Stanza Stones 24

Lots of Runfurther members out for the Stanza Stones, including a few in the race crew. I’ll write up my experience of it as a volunteer later. In the meantime, the leaderboard updates are here, and Karen’s write up is below:

As is usual we drove to the start on Friday evening. As we neared Marsden the weather clagged in and by the time we were putting up flags and banners the drizzle got heavier. It rained hard over night and we had left a skylight open. I was up early and by 7am had dropped off mint cake, put up boards and completed my registration and kit check. Back at the van I had breakfast before returning to the hall to use the loo and to chat with friends. Kevin and Rory were both claiming to be less than ideally prepared; yeah right! Mark D had a dodgy infection on one leg. Guy was back determined to complete this year.

Plus there were chats with Charlotte, Sarah, Ian, Steve and Sally. Martin finally got his Fellsman trophy and beer and we left it with Dawn in his car.

The forecast was for improved weather as the day went on and it was certainly getting brighter but still chilly. I set off in two tops and my cag as there were still black clouds looming.

A steady start saw Ian vanishing up ahead and Martin was already out of sight this year, but I was OK with that and found the first stone. Once on the moors we had our first heavy rain shower and I was pleased to have kept my cag on. A mixture of running and stomping led me to the road crossing and then the masts at Windy Hill. It was very breezy crossing the M62 footbridge and quite windy on Blackstone Edge. There was less mud than I expected though and we made decent time to the White House. I didn’t really need anything yet so grabbed two jaffa cakes and pushed on. This next section is on a big drivable track and as it is almost flat it should be easy to run. I ran to the Stone near the climbing crag but then into the headwind and with my hip causing me pain I started to slow. Run a bit, walk a bit was to become the pattern for the day. I kept commanding my legs to run but the answer was no. Shouting at failing body parts does not work. I used the guys ahead to push myself onwards to Stoodley Pike and then down into Mytholmroyd. Darren came past and sped off plus various others. The views were now great and the sky mostly blue.

At least I found the correct village hall for the CP this year. Amy and most of the men that were just ahead were still here. A quick snack and top up of water and we were off. It’s a tough climb out of the valley and up on Midgely Moor and I could sense the others all pulling away. There was one confusing path section with the first real boggy bits of the day. Gary C ran with me for a bit before we reached the easy running on the conduit and he too pulled away. I just kept trying the best I could and consoled myself that the walking climbs were actually OK.

I found Stone 3 OK, it has a marker post but I remember thinking it was tricky last year. Heading east I suddenly realised I knew exactly where I was as we met the new Calderdale Hike route area. It must have perked me up because I ran well here and caught some guys on the way into Oxenhope. I knew the way here and pushed on. Before long I could see Amy up ahead. Haworth was full of tourists and the trip hazards of dogs on stretchy leads, toddlers, prams and people ambling about with no awareness of others. I reached the CP just seconds behind Amy.  I decided I needed a decent refuel here as I knew I had not really been eating enough. Perhaps I ate too much because I struggled to get going again and only kept with Amy after she made two small errors. By the time we reached the lanes near Cullingworth Moor she was off and pulling away. I was happy with my running on the Calder Aire Link but knew I would be slow on the wet rocks in Goitstock Wood. No swimmers this year but the waterfalls were impressive. I pushed on to the next woods knowing it was now not far to the CP in Bingley.

Charles was there and made me a cup of tea. I refilled my water but really did not fancy the food on offer.  I knew I needed to eat but just could not make myself do it. Having negotiated the town traffic safely I climbed up by the flight of locks and then stopped as grit was rubbing my ankle. I dislike the canal section. It is flat, 6 miles and should be so easy to run. It was easier than in the extreme heat of last year but still very warm. My hip objected strongly but I kept trying to run and refusing to stop until I had counted 100 paces. I encouraged myself with the thought of the unofficial Fellsman CP at the end of the canal. I sat here with Chris and William for a few minutes as I ate an ice pop. I now knew that I was being caught by the next woman but realistically there was little I could do.

Climbing up to Silsden Road I caught the guy with poles but it obviously cost me more than him because as Kate caught me he and the other man pulled steadily away and she followed. For ages I could see them up ahead but the gap was widening as we climbed Addingham Moor and then ran towards Ilkley. I stopped for water at the foot of Keighley old road and again at the CP at the top. The others were now out of sight but I spotted a runner up ahead and was determined to catch him before 12 Apostles. I did and then after we circled the stones I overtook on the long descent to the last stone. The run down seemed Ok so perhaps I was not trying as hard as last year.

I ran well down the tarmac but did have to stop for a breather on the way to the school.

Kevin and Rory with only 2 secs splitting first and second place!


50 miles with 2145m of climb. Done in 11hrs 21 so a PB by 17 minutes. It should be a PB after the heat of last year and I was pleased until I found Kevin had a 100 minute PB! Amy was 1st in 11.06 and Kate next in 11.16. I guess only being 5 mins behind Kate and 15 behind Amy is not so bad. First FV again.

Lots of sitting, chatting and some food allowed me to feel more normal and my legs were much less trashed than last year. We were due to go straight to the Lakes but Bob said the forecast had worsened so it was home for a much needed shower and bed.

Feeling old

My race prep was less than ideal with 239km and 8747m in the previous 10 days, which included a reasonably fast effort on my Birthday 100. Not that I would change this as I love my birthday runs and we had some great days in the Lakes too.