CP15 @ Leadmill Bridge.
This came 3 days after the Cracken Edge PB. Conditions this year were dry as usual though a little cooler, so conducive to another PB if the body would hold out. We were sent on our way from Bradwell up through the cement works, the usual scenario of previous years playing out:
I walk/jog uphill at what seems like a sustainable pace before I begin to get overtaken;
Andy Robinson will be an early overtaker to vanish ahead into the distance;
Karen Nash is somewhere behind, complaining of something or other that's slowing her down, but it won't be long before she passes and continues to a storming finish.
It all comes to pass.
Climbing to Hollins Cross with Hope cement works near the horizon.
Our tough route takes us via the now very familiar checkpoints at:
01 Hope cement works;
02 Limestone Way below Old Moor;
03 Bottom of Cavedale;
05 Druid's Stone;
06 Lose Hill;
07 Killhill Bridge;
08 The Springs (above Ladybower Reservoir);
09 railway trackbed for Ladybower dam construction;
10 Bamford Mills weir;
11 off-route stile below Stanage Edge;
12 Upper Burbage Bridge;
13 Burbage Bridge (no longer hanging over the river);
14 above quarry at Bole Hill via secret paths through the bracken(!);
15 Leadmill Bridge;
16 Stoke Ford.
Dibbing via the powers of Sportident at Edale.
I felt sorry for Jim Mann this year. Given to considerable speed, I was very surprised to get overtaken by him on the climb to Lose Hill. He'd gone walkabout off route. It happened again on the approach to CP8 above Ladybower. He'd been for a drink at a passing pub (yeah right). It happened again at the quarry at Bole Hill (he climbing up from the opposite direction). By that time he was resigned to the mediocrity of the masses, time-wise. Poor Jim. We enjoyed each other's company until the final manned checkpoint at Leadmill Bridge.
Paul Skuse at Bamford Mills weir.
As for my performance, based on recent examples I expected a PB, but I exceeded even my wildest expectations. The usual slowdown and nursemaiding myself along with sustenance after 2 hours never materialised. I continued to run strongly until after CP15 at Leadmill Bridge with 5 miles to go, when the nursemaiding finally began. 6:49 was an all-time PB by 40 minutes since this event's first running in 2009, and 1hr 8mins faster than last year. PB15 of the year. I-is-animal, make no mistake. ;-)
Coming back down to earth and reality, Stuart Walker broke the course record with 4:53. HE is animal!
I enjoyed the rare opportunity of company all the way round, running with Jamie Wood and Paul Skuse. Jamie suffered the dreaded nipple-chafe early on, drawing considerable quantities of blood, yet he battled on to the finish with barely a complaint. Micropore tape next time, Jamie.
Jim (6:41) explains to Helen Skelton (6:18) via map references.
My pictures are here.