Monday, 9 November 2009

Roaches Fell Race

Sunday enabled me to run in one of my favourite places. The Roaches in Staffordshire is an amazing place and each year a couple of Fell races take place in the area. I ran the Passing Clouds race a couple of weeks prior to Sunday with a really bad cough and plodded in unable to breathe so with fitness and health restored it was time to try and race at full speed again.
This race is about 15miles and climbs a lot. You basically run all the way to Shuttlingsloe and back. Starting at Meerbrook near Tittesworth reservoir.
This was also a Pennine championship so that inspired me to run a little harder. Its always difficult to judge your pace when you race for the first time since having illness or injury and at first I thought I had gone off to quick but soon seemed to get into my stride. The climbs seemed tough but I flew down the technical descents over the rocks and boulders. I was very glad to get the climb up to Shuttlingsloe summit out of the way and then again the trig point on the Roaches after that. With all the climbing done it was just a matter of crossing a few boggy fields and run into the finish straight.
A nice wash in the brook at the end and a celebration cup of coffee. It was nice to see so many Pennine runners attending.
I had ran well and that had been 50miles for the week even with 2 rest days thrown in before the race which im now convinced is very important. A tip passed on to me by a very very famous fellrunner from Cumbria.
So with my racing legs back working and a good placing in the race I feel a lot better.
But the hardest run is always the first training run after a race. Everything aches and Badger always gives me that cmon cmon look. Im dying whilst he is racing up the hills.
A fantastic race and one of those that has a little bit of everything thrown in.

Crossing the riverheading out. This gives you a chance to clean down all the muck thats on your legs. You get chance to re clean them on the way back before getting absolutley covered again in the boggy fields and farm yard near the end. If you want to finish a race clean dont do the Roaches.
The trig point is a nice sight on the way back as it means all the climbing on the race is done. Its a long hard pull up to the trig as you head out but I had company with the first lady right behind me breathing down my neck.

The Roaches in Staffordshire are an amazing thing. Unique how they just rise up from nothing. I love running here. The rock formation is a sight to behold.

Not long after the start and that Im never going to finish this race is etched on my face. This is dig in time for everyone who runs these fell races

1 comment:

  1. Not run really for 20 years been on a few walks and an bike trainer for 30 mins for a week so ideal training for the Roaches (not!), I finished exactly 1 hour behind the winner, ran out of energy on the climb back on to the Roaches, now suffering from damaged ankle ligaments and plantar faciaitis, which goes to show you shouldnt really attempt something like the Roaches unless well prepared !!