At the start of the month (8th Sept) Corin and Lisa both tackled the nine edges endurance race, a fantastic 20.5mile linear route taking in nine gritstone edges between Fairholmes and Birchen Edge.
I really love racing and as always I spend the spring intending to do many local fell races. Inevitably work/life/other running gets in the way so I end up just racing the longer event where I’ve had to commit in advance. This is probably no bad thing as I think I am generally better over longer distances and it means I try and put some attention into them with recces etc. I’ve been wanting to run this race for a few years, its such a great route so was excited to be on the start line this time.
The start was fast and the route change meant we had two half ascents then descents of Derwent edge, this suited me as I LOVE smashing it downhill and I’m not too slow on the ascents either. I was still in a fairly large group but on route down to Moscar and along Stanage I fell in step with two guys, Ross and Graham, and enjoyed chatting with them as we ran along (this time the bottom of) the edge. After Stanage trig point I was on my own for a long while. I found this quite tough as I find keeping the speed up on flat ground much more difficult, especially when I’m tired and conversation distracts me. It was nice to see lots of friendly marshalls and walkers along the way.
Zanthe, who finished 1st lady/6th overall, zoomed past me at the bottom of Burbage which was confusing as she had been ahead of me for ages and I thought I has lost sight of her. It turns out she had taken a slight detour and ended up behind. I really tried to stay with her but she was so quick! I was also trying my best to eat a cereal bar to make sure I got to the end with enough energy. The lack of hills or rough ground to justify slowing the pace makes finding time to eat difficult! I lost sight of her again after Longshore, which seemed to go on forever and felt like really hard work. Seeing Megan who was out on the bike on Froggatt was great, it’s really nice to have friends to cheer you along and it gave me a that bit of extra energy to keep pushing. I managed to keep my pace up, spurred on by the idea of finishing in under 3hrs, there was one final push on the slight ascent along to Birchen then a great descent down to the pub. I made it back in 2:57:06, 2nd lady and 9th overall.
I’m super happy with my result but even more impressed and inspired by Corin who achieved her goal of finishing this race in 4 hours and looked so strong. This was her first big race back after the arrival her daughter, Audrey, 8 months ago.
After having Audrey at the end of December 2017 I started running around twice a week from the middle of February. I booked this race in at the end of May as a way to make sure I got out and ran at least 3 times a week. Imagine my frustration when within a week of booking the race I fractured the big toe on my right foot. Out the window went my training plan for the next 6 week’s as tried to rest and let it heal. I only managed two short runs during that time. However come the 13th of July I felt recovered enough to get training again so then I commenced running three runs a week and tried to increase my mileage per week.
Fast forward to race day and I’m feeling quite nervous, my longest run pre race was only 16 miles! I knew I wasn’t going to do the best time I probably could but just to get round would be a huge post baby accomplishment for me. The race was tough going, but was enjoyable as the weather was slightly drizzly and not too hot. I met some nice folks on the way round and had some good conversations with a few blokes on Stanage Edge which really made the time pass. Come Longshaw I was flagging a bit, my right knee hurt every time I bent it and I was on my own. To my delight, a bloke caught me up and I managed to maintain his pace until the next checkpoint where he stopped for a cuppa and I continued on. Running along Curbar Edge was tough but I knew that if I kept running the race would be over more quickly!
At the start of the final accent up to Birchen, a bloke I had chatted to earlier on came storming past saying ‘We have 13 minutes to get to the finish and we will get under 4 hours’. This gave me the extra encouragement I needed to keep running and I really pushed it up the slight incline and down the rocky decent to the finish. I didn’t quite get under 4 hours and finished with a time of 4 hrs 43 seconds, but was very pleased to have completed and push it so much at the end of the race.