Sunday, 25 August 2013

Half the Edale Skyline

I ran half of the Edale Skyline route yesterday, about 18km with nearly 900m ascent. My aim was to run it as a long steady distance (LSD), keeping my heart rate steady, not letting it get too high on ascents. I am wanting to run the whole route this year, but need to build up the distance steadily over the next 3 months. This run was a good opportunity for me to see how long it would take me to get to Mam Tor, and, to satisfy my curiosity, whether I would get there before the magic race cut off time of 2hrs 45mins. Given that I wouldn't be pushing on the run, and definitely not at race pace, I had no thoughts on how long it would take me. I was just out for an LSD and to enjoy the scenery. Here's a few photographs:

Looking down towards Edale, nearly at the top of Ringing Roger
Looking up to the top of Ringing Roger

Looking towards Hope Cross from the south edge of Kinder
Jaggers Clough in the foreground with Win Hill and Lose Hill

The path on south edge of Kinder, heather in full purple bloom

Lose Hill from above Hope Brink

Win Hill from Lose Hill summit

The Mam Tor ridge from Lose Hill summit
As you can see, it was a rather overcast day. The temperature was pleasant, if not a bit muggy so even when it rained on me whilst on the southern edge of Kinder I ran in just a t-shirt. The key time was obviously reaching Mam Tor within the cut-off time and I was really pleased to get to Mam Nick in a total of 2:26:54. Actual moving time was 2:21:22 so stopping to take photos and a couple of brief pauses only added 5 minutes on.

Tim had kindly dropped me off at Edale, thereby avoiding adding on a link section of a few kilometres. He then parked at Mam Tor and ran the route backwards until we met up, we'd envisaged that being somewhere on Win Hill. Sure enough, after about 11km each we were running together, down Win Hill towards Twitchill Farm. The climb up to Lose Hill summit is brutal; my calves were screaming but I was determined to walk with purpose and not stop. Managing this I paused only briefly to take a few photos at the summit, and then we were off again along the ridge. Knowing that the drag up Mam Tor isn't entirely runnable for me I stuck to Tim's heals on the flatter section from Back Tor to Hollins Cross, he really did help me keep the momentum up on that bit.

So, my plan is to get some progressively longer runs done each week and see how I get on with that. One of those runs will be the second half of the skyline route, just to prepare myself for what's coming. The full Edale Skyline is about 34km with 1373m ascent, so I've a bit of work to do yet.

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