A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step

Rough 'n' Tumble 2008 Rough 'n' Tumble 2008

With forcast 25mph winds and rain I had decided I'd get a lift from Mark Hanby who was also running the race.

There were oppressive black clouds overhead and it looks as though we'd get very wet very soon.

Mark went up to the front of the field, he would get a good time, and I made my way to the back. I wouldn’t, I didn’t intend starting fast because I wanted to avoid pulling my calf muscle again which I had initially done just before Christmas.

I was standing near the back when the runner next to me said hello, it was Andy Sansum who I had not seen for a year or so and who I used to occasionally climb with. We were chatting before the start when a runner behind me said ‘Do I recognise that voice?’. It was Mick Dyer who I had not seen since about 1989!.... At least with these two there was not danger of me rushing off too fast, there was too much to catch up on, especially with Mick.

The climb up the first hill was as sticky and slippery as I had expected. Of course being towards the back of the field meant that wherever the ground could be churned into thick mud slurry, it was. Where it was more solid it was very slippery.

Andy, Mick and I kept passing and re-passing each other, Andy using his fell running experience to show us that it was possible to run down steep hills as well.

I managed to get ahead of them both in the final 2 miles and was the first of us to finish, Andy finished about 30 seconds after me then Mick complaining about the slippery section at about 8 to 8.5 miles. I had no idea how long I had been because I had not started my stopwatch, but Mick thought he had finished in about 1:42 so I was probably closer to my best time for this race than I thought.

The heavy rain that the clouds held promise of never materialised, I could have cycled there but it was very windy and potentially dangerous on a bike.