Sunday 18 October 2015

Peak Raid 3 Round 1 Edale 2015

This morning I competed in a mini-mountain marathon out of Edale. It was Round 1 of the Peak Raid 3 series and had been suggested to me by Kim, the runners' physio. The format was a straightforward treasure hunt for points with a maximum time of 3 hours.

My route of 18km
The map was only revealed at starting and so there was little opportunity to weigh up options. The west of the map seemed to involve a lot of points on fells and the east had a high scoring point on a path. That made the decision clear for starting as I'm faster on paths and navigation is easier. I'd achieved 100 points in an under an hour and so had two hours to loop back past as many controls as possible.

As I went along the route became clear in my mind and the key goals were  to find the spots without too much circling and to keep up a solid pace. There was light fog on the edge of the Kinder plateau which made navigation a little harder, although the route I'd chosen was pretty fool proof. The mist did make spotting features a bit tougher than it might have been on a clear day but these damp conditions would favour the precise navigators. a small pond...
I was very pleased at finding the controls as planned and set off to contour from a crag back on to the the path for the final descent. This is where things became very hard. The bracken was chest high, dripping wet and the only respite was boggy streams. I became very wet and my calves started to cramp. After twice the expected time I reached the path with legs that just didn't want to perform. Within few hundred metres both calves cramped solid and I fell to the ground. Luckily I wasn't going very fast and after catching my breath and a quick stretch I was back on my way. Amazingly the legs behaved nearly all the way back to Edale although I had to keep my heels down more than I like to and I think I had a very mincing gait.

With only just over 8 minutes to spare I checked in with a very respectable 230 points. I certainly needed the coffee and ginger biscuits before changing into dry clothes and shoes to head home. Once cleaned up, the wounds from the fall were trivial although the tight muscles haven't relaxed even after roller work and stretching. I'll have to do more as soon as I've finished typing.

The results were released a little while ago and I was very pleased to place in the top third overall. The winner of this Round with over 400 points must have really gone for it! There was a punitive penalty system in place whereby 50 points were deducted for every minute over the 3 hours and a number of runners clearly misjudged their progress and paid dearly, in a few cases losing all of their points.

Explorer Events and the Edale marshals did a great job. This was my first try at something like this and I've now got my eye on the other rounds. The event had simple administration and the volunteers and other competitors were friendly and helpful. The entry fee was pretty reasonable too.

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