One of the highlights of this month so far has to have been Grindleford Fell Race. Convinced by the lovely group at Front Runner on a Tuesday night jaunt, later that week I headed from work to Grindleford all ready to take part in, what I thought would be a small local fell race – I was in for a shock..! FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY runners showed up! I had certainly not expected this; instantly my competitive nature meant I panicked a little. What if they were all super fast? What if I got stuck behind very slow runners (unlikely!)? For those of you who don’t know me this is what I tend to do at any competition. Anyway dithering aside, soon we were off at full sprint! First thoughts – crap, these people are running this faster than I can do 100m and we have about 8km to go!
Luckily soon everyone fell into a vague order, and I started to enjoy myself. The atmosphere of running with that many people, all of which are as passionate about running as you, was fantastic. To top things off it was also a beautiful evening.
The route also course happens to include one of my favourite descents through Padley Gorge. This twisty, rocky path runs alongside the river and can be done at speed if you’re paying attention to your feet. I have recently adopted the mindset it is better to go fast on descents than slow… Not only does the momentum save you energy, but I always seem to fall over going slowly – so the thought was I may as well fall over going fast – the theory is I will roll better, and it will look more impressive! So unsurprisingly and true to form there was a slightly dubious moment where I decided to trip mid-stream cross. Luckily is was the first and much shallower crossing of two. The second, right at the end, was a river and turned out to be more of a swim!
I completed the race in around 45mins which I was really pleased with having had no idea how I would do running competitively. More importantly, I absolutely loved it! Any Peak District runners with a bit of spare time in the evenings certainly keep your eyes out for the next one (details here) I would totally recommend it.