15th May - Steve and I had both entered the Fellsman which was on Saturday 14th starting at 9am. The weather forecast was ok - blustery, cloudy with some rain. A last minute change to two checkpoints meant navigation and google were necessary! New maps printed and marked up. I thought my legs were still tired and so tried to set off steadily. Looking forward to beans, rice pud, fruit salad and the other culinary delights I made my way across Whernside, Gregareth and Great Coum concentrating on remembering the route and eating. A slight "sheepnish" off Great Coum had me running off the wrong way before logic kicked in and I veared right to the wall. After that navigation went very well and no more mistakes were made.
I filled up with beans at Dent but felt very tired up towards Blea Moor and was worried I had overcooked it. Getting a good line and descent off Blea Moor was encouraging and I ran into Stonehouses a lot happier. I always think of Great Knotberry as a long slog and am pleased to be running down and off towards Redshaw. Here I had black coffee which really hit the spot. The next section is my "pace tester" - if I can run a lot of the uphill towards Snaizeholme I know my legs are good and I will be alright. Even though it was boggy I ran sections and so was happy. My stomach was better than last year - I was eating well and looking forward to food. Across Fleet Moss I was good and stuck to the south of the wall although in was rough going. Contouring across I was pleased to see the waving arms of the new checkpoint. On a bearing I headed for the wall but lost count of the groughs I dropped in and out of, eventually I found the wall and the running was much better. I was told at that CP that I was 4th which surprised me a lot.
At Cray I asked for rice pud and fruit salad much to their surprise. Filling my container half of rice pud I then topped it up with fruit salad and gave it a good shake - brilliant I thought "this will see me nearly to the end". I set off up Buckden working out whether I could get through Park Rash without grouping. Pushing on I thought it should be do able. I reached the CP at 7.10pm and went straight through. I could see someone climbing high up - it was nice to "have company". As I reached the top I looked back and saw someone leaving the CP - I didn't want to be caught so ran all the gentle uphill and was catching the next person. Just as I caught him and was about to speak he decided to go to the loo so looking the other way I ran past. That made me 3rd which was exciting - I didn't think it would last but the legs were on a roll so getting the last gel down I ploughed on. The sun was setting and it was good to be on the home straight. Through Capplestone, down, up, across fields and down the track to Yarnbury at 8.30pm. Sub 12 hours must be on I thought and set off fast down the road. That didn't last as I'm not a roadrunner at the best of times but I managed a good jog all the way down, along the road, up and into the school. Finished ... 11.51 hrs and there was Adam Perry having finished 5 minutes beforehand. Jez Bragg had a good run and broke the record in 10.06 hours. I broke my own record too by 48 minutes!
Steve completed in 20.27 hrs - an exceptional performance since he has hardly run since the Watershed in March. He had a good group and they helped one another through bad patches. Initially it was "never again" but I've already heard him say "if I did a little training I could do a lot better and maybe even enjoy it" !!.