Calderdale Hike 12/04/2014

The Calderdale Hike is a classic in ultra running circles, having been run since 1979. There are variations of walking and running with 26 and 37 mile routes. I would be competing in the 37 mile run in preparation for the 50 mile Lakeland 50 in July. As I alluded to in my Haworth Hobble ramble I had done the maths and extrapolated 32 miles of Haworth Hobble @ 5:55 into 37 miles of Calderdale Hike @ sub 7 hours. I was to be proved wrong…

Steady away from Sowerby Cricket Club things were going fine and I was enjoying picking out parts of the route from the Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon (still wishing I was on my bike!). I use the Garmin Edge 800 as a Sat Nav with 1:50,000 mapping supplied. It is little different from walking GPS with the exception that, if you put it in your pocket the touch screen can get all excited and give you various combinations of super zoom or random settings when you look at it again. It is not purist I guess but it is better than getting lost. The reason I mention this is that you also need to be flexible because the supplied GPX file uses a route that is about half a mile longer as you drop down into Mytholmroyd. The string of runners gives the game away so better to follow the pack than the GPS at this point.

On to Stoodley Pike and the reverse of the Haworth Hobble, overtaking some more cautious runners on the descent and then into Lumbutts Methodist Church for some great ham sandwiches and fluid refill. Things were feeling fine now and I just has to be patient on the big ascent to the Long Causeway and then about 3 miles of total bog across to Gorple reservoir. I felt that I should have been enjoying the bog since I live only a mile away from a boggy ascent up Boulsworth Hill but much as I told myself that this was real man’s terrain I couldn’t wait for the hard standing of the classic Gorple track down to the Widdop checkpoint.

Well 3 hours gone and not even halfway but my legs felt OK and I knew the route over past Top Withens and to Penistone Park so plodded on and ate my first Muller rice. This time it has imploded in my sack so I need to look at a better way of transporting it. It was only that I got to the top of Penistone and saw Stoodley Pike in the very far distance that I realised the enormity of what still lay ahead. If you had have told me that anyone would be able to run to the East of that landmark and further having already come from there I would have said you were mad a few years ago. How many fell walkers amongst us used to shake our heads as runners scurried past us on terrain that seemed suitable for walking only?

The results are here, which show me finishing 44th out of 83 37 Mile Runners. In the bottom half and a lot of work to do before the Lakeland 50.

Strava Run Profile.

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