Some Stuff About Me ......

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I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with my wonderful wife and soul-mate Helen. I have two incredible sons - Evan and Matthew - who are occasionally show up at home, usually when they're hungry or need money. The three of them are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love them all. I spent over 24 years in the Royal Navy, but since I packed it all in and got a proper job my life has gone from strength to strength and I've never looked back. I am a die-hard soul music fan and this remains a serious passion, but in recent years my life has been dedicated to running on the fells and trails of Northern England, it's what I was made for. Please read about my adventures and experiences ...

Monday, 20 January 2014

Mudfest & Pies

Myself and Helen did the Hebden 22 LDWA event on Saturday along with some friends from Nidd Valley Runners and Calderdale Fell Runners. These LDWA events (hereabouts at least) are very popular with off-road runners and as long as nobody gets too competitive or wears a club vest, the organisers are happy - and I should think so too, it must boost their funds no end! Anyhow, I hadn't done the Hebden before but I knew it was a tough one with tricky navigation and so it proved: Lots of very muddy terrain and a series of sharp climbs, it certainly woke me out of my reverie.

I made a bit of a schoolboy error and started off wearing my heavy waterproof jacket when it just wasn't justified, of course within 15 minutes I was bathed in sweat and didn't dare take the blasted jacket off in case the windchill got me.The result was that I got quite dehydrated and on the final climb was struggling with cramp in both adductors, very annoying and entirely my fault. Once we topped out I saw that the group I was running with had managed to increase their lead on me by about 200yds, so once my legs had loosened up it was a balls-out effort down the descent and run back into Mytholmroyd to catch up. I really threw myself down that final descent, probably giving it a bit more than was justified given the conditions, however I'm pleased to say I caught 'em, though I think on a good day I might have managed to sneak past in the final sprint home. As it was, Helen and I reached the village hall together in 4:29:27, honour satisfied.

Quite a few people from outside the area had travelled to do the Hebden and it was nice to catch up with some people I hadn't seen for a while. Actually, something that made me smile was that while we were waiting for the off, a guy with a strong Wirral accent was proclaiming his expertise and that he'd ran in Yorkshire before and it wasn't that bad. I think he must still be eating his words, because I saw him come in around a couple of hours after us, white-faced and complaining bitterly about the terrain. Poor guy.

All in all a superbly organised event and the BEST way to spend a Saturday I can think of. Due to the early start (0900), there was lots of time to loll around the hall afterwards and chat with other runners. There were some damned good ones present too. The food was ace and after a delicious helping of pie and peas, followed by apple crumble and custard, all washed down with a couple of mugs of tea, well, I was feeling at my most convivial. You wouldn't get this at your local 10K, that's for sure.

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