By Rick Ansell
The weekend didn’t get off to a very good start when, through utter incompetence on my part I failed to meet up with Paul on the campsite we had booked and camped on the wrong campsite.
Preparing for a navigation event and failing to find the correct campsite didn’t bode well…Although I had followed the link Paul sent and made the booking I hadn’t really taken note of what campsite the link was for and just assumed it was Upper Booth. On arrival I didn’t find Paul’s car and imagined he had just given up waiting and gone to the pub.
It was only after a couple of pints in the said pub where I didn’t find Paul and, returning to the campsite I noticed it was called Upper Booth and not Greenacres which was the name of the place I had booked, did it begin to dawn on me that maybe I had gatecrashed another site that had lots of signs saying: ‘Full, Bookings only.’ I wondered if maybe my booking at Greenacres would be valid here….I laid low and left early.
The second error was not to have taken note of the event centre. I’d just assumed it was somewhere near Edale and I had to drive about the valley for a while looking for a field full of cars. There were several, I discovered but most were just car parks for day trippers and nothing to do with the race. I was feeling a little flustered when I finally found the correct place and some friendly faces and a rather bemused Paul.
The event was on the southern and northern slopes of Kinder with the option of crossing the Snake Road and running up onto Rowlee Pasture for some controls there. The main Kinder plateau was all out of bounds which meant going out along the southern edge and retracing your steps, going round the end of Crookstone Knoll and along the northern slopes before doubling back again. With hindsight this was the best thing to do as much of it was on runnable paths. In the heat of battle, though it seemed like a lot of toing and froing and so I opted to cross the road and visit Rowlee Pasture and its very unrunnable tussocks.
My mind was rather on next weekend’s adventure with Lynda much of the time and my navigation was hesitant and my progress a little unfocussed and undetermined. With 50 minutes remaining I found myself crossing back over the Snake and bumped into Paul looking for a signpost in a farmyard. After his last effort when he was back late he was playing safe and was on his way home round the hill and finished with five minutes to spare.
I was beginning to get into my stride now and feeling greedy and lined up a further 150 points. I reckoned I needed 60 minutes for this so knew I would be late. 5 minutes late would lose me just 10 points, 10 minutes and I would lose 35. Anything more and it’s game over. Could I make it back less than 10 minutes late? There was a big climb. Would that last run down be fast or horribly rough? I could have missed out a control and saved a bit of time and distance but I fancied the line. Every little trod that helped me through the heather was cheered inwardly but the chest high bracken on the descent was cursed at full volume. 9 minutes late, 30 penalty points. I could have saved those nine minutes by missing a 30 point control.
What the hell, I’d enjoyed the day, had a good run out before the Joss Naylor and none of the aches and pains of recent days had troubled me.
1 David Petit 470
20 Rick Ansell 360 (3 V 60)
42 Paul Terret 310 (15 V50)
After two rounds (best three of four to count overall), I’m 4th in V60 and Paul 7th in V50.