Thursday 15 March 2012

Big three for March - 2: Wuthering Hike/Haworth Hobble

I still don't know why this event has dual names, both are true enough, but I prefer the Wuthering Hike tag, which usually gets a smile from those knowing of the area when I mention it.

As performances go, not my finest hour, I think I gave up on a fast one early doors. But it's a very nice event, worthy of a mention untarnished by my lacklustre effort. I'm sure somebody out there, who is more organised, will already have an informative and entertaining blog post on it. Here's my highlights and lowlights in 10 bullet points (I'm trying to keep this - reasonably - short):
  1. Things you'll probably only see at this event or in this area #1 - Upon getting to event car park, paid my few quid and was told to "Drive over to the guy in a dress...", who would direct me to park. Must be a "Bronte sister" thing, an amusing start to my race day.
  2. Earlier start than of late for an 8am mass start - up just the wrong side of 5 - **WARNING DON'T READ ON IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT PRE-RUN BOWEL ACTIVITY** - and out the door too quickly. This had the often experiance effect that I hadn't had that relax time post-breakfast whioch allows bowels to kick in. So I tried to stop at services, some success but not enough. Arrived T-minus 45mins at race start, bit late, loads of people here, long queue for number, seek out toilets - DOH!! Long queue for portaloos. So @ T-minus 8mins to race start made do with a very long pee in a 'quiet' spot around back of race HQ. Which helped a bit by decreasing any bladder pressure on bowel. Does anybody else have issues like this if routine is a bit disturbed?
  3. It a grey and overcast start and a lot of very steady uphill onto the famous moors. No great views of this landscape for now.
  4. Things you'll probably only see at this event or in this area #2 - In Bronte waterfall area Mark - who I ran around with - pointed out that the usual wooden sign posts as well as a few other languages were written in Japanese. Well I never.
  5. CP 1 at the Widdop Reservoir Dam - It was like being at the seaside on a grey winter day. The mist and wind blowing waves into the dam wall from an unknown source creates a strange illusion as we cross the dam.
  6. Behind enemy lines - Much like the Calderdale Hike route of the last few years the route of this event took us into Lancashire, carefully evading border controls obviously. Seemingly not impressed, the route soon takes us back into Gods own county.
  7. Here comes the sun - Soon after long causeway (CP3) as cloud rises and the route drops the sun comes out. Yeh! But it seemed our goose was already cooked today and the late-winter sun's pleasent rays weren't going to help us. Mark had taken a bang on the knee slipping on wet rock and said he wasn't feeling that fresh today anyway, I felt much the same and Simon - who it has to be said was running a bit better than Mark and I - felt much the same as we slowed during the hilly second half.
  8. A string in the tail - Claire warned me about this. I didn't feel great going into the second half and the hills in part 2 weren't going to aid our pace. First a climb to Stoodley pike - a must in this area. Glad of the shot of Jura whisky at the CP before the climb, whisky never tasted so good.
  9. Next climb, Hepstonstall. Apparently the pub there last year was offering impromptu refreshments - not of the alcoholic kind - this year we just climbed up to go down - DOH!
  10. As we found a "just get around" pace once a 6 hour round had slipped away it was back up again on the muddy track to pass Hollin Hall and down to the last CP before the finish. Then a long tarmac road climb to Top O't Stairs.
From here it has a mostly downhill hobble via Penistone hill - of the great Woodentops fell races - back to th start in Haworth - 6:30 - quite a way off Simon and Mark's great PB's on this route (can't help thinking I cursed us). Over stew, Mark and I decided we'd need an easy week before the - significantly longer - Hardmoors 55 next week.


  1. I did this race a few event ago...and have tried to blank it from my memory. Great race, but I have zero navigational skills. It was more of a day out, waiting for people runners to come along and point me in the right direction :-)

  2. Hi Debs, I was lucky to have two previous runners to follow. Glad of it, as visibility has down to a few yards at times.

  3. Good effort DE. It was good to meet up once again on another year of races.

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