Two soakings, thoughts on cheating and a long one

Posted by Nik Cook
Monday 22nd June 2009

The week started off with two complete soakings. After the Trog, I just fancied an easy trot on the Monday so headed out in the evening with my wife and some mates. Down in the village it was a humid 17C and it was only as an afterthought that I tied my windproof round my waist. After about 20 minutes of climbing, we reached the quarries on Cracken Edge and that’s when we heard the first roll of thunder. In a matter of minutes the sky went black, the temperature plummeted by ten degrees and spectacular bolts of lightning tore through the sky above Buxton. With the electricity in the air making the hairs on the back of my neck tingle and the storm getting nearer we abandoned our original route plan and made simply getting off the hill asap our priority. By now the hail stones had started and, without the effort of climbing to keep us warm, we were all soon chilled. The final track off the hill was now a bubbling torrent complete with tumbling rocks but we were only 5 minutes from home. Soaked through, we all tumbled into our kitchen and, having found dry clothes for all, settled down to a warming cup of tea in front of the fire. You can’t beat June in the UK!

Since Sundays Trog there had been a bit of a hoo-hah on the FRA forum about people not carrying the specified kit. Fell running is a sport that revels in few rules but, in my opinion, if you’re supposed to be carrying waterproofs etc and don’t then you’re cheating. Monday night’s run showed how quickly the weather can turn. We were lucky enough to be able to get down in a matter of minutes but, if the same had happened during the Trog, Mountain Rescue could have had a very busy day.

 Soaking number two was on a recce of my club’s Whaley Waltz Fell race that’s taking part on the 27th June. Although the weather was warm and sunny the race ends with a crossing of the River Goyt and so, to make the recce complete, we had to dive in.

 The rest of the week went well and I managed to get out for at least an hour most days. For Sundays long run, I planned to re-do the Trog but, from Chinley and adding the short sharp climbs of South Head and Mount Famine. I reckoned this would add a few extra miles and another 1000ft of ascent. I really wanted to work on finding my “keep going forever” pace and aimed to remain comfortable for the whole run. With that in mind Moses and I set off for an enjoyable morning on the hills. I was super disciplined about pacing, eating and drinking and, passing the air-craft wreck on Mill Hill, I was delighted at how strong I felt. I kept on expecting to hit a rough patch but it just didn’t happen. Dropping back into Chinley, I was tempted to carry on but decided to quit while I was ahead and still feeling good. Ok, my pace had been slow taking 3:40 to cover 19.3 miles / 4477ft ascent, but I really felt that pacing was sustainable for a long time.

Moses by plane wreck on Mill Hill 

Read more blog entries by Nik Cook

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