Saturday, 22 January 2011

kinder trial 2011

i signed up for the KT way back in early december, but after Lamb's Longer Leg i was all for crying off fell races for a few months whilst i got some training under my belt.

but, with one eye on my overall rankings in the Hayfield Race Series (we all need a dream), and buoyed by a few runs home from work in the preceding weeks, I decided to throw my hat in the ring for this one.

The (circa) 12 mile KT is an orienteering event, with staggered start times and a map, showing all the checkpoints, given to you 2 minutes before you start.

I opted to take a clockwise route, catching K12 first then up to K9, following the route round. Apart from the first slog up to K12, there wasn't much hard climbing once that first hill had been crested. the fog was down, however, reducing visibility to around 50 feet. i took the event at walking pace for the most part, using it go gain experience of Kinder as there are a few more races around the area i'd like to do in future.

the view from K3
after K4 we briefly took the Pennine Way, but soon dropped down the face of the hill to hit K3, skirting round the contours to K6, and heading onward towards Kinder Downfall. myself and an older runner from Altrincham AC took too high a line coming down to this checkpoint, and were forced to climb down the cliff face to reach K1. After following the contours again to hit Red Brook and K10, the remaining checkpoints were picked off in quick succession as they were bunched together and easy to find using landmarks.

around K5 i met a sound runner from Goyt Valley Striders and a lady from Knavesmire Harriers, and we made the remaining checkpoints within a short space of each other and trotted back down to Hayfield Scout Hut, a little over four hours after i'd started the race, for some well earned soup, a brew and some cake:

lessons learnt? Mrs theoptimisticrunner had kindly bought me some leggings the week before - these were much better than the tracksters I had worn at Lamb's Longer Leg (sorry Ron). I learnt lots about Kinder Scout and Hayfield, and would now have the confidence to take a quicker clockwise route round the course. Coming down too high at Kinder Downfall cost me around 15 minutes (won't be doing that again) and there was a quicker route up to my chosen first checkpoint than the one i took on the day.

I had a great time doing this one and hope to do it again in future.

next up, hopefully, is the Lactic Acid Test near Stalybridge in February.

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