Sunday, 25 April 2010

The 3 Peaks

A glorious sunny day in the Yorkshire Dales was the setting for the first stage of my 'Up hill task' as me, Gav and 1,000 fell runners gathered to take on Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough - the 3 Peaks of Yorkshire.

Having been unable to recce the course due to bad weather and a dodgy knee, I didn't fully appreciate what I would be attempting but the long, rocky climb up to Pen-y-ghent made me realise that a few laps of Temple Newsam and Otley Chevin would in no way prepare me for what was to come.

After scrambling to the summit, it was straight back down again at break-neck pace until the path leveled out on to a fairly flat stage along to the next peak at Whernside. The first descent had taken it's toll on my knee and I had to apply the first blob of ibuprofen gel to numb the pain but at least I could now find some rhythm.

I made up some time and was happy to see my support team with refreshments at the spectacular Ribblehead viaduct and was feeling good until I saw what was next - the long, steep climb up the side of Whernside.

Walking gave way to climbing and by the time I scrambled to the top, I felt emotional and exhausted. The view though was absolutely stunning and almost worth the pain as I set off down the rocky path and along to Ingleborough.

Again I made up time on the flatter section between the peaks and was determined to get a decent time but on the final climb up I became really dehydrated and then started getting stomach cramps and feeling disorientated as I started the descent.

The last couple of miles felt longer than the whole of the race as I struggled to get to the finish. However, once the line was in sight and I heard the crowd cheer I mustered a sprint finish and was really pleased with my time of just under 4 hours and ten minutes.

The pleasure was soon replaced with pain as my stomach cramped up and I was sick from trying to drink too much water too quickly. After a brief sit down in the medical tent, I decided it was time to go home and was soon fast asleep in the back of the car as my Dad drove us home. It wasn't until I had a sandwich and some salty crisps at Booth's on the way back that I finally came round and started to feel human again.

I was then disappointed at feeling so ill at the finish as I didn't really get to enjoy it and missed sharing it with Gav and his family who had also come to watch. I also realised that I had taken it lightly and assumed my high fitness level would get me through which I suppose it did but at a greater cost than I anticipated.

Now a couple of days have passed and my stomach and legs have recovered, I am pleased overall and would consider giving it another go with a more focused training plan and better refueling plan.

I am also looking forward to the Leeds Half Marathon and the Yorkshireman which I know will be a lot less painful!

I must say another big thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far at - I really appreciate it!

Checkpoint Time of Day Elapsed
Registration 09:16:59 -----
Pen-y-ghent 10:40:16 00:40:16
Ribblehead 11:44:12 01:44:12
Whernside 12:21:20 02:21:20
Hill Inn 12:46:43 02:46:43
Ingleborough 13:23:17 03:23:17
Finish 14:09:58 04:09:58

1 comment:

_Black_Acrylic said...

Well done Nick on a superhuman effort x