Report from Graham Lake
Trail – 33 miles 4000ft ascent
Having had to postpone this event from autumn, and re-route it to stay within the Tier 3 boundaries of West Yorkshire, Ryk Downes did a great job of getting this race on.
I’d upped my mileage since summer, and was enjoying the longer runs while I have more time, and no other racing. The event was run in a socially distanced manner, starting at Station Top in Otley, with competitors setting off every few minutes. After a walk up the chevin, some road and mud round Bramhope, Yeadon and Esholt, the route picked up the Rombalds Stride course. As many club members know, this can be boggy, and Saturday was no exception. I’d been eating, and felt good though, and other than a pause to put on my waterproof it was fairly plain sailing.
However, on hitting the easier running on the slabs up to the Ilkley moor trig point I started to feel hungry, then all my energy left me. This was about 20 miles in. I decided to eat my emergency sausage roll (Morrison’s ‘the best’), and a marathon, and two handfuls of sweets. I walked a fair way down Keighley road, but felt my energy returning approaching rocky valley. Had a caffeine gel and I was off, re-overtaking a few runners. You weren’t really racing with anyone, which was a shame, as you don’t know what time they set off.
Approaching Menston the end was in sight, just the other side of the not insignificant Chevin end. Heading in to High Royds I was a bit dismayed seeing the runner ahead just carry on down the road, but I decided to let this go; its only a race (and I caught him anyway). Nice to see Bods at the top of the hill, and we had a nice chat down to the finish.
All in all a good day out, and my first ultra (if you don’t count the almost full reccy of original route me and Tom did!)
I finished 16th of 85 in 6hrs.27m
Winner was Keith Wigley in an astonishing 4.51! (he flew past in Menston, so must have started v late!)
Thanks again to Ryk for getting the event on, and lets see if I fancy Welcome Way in March?!