Marsden to Edale
Trigger race report
I couldn't sleep the night before as I was worried something would go wrong. I couldn't think what it would be as we had tried to think of most things and as Woodhead Mountain Rescue had taken over the tasks of checkpoint manning, runner tracking and catering we mainly had registration, finish and prizes to sort. The weather was very kind to us. We did quite a few things that we wouldn't have been able to if it had been a typical wet and windy day. I really wanted a) Registration to be quick and efficient b) An accurate tally of how many runners set off and who they were. c) Accurate finish times and positions d) Enough decent food to feed all runners / marshalls no matter what time they come off the hill e) The Prize giving to be at around the time we said. And of course lots of other things like not to have to search for anybody and not to have any serious injuries - all the usual "out of our hands" stuff that I think all organisers hope for.
There are a few things we want to improve on for next year; toilets at the start, a finish funnel at the end, a bigger van for the bag drops (mine was crawling to Edale apparently). But overall I think we achieved a smooth, efficient, friendly race and I really hope that we can run the same next year. Many thanks for all the brilliant comments and write ups I have seen. It really makes all the effort worthwhile to know that you all enjoyed the race as much as I did.
I have done loads of thanks elsewhere mainly in the news / supporters pages on the www.marsdentoedale.co.uk website, but a massive thank you to all that were involved in the race especially Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team and my husband Steve; the Trigger would not have happened without them.
I was pleased that Registration was completed by 8.35am (which was astounding) so I could get on with my preparations. I then changed (a few times) missed the toilet queue (something to look at for next year) and was ready for off. I just wanted to be running. What with organising and coming back from Colombia a week previously (so had very uncooperative legs) there was no way I was racing this as I would normally. Steve said a few words and then Andy set us off. I was happy; the race was on its way. I was smiling as I jogged up the road just enjoying being part of it. This was my personal reason for organising the race - I wanted to run it !! The weather was absolutely stunning. Its always a long drag to Black Hill but I took it steady and enjoyed it. I knew Kinder would be tough whatever.
Passing Black Hill Trig the Woodhead guys were friendly and seemed happy. Down into Crowden Little Brook taking one fall on frozen grass of all things. Over the shallow stream, more words of encouragement from Mountain Rescue and off along the icy track to Crowden. Here the race gets interesting with more route choices available. I knew mine though and tried to shake a few runners off behind me as I didn't want to share it! I was chatting to Keith Holmes on the way to Higher Shelf Trig. It was confusing in the clear; all the reccies I had done were in the clag and so I didn't recognise anything (except the stones of course) but the direct line seemed obvious but then again seemed more lumpy that I remember! Anyhow what with Mountain Rescue stood by the Trig there was never any doubt which way I had to go.
Now to the Snake; a nice bit of running on paths again. I was thinking "it will soon all be over" and then corrected myself. It always appears from the Snake that Edale is just over the hill but its a big, lumpy hill! Once again I was running with Keith and we had given up (or I had) trying to beat each other. Chatting away we set off towards Withins Clough and again I couldn't decide just which gruff we usually ascend Kinder as I had never seen it. So back to the bearing then! The heather seemed deep but then it always does with tired legs. I got a couple of gels down but the climb went quickly and off on a bearing to the Trig. "You've just missed Ian Winterburn" the marshalls called. That cheered us up and we set off towards the Downfall. Up the river was treacherous - big slabs of ice everywhere, I was trying to stay on one side or the other but still had to keep crossing ice. Down I went again but nothing serious. Over the crossing there were rocks in sight ; I stuck to my bearing having come a cropper on Kinder before and ended up looking over at the wrong side. I didn't need that now!
Onto the path, there was Grindslow. "Oh its nearly all over, can we do it again?". Down the mirage of paths to Edale but such a lovely soft finish really. A chivalrous runner held the gate open for me and then I, very unladylike (or not?) took off down the road and beat him! 4.08 hours - I'm very pleased with. 2nd Lady and 1st V40.