Sunday 12 January 2014

Janathon #12 plus the Trigger Race

We had snow yesterday morning, and with clear skies overnight there's been a keen frost. Looking up to James Thorn (on the edge of Bleaklow) it's still got a white covering, and that's where we were heading today. I'd calculated that the Trigger race runners would be passing Higher Shelf Stones check point from around 11am, and that might include a couple of our faster club members so I wanted to be there to offer moral support. Tim and I left home about 10.15am, slightly changing our intended route up to avoid the icy cold waters in the boggy section of Doctors Gate. Our route took us up behind Shelf Benches, past James Thorn and up to the 621 trig point at Higher Shelf Stones. The first initial climb of about 2.5km was the same as our run last weekend, but today with the icy headwind it felt much harder. Looking at the times for comparison (strava segments!) we (well I) was 2mins slower today. Yes, I was carrying more kit, but that didn't account for how much harder it felt today. We pondered whether I might have an iron deficiency...I'll be researching that later.

looking NE/East from near Higher Shelf Stones
Reaching the trig point we were greeted by three mountain rescue chaps on the race check point, a small tent/shelter which I dove straight in to put on more warm clothes. The wind on top was Bitter with a Capital B. I also cracked hand warmers for each glove, any thing more than a brief second out of your gloves and fingers were numbing instantly. We were soon joined by a few friends from Glossop who'd walked in, and than another club runner trotter in. Not long after the runners started coming by in dribs and drabs, (we'd actually missed the first racers and our club gazelle, Mark O). Some we knew - Glossopdale Harriers, Carnarthy, Pennine and Dark Peak; others were cheered on with just as much enthusiasm and encouragement. These guys and girls had been running for about 2.5hrs, and still had about 1.5-2hrs to go crossing the Kinder Plateau before their final descent into Edale for the race finish.
4 Supporters on left, 3 mountain rescue/marshalls on right

We only stopped for about 20 minutes but the cold was getting too much even with extra layers on. Setting off back down the hill neither of us stripped any of the warm layers off; the wind had really picked up and the temperature had dropped in such a short space of time. A steady pace brought us back home, covering about 11km in total in about 1hr 40mins. What a glorious run, the Peak District and especially Bleaklow is a fabulous place to go play in!

Glossopdale Harrier, Caity Rice almost at the check point/trig, Chris Jackson just behind

Brae the wonder dog, with runners leaving the check point/trig towards Snake Summit then onto Kinder
runners dropping off the top of the trig point; Kinder Plateau in the distance looking moody

Me running towards Mossy Lea on the final descent home

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