This was my first organized event since the Lakeland 50 and since my knee pain has gone. The route consists of a 14.5 mile loop from Hownam in the Scottish Borders with about 3000f of ascent. The weather had decided to be wet with some mist, but conditions were perfect for running. I met up with Bruce Crombie, Karl Wait and Rob Murray John and Rob’s dog at the start and ran with them during the event.
The event was relaxed and because there was no timing, we could leave anytime after we registered. The route started with a mile of road before we head off-road up our first hill, Little Humlemoor. Karl had some trouble at this point and held back, but kept his determined and caught up later in the run looking strong. We continued across to Humblemoor Hill before making a slippery decent to the waiting cameraman, probably hoping to catch some good shots of us falling. Across to Buchtrig farm, we formed a larger group with more runners and made our next ascent, nearly going the wrong way because we were too busy chatting and not paying attention to where we were going. Karl’s shouts from close behind put us on the right track. We continued on until we reached the Mountain Refuge Hut on the Pennine Way. Karl was with us again and we made our way along the Pennine Way, up Lamb Hill, Beefstand Hill and then Mozie Law. Visibility was poor with thick mist but the path was easy to follow. We were still in a large group at this point running past lots of walkers on a path made from stone slabs. Every so often there would be a pool of water instead of a slab and it was interesting guessing if it was 2 inch deep or 2 foot deep. A runner took a bad fall and in losing his glasses, he got a load of dirty water in his eyes. Rob came to the rescue but inadvertently supplied the orange juice that the fallen runner sprayed into his eyes to wash them. A citric wash must have done the trick. After reaching around the 10 miles mark we departed the Pennine Way and followed a track called The Street, which was to take us all the way back to Hownam. There was a refreshment checkpoint soon after leaving the Pennine Way, and it was great to have a Twix to eat. I have been craving Twix’s ever since. We set off from the check point and Bruce made a dash for the finish. Our group reduced to three and then two as I ran the final few miles with Rob.
It was good being out in the hills again. Despite a little knee pain during the run, I finished feeling as fresh as I started and my knee was fine. I look forward to my next outing.