Thursday, 5 August 2010

I know how the fox feels - Cracken Edge

Generally in fell races I aim to overtake the person in front. This is very good for my mental state during the race as I feel more like the 'predator'.

Last night at Cracken Edge, I was definitely the prey.

The night started well. I turned up early so sat in my car for a while and listened to the radio about a man who had won a £1000 bet from his local bookies about whether he could lose 5 stone in 6 months. Here's the story:

I was then chatting to fellow Pennine runner, Joe, who continued this theme by explaining to me how he's lost 8 stone by only eating on Thursdays and how this should make him faster. To be fair to Joe, I might have forgotten the actual details, but it was something like this.

Joe's slimming plan is partly driven by a competitive desire to beat me in fell races, and partly by the desire to stay ahead of Steve (another Pennine runner). Steve is going well and is getting better over the season. One of Steve's aims is to beat Joe in fell races.

Once the race started, it became apparent that there was no-one for me to chase down, as the gap was too big between me and the guy in front (Jonny, my old Fat Boy team-mate). However, whenever I glanced behind me, I saw the pack of panting, salivating beasts that included Joe and Steve.

With no obvious holes to hide in, I decided the only sensible option was to stay ahead of them. Thankfully, Joe swapped places with me with about a mile to go, so I could enjoy the feeling of biding my time before striking and regaining the lead. In the end I finished 1 second ahead of Joe, who was 10 seconds ahead of Steve.

With this fierce level of competition, I'll have to start putting more training in. Joe and Steve, if you're reading this, I'd like to recommend the new super training food: bacon, ham, mushroom, tomato and mashed potato pancakes, covered in cheese.