By Jerome McAllister
Off-road, Pendle Way in a Day, alternative route, Saturday 3 April 2021. Approx. 30miles with 4534ft ascent (46km, 1382m).
“These hills look big,” I said to myself as I drove the last few miles towards the race venue. Except for a run over Windy Hill near Bolton in February whilst there with work, my last time in the hills was in September 2020.
Having entered the race 3 weeks before the event, not expecting to get in as there was a waiting list, I had to get some long runs in and hope that would do, as I live in a particularly flat part of Northamptonshire and had no chance of getting any meaningful elevation on my training runs.
I set off around 08:15. With it being a timed race rather than mass start there was no waiting to get though gates and such, which was nice. I opted for a bum bag, so the Tring vest was on full display. A few asked where it was and were surprised how far I had travelled, but I did explain that I did not live there. Although legal I was still concerned I wasn’t exactly staying local, but I met a number of Geordies who had travelled a similar distance which made me feel less guilty.
We finally headed onto the moors after a fair bit of tarmac, the sun was trying to poke out from the clouds and all was very, very good.
Meandering pace was the theme, lap up the atmos’ and have a good day out. I was a bit confused by the signage at the second checkpoint as the lane said Private Property, so took the path around only to be called back, phew. I was then keeping pace with the chap who called me back (Matt) and we struck up a conversation and stuck together from then on. He was local, however, not confident on this part of the route and I had laminated printouts and my watch to help.
We started the climb up Pendle Hill and Matt explained he was having injections for his back every 3 months. At £300 a pop and having had his last one 2 weeks ago he was a little disappointed when his back was twinging on the climb. He said that there was a longer route down but would most likely be less busy than the race route down the steps. This was a really good call as when looking up to our left it was like a procession of people all the way up the steps.
The route was a little confusing across the last few fields. We chose a route somewhere between the race route, my watch and his local knowledge which was more or less the same mileage and climb. Much like my, “these hills look big,” thought this morning my old demon, “you could walk it from here,” came back so I was glad of Matt’s company to keep me going. I think I need to have my head read about this one!
A bottle of the best beer I’ve had in a long time awaited us at the finish, as did glorious sunshine and an iron on patch as a memento.
There were 46 finishers and my 3rd place is my joint best result on any race ever so well chuffed!
|Place||Bib||Racer nameAffiliation||Category||Gender||Finish time||Difference % back % winning time % average time % median time|
|1||119||Tim PigottBarlick Fell Runners||M||M||4:48:31||–|
|2||44||Mick DobsonTrawden AC||M||M||4:52:56||+4:25|
|3||99||Jerome McAllisterTring RC||M||M||5:28:34||+40:03|
|4||166||Chris CampbellTrawden AC||M||M||5:38:43||+50:12|
|5||69||Matthew HaworthTrawden AC||M||M||5:42:03||+53:32|
|6||46||Zulma EdmondsonManchester YMCA Harriers||F||F||6:02:28||+1:13:57|