Sunday, 22 March 2009

Wuthering Shuffle

I was saying....more about the Wuthering Hike. It was a full week after the HPM and although I had dug deep for that I expected to be recovered. Well, welcome the the real world old man!! Seems like these days I might need to factor in those recovery periods everyone else seems to talk about. Set off into the teeth of a strong head wind which, of course, was the same for everyone only it seemed to affect me more than most. It quickly became obvious that this year was going to hurt and, as I gradually fell back in the pack I resigned myself to a (relatively speaking) steady plod. Around mile 13 I was feeling pretty sorry for myself but got chatting to Kate Jenkins as she went past me. Turned out she was feeling crap too - fighting sciatica - I'm sure I didn't brighten her day with my tale of woe but somehow we both forgot our inward issues, got nattering away and before we knew it had hit the next checkpoint. By this time we had stopped going backwards too so that helped. Crossing the main valley on the way to Mankinholes provided some comedy moments as people converged from all directions (most of then clearly sub-optimal!). As last year, the climb to Stoodley seemed to freshen my legs and I regained contact with Adrian Davies. The terrible knee wrecker descent down to Hebden Bridge was not a barrel of laughs but on the climb up to Heptonstall I spied Ross Litherland and Mike Nelson - fellow Macclesfield Harriers who I thought were well ahead. Turns out that catching them up had varying effects - Mike wilted backwards, Ross behaved like a man with a rocket up his a** and took off at a fair clip. The final few miles were hard but thats the same for everyone and I was amazed to creep in under 5 hours (by 2 minute) after what earlier seemed like it was going to be a 6 hour plus effort. Allowing for the headwind etc it looks like I am around 10% slower than my best times - is that age or can it be rectified by more training, stretching and determination. We shall see.

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