..... we never got to Keswick to run the ½ marathon on May 1st. A painful swelling on the ball of my wonderful partner's foot put paid to any thoughts she might have had about running it whilst a persistent tummy bug thwarted my plans. Being a blue-blooded Yorkshireman I'm not sure which hurt most, the abdominal pain or the mental anguish of having paid my entry fee and not getting my money's worth from it! I could have run, while my partner spectated, but there's no way I could have given of my best. I'll freely admit, I don't race for fun. I might RUN for fun in all seasons through our beautiful countryside but when it comes to racing it's a bit more serious, it hurts, and I'll go through hell to get into the prize list. Some would call me a pot hunter and I suppose I am, but if that's what encourages me to run and keep fit well into my dotage, then so be it. It's better than the alternative!
Saturday was 'Three Peaks' day when we drove to Horton-in-Ribblesdale to watch my favourite race. We arrived ¾ hr before it was scheduled to start and couldn't believe the amount of traffic being funnelled into three large fields. Competitors from farther afield had camped overnight to make the 10 o'clock start. A huge marquee (that cost the Association £2,000 to hire), a smaller one for registration, a Start and Finish gantry, trade stalls and loud speaker system were all in situ ready for the 'Off'. The whole shebang covered several acres of ground while 763 runners, plus an equal number of followers and spectators milled around. I couldn't help thinking how vastly different this was from my first experience of the race in 1956 when there were just 23 starters and the entire 'furniture' consisted of the Entry Secretary's table and chair in a field behind the Hill Inn at Chapel-le-Dale.
|Dog among the ducks|
Sunday was declared a day of relaxation. Well, sort of. After numerous eruptions of my tummy problem over the past 24 hours I reckoned it a good idea to give Chapel a miss in the morning, thus retaining my stainless reputation! Instead, I took myself for a bumbly run in the great outdoor church of Grassington Moor to boost my spirits in the more natural surroundings of sun and wind and wild music. Eight miles was all I could manage in my weakened state. The rest of the day was spent in a sheltered corner of the garden soaking up healing sunshine whilst partaking of copious amounts of fluid to flush out the offending bugs. It seemed to work for on Monday we set off from Grimwith reservoir for a 10 mile walk/run around the nether regions of Wig Stones and Cranberry Moss, on the Nidderdale border, where we got hopelessly off route in the trackless bogs but still enjoyed our wild situation in glorious weather. My strength appears to be returning. Roll on the next race.