The Lost Year Pt1: Howgills

The following three posts are an overview of the Lost Year (the last 12 months). They include posts written soon after the events with additional editing as well as new material.

Position, 4th/5th, 122 finishers. 04h 25m 30s
Total Distance: 42.2km (approx. 26.2miles)
Total Ascent: approx. 1410m (approx. 4651ft)

Despite concerns raised in my last post about under-training, I approached the Sunday of the Howgills pretty good. A few things account for this. The primary reason being that my little brother Rob was running too and I was buoyed by his if-it-happens-deal-with-it attitude, that and competition always seems to get to me…

So with Bagels for Breakfast and a lot of random Katy Perry Dubstep Remixes in my head we toed the line.

The first 1.5miles was fairly genteel but even at this stage Kim Collison (the eventual winner at 03:38:04) was already blitzing ahead. The climb up Winder, then to Calders and The Calf, all within the first 5miles, was primarily a walk, back stooped, hands on legs, pumping up hill. It was at this point Robert and I parted company.

At this stage I figure I was in a kinda “third” group of about 4 or 5 – Kim off on his own, and Charles Sproson and Sam Blanshard forming a second group between. On the downhill section along the Bowderdale I let my self go and pulled myself in to a convincing fourth place, mostly out of site of those behind and only occasionally glimpsing those ahead.

At about Weasdale (12 miles) I realised that someone was gaining. This turned out to be Jack Simpson who caught me just prior to the check-point at Ravenstonedale.

At the School I was meet by three smiling young ladies (consisting of girlfriend Amy, and two friends Rebecca and Becca) who clapped encouragement and who pointed me in the direction of cake. Assuring me they would see Rob through I set off again.

Coming in to the check-point and then leaving with Jack, I don’t know who feel in to step with whom. (I suspect he had the better pace and I was continually playing catch-up!) But so it was we ran the rest of the course. At a couple of places Sproson and Blanshard where tantalising close but I know I was unable to pull anything extra out of the bag.

Of course with 50m to go to the finish both Jack and myself made a gentlemanly pact to sprint to finish, which we did, none of our timers registering as we crossed, so having to put on the brakes and walk back over the line. Honestly I think we could take at least 3 seconds off our time.

Meanwhile Rob was going strong. At the Ravenstonedale check-point (so I was informed) he too shoveled down several pieces of cake much to the delight of the point attendees and relished in the attention of the race photographers. I think he enjoyed his first marathon.

Rob's return
Rob’s return

Overall two points were learnt: race pace needs to be trained for (to sustain it) and jelly cubes make good energy snacks.


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