Drove down to Ravenscar in the camper last night, a journey I hate having driven it once when I was learning to drive (thanks Dad). Luckily Ed was in the driving seat so the journey was far less stressful.
We stayed at a cheap campsite on a farm and woke up to horrendous weather but after a coffee and a porridge we managed to motivate ourselves to make the short drive to the start.
I was trying out new kit today; gators and my new Salomon race vest:
The race started at 10am after a short briefing. I hadn’t really looked at the route so when I found myself at the front I felt a bit out on a limb. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to follow and a bloke ran past so we kept him in sight. Soon after another guy overtook me but stayed pretty close, Ed was beside me and there was another guy behind, our little group paced each other well and we made up 2nd-5th places, with the other guy gradually pulling further and further ahead.
I was pushing myself hard, we were on The Cinder Track so it was pretty flat and good going underfoot. I was willing myself to stay in contention, I knew that I was first female but it was only two miles in (of what turned out to be 9.5 miles) so I didn’t even dare to hope that I would place, never mind win. I felt myself going into the red, I had no idea what my pace was but I was struggling to maintain my breathing so I slowed down a bit, the guy in front also slowed and the other bloke in our group overtook but we stayed pretty much as a group.
After 4 miles I was hoping that another female would over-take- it’s a lot of pressure being in the lead! I almost got my wish at the first Checkpoint at Robin Hood’s Bay, but my competitive streak kicked in and I made an effort to lose her on the very steep downhill.
Next we were climbing back up onto the cliffs but following The Cleveland Way footpath, lots of steep climbs, I was struggling. The two blokes got ahead, with Ed’s constant pestering I made an effort to push on up the climbs. We reached the Alum Works and there was a crisis cross of paths, couldn’t remember which one to take. We chose badly and added an extra .5 of a mile on, emerging on the right path next to the woman who’d almost caught me at the checkpoint. There was around a mile to go, all uphill. Am I going to win this race? Ed didn’t let me question myself and again, we pushed on.
There was a long stretch of road to the finish and as I crossed the line I still couldn’t believe that I was 1st Female but also 4th overall.
So thankful to Ed for his encouragement (if he wasn’t running with me I’m sure he’d have won)
Draw me after you; let us run.
Song of Solomon 1:4
English Standard Version