Derbyshire for this one. It is the toughest I do. 6000' of ascent. I usually do White Peak as well on the Saturday but due to work/horse/dog decided just to do The Leaden Boot this year and see what a difference it made not having done one the day before.
Well all started fine - the flying downhill first mile followed by the zigzagging packhorse trail up the other side of the valley then back down a path of broken limestone slabs to cross the river Dove and climb back up the valley through trees (this side is so steep it has steps most of the way up) before descending a grassy hillside (too steep and rock-strewn to really let go but at least it is downhill) into Illam and the first checkpoint. 1 hour 7 minutes. 5 miles. Believe it or not that is the quickest I have ever run that bit!
This is followed by more hills (up and down but always tough), valleys (usually starting at the lowest end and gradually climbing), wild garlic, sheep, cows, pretty Derbyshire villages, amazing views, huge skies and 6 well stocked checkpoints (the rocky road at checkpoint 3 is alone worth running there for).
Went flying having managed to run to the top of Ecton Hill but luckily spotted the limestone rock my knee was heading straight for just in time to take evasive action and get my leg out of the way. It would have been nasty otherwise. I'm quite pleased with my reaction time!
Ran with a friend, we were in no hurry as it was such a beautiful day. I had hopes of just slipping under 5.30 - my PB here is 5.32 - but with the sunshine and the roughness underfoot it was not to be and we were very relieved to finish in 5.52 (26.2 miles), 2nd ladies, and to tuck into the amazing home made pie and peas and vast array of cakes at the finish.
Now the memories of the horror of Bailey Hill, The Nabs, Weag's Barn, Sheen Hill, Narrowdale etc etc etc are already subsiding I will be back next year, hoping again for 5.29.59, and next time I will be ready!
PS I'd love to recommend this one but seriously I think the only other NHRR who would 'enjoy' it is Michelle...
PPS Watch this space - next week will be a case of 'Now for something completely different'. And I'm worried...
sounds amazing Jo..... mad but amazing.
Sounds beautiful and pleased to hear that you managed to control your fall to avoid serious injury. Well done on an excellent time, I found the Chingford undulations tough but you coped superbly with serious ascents!
It sounds beautiful. I feel my knees would be too old for this no matter how sensibly and carefully pace myself. Enjoy while you can, Jo.
Very well done Jo. Another massive hilly achievement. I have a faint idea what you might be doing next weekend - if I’m right then absolutely no hills and no route description! 😀