Location: Greenfield, Saddleworth
Distance: 6 ish miles (who really knows with trail!)
It’s a popular one. This year it sold out in about 12 hours. It is organised by my running club and last year I marshalled it, so was pleased to get a place on the start line this year.
I was extremely nervous. Possibly because it was a local race with so many runners from the Greyhounds were either running or marshalling and partly due to it being my evening race since last year. Also despite being on my local turf I hadn’t actually run the entire route, only sections of it and some of those not for a long time. So I told myself I was just going out for a little run and nothing else mattered whilst secretly hoping I would be able to pull off a good performance.
I love the terrain covered by this route. Rough lanes and rocky paths, boggy fields and muddy woodland in the first half, with a nice fast second half around the reservoir.
It was a slow start due to narrow paths and people walking up hills however I didn’t mind as the first half of the race has most of the climbing, and the toughest terrain. Saved my legs from going off too hard, and meant I could put in a good second half. Definitely shows in my splits. Once we hit the good paths at 3k a lot of people seem to have run out of steam.
Mile 1: 12:16 /mi
Mile 2: 11:43 /mi
Mile 3: 10:07 /mi
Mile 4: 8:11 /mi
Mile 5: 8:19 /mi
Mile 6: 7:46 /mi
I’m proud of that effort. The first half of the run has a lot of tricky terrain, steep hills and stiles to climb over, so for me that is a fast off road pace.
I owe a lot of thanks to someone from my running club who was carrying an injury and decided to run the last couple of km’s with me and share wise words of advice on form and technique. I doubt I would have managed those splits towards the end without words of encouragement. It was most definitely a lesson in the meaning of digging deep and pushing through the pain.
If the race goes ahead again next year, do sign up. It’s a great race. Plus the race HQ is at a brewery so plenty of good local ales to drink and there is usually a pizza oven for post race food too. Even though I won’t be living round here next year I will definitely be getting the train over from Yorkshire for it.