Last weekend I competed in Grewelthorpe’s Panoramic Peaks 13km multi terrain race.
It is a challenging course that takes in some of the toughest climbs and best views in the area. You work your way up back roads, farmers’ fields, fords, moors and woodland – adjacent to the Swinton Estate near Masham. It might be a slightly more challenging course than the average multi terrain, with some interesting ascents that are well worth the effort.
It was a crisp, sunny Sunday morning and the scenery was breath-taking. It’s a single lap race climbs above and descends back into the picturesque Dales village of Grewelthorpe (near Masham) and finishes just outside the village.
I didn’t have any expectations – just that I knew it was going to be both pretty and painful.
I set off at the start and I felt good. In fact, I felt really good – a couple of minutes in and I realised that I was the first lady and about 15th overall. Maybe I’m going too fast? I thought to myself. But the pace felt comfortable to me. You’ve got to trust your gut. I’ll just take it as it comes and adjust accordingly, I said in my head.
The climbs were like nothing I’ve ever done before. They were steep and they sprung up on us often. But what goes up, must come down. I haven’t done a great deal of hill work before but I realised that I’m pretty speedy on the decent. Many men seemed to slow at this point, watching their footing. I was confident in my little feet and just let them go. At about the 4k mark on a considerable downhill stretch I managed to over take quite a few.
The hills got harder. But in a strange way the difficulty didn’t get to me because I was in such shock of how well I was doing. I kept the rhythm going and picturing the finish (apologies to the beautiful scenery, you would have been much more appreciated had I been walking the dog).
By about 9K, and with the climbs still coming, I can safely say that this was harder than a half marathon.
The last stretch was bliss. Nobody was close behind me but and my legs were happy to stretch out into a sprint.
I couldn’t believe it. I was the first lady to finish and fourth overall. And I set the ladies record.
It’s not only failure that can make us want to push on and do better, but achievements too.
Keep running and keep achieving!
All the best,