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A Dash to the Fells

Rewind to November 2005. Abbey Dash followed by a sprint to Silsden for Rivock Edge Fell race. Engage memory - seemed OK. So, when the opportunity to run the double arose again I thought, 'Why not?' It was only when my other half exploded with apoplexy declaring 'What the **** are you doing that for - last time you were injured for 6 months and hell to live with' that the true horror of what I had agreed to returned from those deep recesses of my mind that keep the pain of racing, along with those of childbirth, locked safely from waking consciousness.

Ah well. It was a risk worth taking (frankly I blame circuits the next day for the resultant doom, so I was going to be fine.......................). Having spent the last week battling a severe bout of sleeping sickness (bed at 10 3 nights in a row?!!) and an aversion to alcohol (??**!!?) I felt quietly confident that even the threat of an impending cold front, 3 foot of snow and a wind chill factor of -127 would not stand in the way of success. Parker duly arrived and we went to the Dash, parked sensibly for a quick get-away and sat in the warmth of the car until far too late. Got to the start realising that even a scant warm-up had been neglected and stood hopefully at the sub-40min mile mark. It was then I realised that, unlike everyone else who had stood outside their front door that morning and worked out that it wasn't that cold, I was sporting 3 arctic base-layers, hat and gloves, whilst just shorts and a vest seemed the preferred order of the day.

Ah well. The Dash was quite painless, I cheered all those trying hard as they passed me on their route back, I stuck resolutely to my sub-47 min pace, and finished quite happily with 46.20(ish). Parker and I rendezvoused at the third lion to the right and ran to the car for the trip to Silsden. I changed into my reserve set of 3 arctic base-layers (after-all this was now a fell race and it gets jolly chilly up on them there hills - Keith changed his shoes.....), a bag of Jelly Babies and a couple of mini-rolls later we arrived, entered and even made the start of the race! Now for those of you who don't know Rivock Edge, it is an AM category 3-Peaks-counting corker. A little jaunt along the canal, through some woods, up some hills with those bogs that look firm but give way to a gaping abyss the minute you even wave a Walsh over its crust, more woods, a trig point, photographers galore, and a pub at the end. Oh, and a load of Explorer Scouts marshalling and the best route-flagging I've seen in ages. Even I could not have got lost here! For a novice to the joy of the Fells it's a must!

Needless to say the race was hard work, legs that had been lulled into a false sense of security rebelled at their second effort, lungs were spent and even the arctic base layers could not prevent my entire bottom half from losing contact with reality. The pint at the end eased the pain, as did the knowledge that we weren't actually last, but moreover it's proof that anything is possible...........if you're daft enough to try it!

Sue B

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