Posted: 11/01/2015 at 17:40
An insight into the challenger race:
The day before involved a one2one registration process, full race briefing from race organisers and from mountain rescue ranging from beating hypothermia to country code. This was followed a little down the road by a full kit inspection, mug shot and tracker fitting.
Saturday morning and the challengers meet in Edale car park and are escorted to the start line. Lots of nervously excited faces with fully laden backpack and lightweight running gear....
What happens next changed the game.
A short register and countdown to start and they are off. Some gently jogging, some walking up to the Pennine way with just a little gentle rain, down the dark track opposite the old school and bam. The spine bites. Full gale force winds, head on, accompanied by very heavy driving rain. Wind so strong you need to battle to remain standing, rain hitting your face like someone firing a BB gun at you continuously. I have never experienced anything like this! Less than a mile and it's tough.
I have heard three people dropped out around this area for injuries, twisted ankles, wind blindness and simply falling over. Many complaint of blurry vision, I had it in one eye for the whole day, making identifying objects in the distance very difficult when map reading.
The rain battles down hard and many resort to full mountain gear to gear up to tackle the Peaks biggest mountain. Crossing Kinder the rain does ease a little but the wind remains. If you jump you may be blown away. Kinder downfall is blowing 20 foot into the air, even gravity is loosing today.
Cross the torrent of river kinder and down toward featherbed moss, the path is fairly flat, flagstones, should be easy to get some pace. Every step is like walking on ice with a full cross wind constantly sending you in to the boggy side track. Backpack creating a great wind sock. A few more go over here. Even last years race leader is out. Weather so bad the race organisers delay the full race by two hours. Run, lucky to stay standing.
That is just the first ten miles of 110..... It doesn't improve much throughout the day, wind, rain, hail, snow, sleet, sun (well a little). Feels like -10 for the whole day with base layers damp from the start.