View from the inside.
The cake race over in the Saddleworth area was a fell race and was two installments in one. It was part of the grand Prix and the fell championship so as per normal we had a large turnout. The format for this one was if you took a home made cake you got free entry and all the said cakes were loaded onto 5 large tables then at the presentation for a small donation you got a brew and as much cake as you could eat. Well I considered anything less than 6 pieces would have been just rude.
Onto the start line and we had a few nervous faces due to debuts on the fells and the pre race kit inspection didn’t help much to calm the nerves. As usual I scanned the field for competitors and thoughts of a number one did spring to mind (well reach for the stars and all that). After my last debacle of getting lost I had a certain monkey to throw off my back and 1st places in championships are not to be sniffed at With a peep up the hill the path narrowed so right near the front it was as it would get crowded due to quite a large field.
The obligatory safety briefing appeared to be interrupted by the start hooter and it was off immediately to a climb and in true Mo Farrah style off I went This climb went on for around a mile and a half and I had no Red rose company (so far plan working). A little down and onto the next slope. This one was quite stunning with water cascading down to one side heading to a reservoir back down below. We headed up and up to a water crossing and a further slight up hill and to our left was a valley with views across to the runners coming up the slope I had just climbed and at last a down hill section. A lovely head wind made it feel like uphill and it went on for ages leading to what I thought was the steepest stone steps I’d ever seen going down made more difficult due to my eyes watering in the wind I couldn’t see the rough step edges properly. At the bottom it was flat and not windy but to my horror appeared the stairway to heaven going up and up the top wasn’t in view.
Climbing these hurt a little and at the top it was into the woods on wobbly legs and up hill again a little valley was then followed by a long steady climb and the legs came back to life. I dared to look back fully expecting a Red vest to be about to overtake and steal my number one but none was to be seen however strangely a loud whooping and wailing was up ahead. Mary Conway and Maureen Laney had not only made the long trip here but had also climbed a massive hill to cheer us on. What a boost and after high fives it was down hill all the way to the finish.
On a massive high there was no way a Red vest was getting my number one so up went the pace. At a stile I had a de ja vue moment about getting lost like last time but spotted a familiar land mark from near the start and bingo finish line.
One last twist from mother nature was the brightest lightning flash followed by a massive roll of thunder and down came hailstones as big as golf balls (glad I’d finished).
After a trip back up the last hill for our lantern rougess and a nice trip back down it was off to the cake feast and boy oh boy it didn’t dissapoint.