Report from Stephen Boddy:
In a shameless and undignified attempt to challenge the more deserving Tom Lynch for Runner of the month, I decided to do both the London Marathon and the 3 Peaks Fell Race within the same week.
The marathon ended in a complete shambles for myself and I am always impressed with people who judge them so well. The marathon is a beast I’m yet to properly tame and disappointingly, on my fifth attempt, I felt as far away from an evenly paced run as I was in my first. Just to put in context, after a traffic-filled first two miles, Tom ran the next 24.2 miles all between 6:20 and 6:40min/miles!
So off I trekked to Horton where I knew I would definitely have to complete the course to stand any chance of competing with Tom for the much coveted April 2017 ROM award, nerves were jangling, I could smell the Shiraz already, or was it sheep shit?
We set off up towards Penyghent and my legs immediately felt tired, I exchanged places with Steve Robinson several times up and down the first peak and, as ever, it was good to see a friendly face. John Armitstead’s warning about going too hard between Penyghent and Whernside resonated with me at this point and I settled into a very gentle trot. I was very worried about cramping again after the London debacle so was running well within myself. After a very quick chat with Tom Pomfrett at Ribblehead I set off straight up the face of Whernside where, according to the online results slip, I overtook 100 people before reaching the summit. The descent off Whernside was tough on my quads and the following climb up Ingleborough was tough on my morale. I was deep in a real energy trough when out from the greyness of the rocks popped a jelly baby laden angel in the shape of Andrew Robertshaw. Just beyond him I passed the eagle eyed Tom Lynch and my morale was soaring again now as I knew it was downhill back to Horton and I was well in touch of the sub 5 hour target I had set myself.
Apart from the very occasional shooting cramps I had a really strong finish and ran my quickest miles of the race at the end which is always a very positive way to finish. It’s a brilliant and horrible event but I’m instantly hooked and will be back again next year with fresher legs.
Haven’t seen the results but I know Steve battled home despite suffering badly from cramp on top of Whernside and I think, from strava, Ed got a good time but it was one he wasn’t too enamoured with. Some fella with a great name won it and another of the leaders got lost coming off Whernside(!!). Ricky Lightfoot, of Northern Monk Brew Co fame, started but had to pull out through injury.