Tuesday, 27 December 2011

'Tour de Helvelyn'

Well as I wrote this I'm laid in bed full of some bug praying it's not flu!! Flu wouldn't be a great start to the 50 in 52 challenge. It would mean 2 ultras in some of the 52 weeks but that would be pretty interesting !! Plus I'm writing this on my iPhone not a laptop so sorry for any mistakes etc.
Saturday 17th December I ran the 'Tour de Helvelyn' 38 miles over lake district hills in winter conditions. The route was an out and back with a few small climbs then 2 big climbs, one over Sticks pass and the other over Grisedale pass. I wore kahtoolas (running crampons) for the majority of the race as snow and ice was abundant. I ran with David Cremmins for the whole of the 38 miles and navigation went well(some of the way) We made the first 11 miles in 2 hours. Then came sticks pass. Sticks pass summit is situated at about 800metres and in a White out which we endured it felt a damn site higher. The wheels came off as I tried to change gloves and my fingers started to go numb, putting the other gloves on seemed to take an eternity. My legs felt heavy and had no real climb left in them and a shortcut into a knee deep stream of icey cold water didn't help. The climb up Grisedale was much easier still felt that my legs had no climbing speed in them I recognised this route as part of the Bob Graham on an anti-clockwise round. The view of Grisedale tarn when reaching the summit of the pass was stunning. A cock- up in the last few miles of the course meant we went on a 2 mile excursion and finally arrived back in 10hrs 40 mins. I for once had set of on a race with no real target time only one aim for the race and that was to get round without timing out but when on the course ths changed and I set myself another aim to get round in under 10 hours. Still I had a great day out an adventure and if the race is run in 2012 it will be one of my 50 or even my last ultra of the challenge? Weighing myself ( which I have avoided for quite a while) I was just over 15 stone a full stone heavier since summer! I now understand why my ascending was much slower and my descending was much quicker! Start back on a diet!!!

Will I be well enough to run on Sunday? 1st January 2012??? I hope so !!!

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