8 Bounders set off for the 30th Dentdale run on what turned out to be a stunningly beautiful sunny day. A little bit blustery but nothing too much to worry about. Myself, Nikki, Kevin and Chris all travelled together in Nikki’s car and a short 1 hour 45 minutes later we arrived in the beautiful village of Dent. The facilities were great. Clean close by toilet facilities (always a bonus for me) and the start line just a couple of minutes from the car park. We spent a short half hour socialising and finding our bearings before a prompt 1pm start.
As we stood at the start line a guy told me “whatever you do, don’t start off too fast, the first four miles are a killer”. I thanked him for the heads up. As we started I tried to bear this in mind. I ran along slowed by the crowd to start. I’d planned to maintain marathon race pace over what had promised to be a difficult course. I told myself to treat it purely as a training run. Seemingly everyone was overtaking me, crowds and crowds seemed to be passing, girls flying past and I started to panic. Was my Garmin working properly? did they know something I didn’t??? I panicked more the more people past me. Last year’s results had told me that a 1 hour 50 run would have me somewhere in the top twenty women and at this stage in the run I felt as though at least 100 had passed me already. Something felt wrong so I quickened my pace but all the time whirling in my head were the start line blokes words of warning. I didn’t know quite what to do.
Miles 2-3 I felt comfortable and okay so I decided to keep the “too fast” pace that the panicking had induced and just try to maintain it regardless of the terrors that I’d been warned lay ahead. I kept running. We reached 5 miles and I knew from the drive in that miles 5-9 were relatively flat. I felt confident. Surprisingly I found these miles the hardest and the longest drag. I like a hill to look like a hill. Not a pretend flat bit that lures you in then drags your legs just for the fun of it. I kept running. A guy ran beside me and started to chat. Where was I from etc. He said he was aiming for a 2 hour run. I looked at my watch. Panicked again. Was there actually something wrong with my garmin. I said to him “but you’re on course for a 1.50 aren’t you???” He looked at his watch. “ahhhh yeah he said, I always am but I die at the end, always do”.
I felt reassured again that I was on course but I was starting to feel tired. The guy overtook me and ran on. I felt a little despondent again but tried to remember it was my run. I needed to run it my way.
At this part of the run the scenery is spectacular, beautiful fields, you can see for miles, gorgeous day, blue skies and clean air.
I got to 10 miles, felt okay and thought, right come on. You can do your best for 4 miles. Come on! I picked up the pace and ran! I ran as hard as I could, picking women ahead to overtake. I’d overtaken quite a few just by the pace I’d maintained but now I ran it with a purpose. I was going purely for a position. (did I mention I’m NOT competitive??). I ran, it got harder, I saw the 2 hour bloke and ran past him, head down, straight up a hill. I kept going, got to a big hill and thought “oh no!”, my legs were tired, my hamstring burning, two guys overtook me, smiled as they went past. I just wasn’t having it. I put my head down and took it back, I just kept going up the hill, on my toes, pumping my arms determined to stay ahead and get my breath at the top. I overtook two more women. I ran, got to 13 miles and thought RIGHT!! 1.4 miles!! Let’s DO THIS. I started racing, then saw a woman, ran as fast as I could and overtook her, looked up and saw a MASSIVE hill. I’d literally only just overtaken her and I needed to catch my breath but now there was this hill. Right!! One mile, keep going as fast as I could. I charged up the hill, waiting for the top to catch my breath. I got to the top looked back and I had a big gap between the girl and I and I felt comfortable again, I regained some breath just as I looked up to see the next huge hill at approx. 13.7 miles! How kind!!! Right! Last push, I ran with as much as I had left in me, the hill didn’t end, it carried on ALL the way to the finish. I pushed hard, saw the finish and charged through! PHEW!! I stopped my watch.
What a gorgeous run. It was hard but I’d honestly enjoyed every minute of it. I’d enjoyed the tactics, the racing, and the seeing what I could do. I’d loved it. It’d been fun.
I got to the tea room and saw my position, time, and was greeted warmly by David Best, Ste Collins and David Walker. I went for my “packed lunch” and was very warmly welcomed by the ladies there. The lunches were gorgeous. Lovely fresh sandwiches, delicious homemade cakes, hot tea and scones. What more could you ask for?
We all had a fantastic run and we all loved it. It was an impeccably organised, very welcoming and lovely day out. Definitely one to be done next year. Mike Gill always recommended it and he was right!!
David Best – 1:31:01
David Walker – 1:41:11
Stephen Collins – 1:47:50
Lesley Lee – 1:48:12
Nicola Gloyne – 2:03:34
Kevin Lee – 2:03:38
Chris Boyd – 2:04:42
Mike Gill – 2:19:26
Photographs courtesy of Racing Snakes