The Crowden Horseshoe is a circular fell race that takes place from Crowden campsite just outside Glossop. a typically low key affair, circumstances were conspiring against me from before the race even began as i'd only brought my race entry fee, so didn't have enough money for the car parking on site. luckily i managed to park just off the main road, but having registered i found myself short of safety pins - luckily i found a kindly soul from North Yorkshire who helped me out.
the race itself started from the centre of the campsite and climbed up a track to the Outdoor Centre, then skirted up its side onto the fell.
it was at this point i encountered what i had previously understood to be Technical Terrain - i think that Difficult Terrain might be more descriptive, but i'll put that down to experience... on this race it wasn't the climbs that killed me, it was the run along the top of the rock face over the sharp uneven surface that meant i couldn't get into my stride, coupled with my tired legs from Friday's Run Home.
the large bowl of porridge and wheatgerm, coupled with a liberal dose of Deep Heat in the shed before leaving the house failed to do much for me, which meant i was goosed for pretty much the whole race.
this was actually a really enjoyable race - ran across pretty bleak Pennine moorland, which eventually turned into a paved path, our goal was the trig point where we would take a sharp right and being our eventual descent back down to the campsite.
having made the trig we duly made the turn, but conditions were extremely windy for the next mile or so, which made running across the peat even more tough - like wading through treacle with someone hanging off you at the same time.
it was around this point that i began work on setting my own personal record of falling over during a race (that's twice, for all the budding statisticians out there), and my planned three weeks of abstinence in preparation for the Leaden Boot went out of the window - i was having a pint afterwards!
after a long trudge across the fell, Crowden Reservoir soon loomed into view, and we found ourselves descending back into the campsite, where i made time to fall flat on my face and roll down the hill right in front of the small crowd that had kindly assembled to cheer us on for the final part of the race.
i've not seen the results from this one yet but it wasn't pretty - a cracking race though. better luck next year!