High Peak 40 2014 – updated


The Runfurther leaderboard is updated and is here.  The race results weren’t up yet when I posted this, but will be here when Bill updates the race website.  Marcus Scotney ran a brilliant race to finish in 5:20:45, which I think was the 3rd fastest time ever.  Ken Sutor also ran a great race to come 2nd in 5:32:13.  First woman home was Kate Whitfield in 6:58:02, another great run and her 3rd Runfurther win this year.  Second woman was Amanda Carter in 7:27:53.

Runfurther standings

The championship is hotting up now as we near the end of the series.  Unlike last year it’s by no means clear who’s going to win for most of the categories.

Men:  Ian Symington will probably win if he runs Rotherham, as he said he was going to.  However, I thought he was going to run the HP40 but he wasn’t there.  If he doesn’t run Rotherham, then Ken Sutor will probably win…if he runs Rotherham himself.  If neither of them run, then Janson Heath is likely to win…again if he runs at Rotherham.  If none of them turn up then Ned Lammas could win…but again he has to run Rotherham to do it.  If none of those 4 run, then the 2 contenders for the MV50 title are also in line for the overall title, they being Nigel Aston and Martin Terry.  Nigel’s marginally ahead of Martin now, so Martin must run at Rotherham and beat Nigel to win anything.  The MV60 title depends on my performance at Rotherham.  If I don’t run well & finish then Steve Dixon will win.

Women:  Kate Whitfield will probably win the overall title, but Emma David could possibly catch her with a very good run at Rotherham.  She’d have to beat Kate though, which is unlikely.  Nobody else can catch either of them.  Karen Nash already has the FV50 category won.

Race reports & photos

Nigel Aston’s race report is here.

Nick Ham took photos and they’re here.

Here’s my race report:

I was up at 4:30 on Saturday, so I could get to Buxton in time to give Bill and his team the supply of Clif Bars to hand out at registration, and to get the Runfurther flags up.  I set off from home at 5, only to hit traffic jams!  It turned out the M6 was closed.  I was already worried about a dodgy knee, & thinking I’d be lucky to get past checkpoint 1, so the omens weren’t looking good…

Actually it all went pretty well after that.  It’s pretty hectic getting all the Runfurther stuff sorted out before a race, & I was only just in time getting to the start in the park.  We tried to line up Kate Whitfield, Emma David, Nigel Aston & Ian Symington for a photo for the next issue of Fellrunner, but Ian hadn’t shown up.  Oh well, we got 3 out of 4.  I took 2 Ibuprofen to show my knee I meant business.  8am & we all hared off through the park & up the road.

I’d decided to try to take it fairly easy to start with, as I’d been having difficulty with the second half of races since my long layoff.  I was running quite comfortably, but I soon realised I was running with people who I’d been expecting to be way ahead of me.  Off the road, over the little ridge & along the old railway track to CP1, & I was feeling good.  Down the road & along the Goyt Valley reservoirs to CP2, & I was still OK.  Mind you, I dropped out after 23 miles last year, to exhausted to carry on, so it was early days to be getting too confident.

The bit round Chapel-en-le-Frith is a bit humdrum, with a bit too much road, then there’s the long climb up to Beet Farm, where I started to struggle last year.  This year it felt fine.  3 or 4 runners passed me on this bit, but I expect that, as I’m slower uphill & faster downhill than most runners of my standard. After Beet Farm there’s a long section of high level stony track.  This can feel great when you’re feeling fresh enough, as the views are good, and you can get a good speed up as long as your feet can take the battering from the track surface.  It can also feel awful if you’re already flagging or have sore feet.  Today was a good day, & I arrived at CP5 with a smile on my face.

Next was the ridge along to Mam Tor, joining the route of the Edale Skyline for a bit (in reverse).  The initial climb is hard work, but once you’re up on top, it’s a great run all the way to the top & down again to Castleton.  Usually I’m all in by here, but I was still feeling fine, much to my surprise.  I’d been dreading Cave Dale despite its scenery, as I’ve memories of this race falling to bits for me here on two occasions.  This timr I got to the top with only 3 or 4 passing me on the way, & I think I’d past them all on the previous descent anyway.  From CP7 it’s an easy descent on the road to Tideswell, then a pleasant path in the woods down Tideswell Dale to Millers Dale.  By this time I was starting to feel tired, but I could still run, & my knee felt OK, with just the occasional slight twinge.  A lovely stretch along the river next, then the Monsal Trail to CP9.  I wish they wouldn’t route races along old railways – give me rough ground any time over flat stuff.

Well I struggled up Deep Dale #1 OK & got to CP10 OK but by this time the wheels had just about come off.  2 more Ibuprofen, then I staggered along the horrible long road section, having to walk bits of it.  Clambering back out of Deep Dale #2 was torture, & on being told as I arrived at CP11 (King Sterndale) that I looked like I could go on forever I was speechless – I wasn’t sure I could make it across the road.  Pausing to retch, I then wobbled on, & eventually finished in 7:25, about 15 mins outside my PB, so I was very pleased with that.

I’ve just re-read some of that, & noticed I didn’t really mention the weather, whihc isn’t that surprising as it wasn’t very noticeable.  Slightly damp at the start, but warm, muggy t-shirt & shorts weather.  Yet another day getting a coating of salt all over.  Never mind, soon be winter.

Now we can get back to planning the 2015 champs!  See you at Rotherham.