|My poor battered shin!|
|Yippee....a road start!!|
The section from Ribblehead to Whernside was "interesting" to say the least. A lot of people come to support family and friends near this checkpoint so you start off with a bit of crowd-dodging (combined with puddle-dodging) on the narrow trail and then have to try to look athletic as you ascend a series of steps in full view of the supporters. After an underpass under the railway, there is a river to ford, a farm gate to hurdle, and a bog to splash through....and that's all before you start the ascent of Whernside proper.
The weather had closed in again, and so it appeared to be a climb up into the unknown until suddenly you landed almost on top of the marshals in their high-viz jackets (full respect to them standing up there as it was now starting to snow!). I think they were trying to encourage runners but reporting that it was the end of that climb, but unfortunately it was the downhill that I was dreading! Several of the men that I had encouraged on the way up then shot past me on the way down, including Ant and Steve, (with Steve commenting that my descending wasn't "that bad", it was just "average" - I wasn't sure whether I was meant to take that as a compliment or not) and I slipped back into 6th female position again ;-( I spotted the familiar vest of Claire Gordon (my Scottish team mate from Pike's Peak last summer) away in the distance below me and so managed to catch her up just by the next checkpoint, and we commiserated each other on how much we hated technical descents.
|Chicking Steve © Mick Kenyon racingsnakes.com|
|About to be overtaken again © Mick Kenyon racingsnakes.com|
|In the finish funnel|