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Calderdale Hike 2017

First a photo from Nick:

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The Calderdale Hike results are here.  I’ve added them in to the Runfurther leaderboard already, and you can find that here.  Let me know if you spot any problems with it – I’ve already had to change it twice!  I’ll be updating it again once the Lakes 42 results are out, but as I’m away for a week from Monday 10 April, if I haven’t got the results by the end of Sunday you’ll have to wait for the Runfurther update.  Nick has posted his race report and his photos  and you can find them here and here  respectively.  I’m still not running so I wasn’t at the Hike.  Karen’s posted her blog though, and I’ve repeated it here.  The photos in Karen’s report are Karen’s, the others are Nick’s, including this cheeky one:

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Kevin Hoult was first home in 5:04, with Ian Symington four minutes behind him.  There was then a long wait for John Bottomley who finished in 5:47.  First woman was Nicky Spinks, 9th overall in 6:27, with Karen Nash 19th in 7:14 and Carol Morgan 24th in 7:45.  Early days yet, but last year’s overall winners Kevin Hoult and Karen Nash are leaders at the moment.

Just got this done in time before the next race…

Karen’s race report

This race might be unique? Every three years the route changes. This adds some navigational challenge and for those of us living close enough it also gives some wonderful opportunities for scouring maps, searching out best routes and then putting them to the test. providing you arrive at each CP and stick to legal rights of way then the route is your choice. This has provided hours of fun.
In some ways the event is like a LDWA event with walkers, long cut offs and masses of food (especially at the end).

An easy place for flags, banners etc

We arrived the evening before as usual to be ready very early to put up flags, banners etc for the first walkers registering at 6am. The long runners were not due off until 9am so this gave me lots of time for breakfast, chats and general faffing. The forecast was mixed with the possibility of some heavy showers. I had woken with an upset stomach but felt fine now. I knew where I was going; I thought. Then after a chat with Kevin I found there was an alternative route between CP1 and CP2. I now know there was an alternative between the last two CPs too. April is going to be busy but I wasn’t worried and was happy to race. It started well and the ‘new’ section from Kevin was good and runnable but as it was further and had a bit of climb I made myself run hard to get the benefit. Before CP 3 at Ryeburn Reservoir I knew it was too fast for me and I would not sustain 6mph. I did not run hard on Blackwood Edge and should have been able to go faster here. I promised myself that once I cut down to the goyt I would try harder. I opted for the main road and M62 junction next and although this isn’t very pleasant it did gain me several places. Turning back north from Windy Hill the promised rain arrived. I tried to pretend it wasn’t much but by the time I had crossed the M62 footbridge it was quite heavy. Time to stop and put a cag on. I cut up to the south end of Blackstone Edge and then dropped down to the ‘drain’. This saves some climb and is a nice flat running path unlike the rocks, mud and jumble along the top. Again I gained time and places on the way to the CP at The White House. Trail shoes were good on the lanes and rough tracks but they made me a bit cautious on the mud. The next bit is confusing if you have not run it before and one fence makes it look impossible. I met Carol and friend at the mill and showed them the way by the side of the fence and down to Sladen Fold. I had already decided that this year I would not visit the wind turbines (although the new road is now quite good) and instead I was sticking to the canal and heading north. I wasn’t running fast but three guys on the road running parallel to me spurred me on. As I turned up Ramsden Wood Road I lost sight of them until I emerged from the short steep woods and could see them heading up the valley. My route was now all on track and lane. I would have liked to have run  it faster but I plodded on and reached the CP before the team of three. Then heading up to Trough Edge End I spotted Bob up ahead almost on the skyline. This gave me another reason to push harder. I caught him before the Limers Gate track and we had a brief chat. My right glute, hip and quad were now suffering from the pace but at least this section was easy running. The team of three and I arrived at the Slate Pit Hill CP together. I grabbed food and walked on. They got ahead in the muddy mountain bike area but we climbed from Cornholme to Mount Cross together. The rain had now cleared for good so cags were stowed. They then powered off and I hit a low point. Oh dear, only 25 miles in and I was struggling. I watched them pull ahead and pottered on to Cross Stones and the golf course. I was now alone and found it hard to make myself run harder. I was eating plenty I thought but just couldn’t do better. It was a slow flog up to the church at Lumbutts where I filled my water bottle and had a sandwich. At Mankinholes I realised that my right foot was becoming and issue. Sitting in the middle of a muddy path and taking off my dry sock got some funny looks from passing walkers. Fortunately nobody was around when massaging my foot in the belief it would help brought on massive cramps in my toes and arch! Along London Road (a big track) I was able to pick off walkers from the shorter route and this gave me mini targets to aim for. Plus my foot recovered now it had a bit more room in the shoe. After Errington Grange only about 5 miles remains but there is a big valley in the way. I set off for Hoo Hole and the road to Cragg Vale.

The winners strava not mine- same til the end, just slower

This is where, I later found out, the leading men dropped to better running. I was totally alone as I climbed steeply to Nab End quarries and the last CP. I forced a gel down, ignored the fact that two years ago I had finished by now and made a determined effort to run (albeit slowly) all the way to the finish. With just a minor altercation with a bus on a narrow lane I was back in Sowerby and soon passing the church and heading up the path to the cricket club door.

Thanks to our sponsors

7hrs 14 was a PW for this route and for all 9 runs I had done here but I was surprisingly still second lady. Nicky was an hour or so ahead of me. Chris  had been back long enough to get clean, change and put a Runfurther postcard on every car in the car park. Kevin had won in 5hrs 10 with Ian not far behind in second.

Nick and Nigel chatting in the late afternoon sun

No results up yet but Nick, Bob and Dick all finished OK.

I might add more photos from Nick later

Next year of course it will all change again; in fact rumour has it that there are special plans for next year as it is the 40th anniversary. I hope to be back as I love the event, organisers/ volunteers and the challenge of a new route.

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