Black Combe Fell race

Saturday 14th March

8.2 miles
3,300 feet

I had my eye on doing this race for a few years, but either the weather was bad or I didn't feel fit enough. I didn't know the weather was going to be perfect, but I felt reasonably fit. So I made the trip around the coast to Silecroft to give it a go.

Off we went through a few gradually sloped fields then up a steep climb, I felt like I had almost come to a halt as I battled the slope and the crowds around me. I struggled up onto the flatter plateau then never really felt comfortable all the way to the summit. It was all very runnable but I felt like I was pushing hard to maintain any sort of pace.

After the summit it's a very runnable descent down and around to White Combe. I had followed fellow Bowland runner Chris Reade all the way to here. By the end of the descent off White Combe I was right on his heals. On the disarmingly tough climb back up onto Black Combe Chris pulled out about a 200 meter gap. I felt like I was trudging this climb, no running at all even though the gradient should allow for it, at least on some occasions. Maybe my fitness still wasn't quite there.

I struggled to the summit then ran well down this very nice descent. I closed in a bit on Chris but he still finished a good 100 meters ahead. Still I was reasonably pleased to finish 50th /213 in 1h 27.22. Rob Jebb won his first race as a V40 in 1h 09.14.

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