Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Kinder Downfall fell race recce

Sunday was a glorious day, sunshine and a cool breeze - perfect for running in the hills.  I'd arranged to run the Kinder Downfall race route with a friend, just to get a feel for how I'll get on during the race which is coming up on 22 April. To my delight Beryl and Carl from Glossopdale Harriers joined us so their past experience of this race was going to be useful in learning a few quicker lines around the edge of Kinder.

The race is about 16km with around 600m of ascent. The route is mostly uphill from the start to about the 5km mark, then it undulates round the edge to Kinder Low and for the last 5km or so it descends back down to Hayfield.

My reason for reccying the route was because I was curious to know how long it would take me, I've done bits of the route before, just not in one go. It's not a route I needed to worry about navigation on either, knowing the area and all the paths removes that obstacle.

I'd mentally broken the ascent into three sections - up the Snake Path to the White Cabin (followed by the short sharp descent to the reservoir), then up William Clough, a short slight drop to the bottom of the final brutal climb up to the top of Kinder corner. The run wasn't about speed, I was just out to get a feel for the climbs and see how a bimble-run time would compare to previous results.

Heading up William Clough - the second of the three uphill sections

Beryl almost at the top of William Clough
Near the top of the final climb to Kinder corner.
Carl is looking back northwest as I've just spotted Tim + two other runners + dog. We'd dropped them off at Monks Road on the way over to Hayfield. We later heard they'd run towards Little Hayfield then over to Sandy Heys. A decent leg stretch for Tim considering he ran 38km only a couple of days before.

Me and my shadow....looking back towards Kinder corner with Mermaids Pool clearly visible

The edge path...undulations and rocks....important to pick your feet up or risk tripping

Leaving Edale Cross behind we head off down to Hayfield

This run was the second outing for new fell shoes - INOV8 x-talon 212's. I have to say, they are very comfortable, light and grippy. Just what you need in the hills, though in the dry conditions on this run did give me a bruised heel a few days later. I'll have to consider the shoe options carefully on race day.

It was a stunning day to be out running. I did more eating and drinking practice (to avoid the cramp scenario like I got at the end of Kinder Trial) and felt really strong. We rolled back into what will be the finish area down near Hayfield cricket ground after about 2hrs 15mins and 15km. There were plenty of stops to check out better lines, trods and just to enjoy the views. I'll be aiming to run into the finishing funnel in under 2 hours on race day. Wish me luck!!


  1. All the best for the Kinder Downfall. Its a great event one of my favourites.

    1. Thanks Steve, are you running it this year?

  2. Not this year. I have got the Highlander MM the week before which will take me a while to recover from.

    I look forward to reading your write up.

    1. Good Luck with the MM...look out for Glossopdale Harriers...we have at least 1 entered.