now but I think I need to try again to get it resolved. Having tried a consultant who was sure he would find a neuroma but then failed to do so perhaps I will try a sports podiatrist next.
This doesn't bode well for a 220km race in the Pyrenees with 13,000m of climb in a week or so time.