Sunday, 14 March 2010

Wolf Spit

I have been counting down the weeks and days until my first fell race of the year. It was today, and I hoped I had got my training right in the final few days before the race. I went for a hard and hilly 8-miler on Thursday, followed by two gentle recovery runs on Friday and Saturday.

Wolf's Pit is 5.8 miles with 1600 feet of ascent (and descent), so is among the steeper of the Peak District fell races. It runs up the hill behind Mrs Noel in the photograph, which is, of course, steeper than it looks here. I had been looking at last year's results and thought I could do faster than 49 minutes. Mrs Noel was sagely pointing out that I haven't done that much training so should be taking it easy! Imagine - taking it easy in a fell race!

There was also the added spice that I knew my long-time training partner Dave would be trying to beat me up the first hill. While I tried to put such things out of my mind, it was quite tricky. Especially after his demolition of my hill climbing ability 4 weeks ago on a training run.

We set off quickly and I was feeling confident until we turned for the first climb. I heard a "Come on Noel!" from the spectators - thanks whoever it was. This shout was followed a few seconds later by "Come on Dave!" My fears were confirmed when Dave smoothly accelerated past me up the first climb. I was full of friendly advice befitting such a situation, "Take is easy" and "It's a marathon not a sprint", but these thinly veiled taunts were dismissed as they should have been. Luckily my hilly training seemed to have paid off and I managed to sneak a slender lead by the top of the first climb, which I managed to hold on to for the remainder of the race.

Surprisingly, my descending seems to have improved. I actually made up a few places on the downhill sections, which is not my normal form. I managed to finish in 48 minutes 40 seconds. So was very pleased to be ahead of my target time.

Mrs Noel was also pleased with her day. She was third lady, for which she got a prize. She was also first lady vet40, for which she got another prize. She was very pleased that one of the prizes was garden centre vouchers. It's as if the organisers knew her.

Once we'd had our free soup and roll (thanks to the organisers), we all huddled round the boards showing the results. Stuart Bond won it by a street. A mere 14 places and over 8 minutes (!!) ahead of me. I can only imagine how fast that must feel.


  1. All the above is true apart from the "smoothly accelerated" and the "slender lead" bits, just pleased my manic sprint up the first hill still left me enough in the tank to finish second Fatboy.

    any chance I could borrow the radioactive spider for just a few days? edale skyline would be so much easier with a bit of help....

  2. Ah, I wanted in on this one but ran at Grindleford the day before...good run Noel & congrats to Mrs Noel too!

  3. Dave, Just remember to set off as quickly at Edale as you did at Wolf Spit, and you'll be fine ;)

    Simon, thanks. Wolf Spit the day after Grindleford would be pretty hardcore. In fact, Grindleford seems a bit hardcore to me.