Thursday, 2 January 2014

Famous Grouse fell race 5.2mi. 24/11/2013.

Race 10 of 10 in the 2013 Hayfield Championship series.

Grand Slam or no Grand Slam, I would have been here anyway. It's one of my local favourite lung-burners and knee-trashers. It has a long steep uphill start that has me nearly blacking out with the effort, tunnel vision an' all. Ooh the sadistic pleasure of pushing the body to its limits in the safe knowledge that it's moving slowly enough not to do itself serious damage should the lights really go out.

The familiar ups and downs ensued once again on part of the Bullock Smithy Hike route up to Big Stone and down to Peep O' Day before the slanting contour that delivered us eventually to that surprising final climb that shouldn't really be there if they got their route properly optimised. ;-)

I enjoyed a tussle with Tim Ruck on his comeback from an extended lay-off. He caught me on that final climb. His sudden indecent burst of speed pulled him ahead as we began our long, leg-trashing descent back to the finish. I reeled him in again but not quite enough to catch him before the line. Well done Tim.

That final climb as Tim does his overtaking manoeuvre.

I managed 0:49:42, which was 23 seconds slower than my PB in 2010, when we enjoyed perfect deep-frozen conditions (this year was back to normal with soft sogginess).

Food, drink and presentations were had back in The Grouse Inn. Jack Ross, the style icon with the proper hat ('thumbup'), won in 0:34:53. Second was Christopher Leigh in 0:35:54. Third was Tom Bush in 0:36:39. First woman and 7th overall was Olivia Walwyn in 0:38:40.

A few of us won the Grand Slam award for completing all 10 Hayfield races. Mine required a successful "Race within a race", which was one of the highlights of my racing year.

Here are the pictures I managed to take.

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