Now I know why it’s called the TROG !!!
Well after I set myself the goal of running the Trog and saying it was just to get the miles in, on the day all that changed at about 17 miles. This had to be the hardest race I have ever done.
After hearing the weather against the window all night I was dreading waking up to find it had not changed and I was about to take on a 20 mile race over the open fell of Wadsworth. I was up at 7:30 and trying to get some food in before I set out, all packed up and ready to go so I jumped in the car and headed off to Hebden Bridge. As I arrived there was the always smiling face of John Lloyd to greet us and show us where to go and park (doing his bit); I think he was eyeing up the competition to be honest… The atmosphere was really good and loads of tea, coffee and biscuits on offer. I was enjoying the day already.
As we all got together about 15 minuets before the start of the race I met up with David Bagot and a few of the other Clayton runners. There were 8 of us representing our club and loads of good advice being given from some of our wiser and much more experienced fell runners.
We were off! It was a steady start down the road to find the mud. There were about 175 runners taking part of all ages and ability. We went through the woods and a couple of fields to make a small loop around the cricket club where we signed on then off to find the fell; it wasn’t long until we were in the bogs of the Trog. The wind was behind us to start for the first 3 or 4 miles which was a bonus pushing us through the bogs. The first decent down to the reservoir was steep and ended up on our back sides going down to the first checkpoint, then there was the first climb! Up we went with a spring in our step (for now) onto the top of the open fell, the wind was strong and now in our faces. It was a real treat to get to checkpoint 4 where there was a water stop and of course, biscuits. Then there was a long slog for a mile or so up a farmer’s lane then back to the grind of the bogs. The miles passed and before we knew it we had clocked up 14 miles and now the legs were feeling a little tired with a hint of cramp that was not welcome. Dave took off as he was feeling good and I was just plugging away knowing the next 6 miles were where I was going to pull a few places back, as we’re told CONSISTENCY IS KEY (John Roach). The bogs and the tufts on the fell were relentless.
As I was coming up to 18 miles, I caught up to Dave who was ready for a bit of encouragement to push on until the end. We had a few people in our sights and both got a spirit on with only 2 miles to go. Before we knew it we were past our first target and on to the next, stretching the legs out on the road at 19.5 miles on my watch thinking only half a mile to go. I gave it everything I had left but the CVFRs had a little surprise in it for us there was another checkpoint that I wasn’t expecting. I asked the marshal where the finish was and his reply was, “Up there!” and pointed to the top of another 2 fields with quite a large ascent to take on. This was the final push to the finish and back to the cricket club. There were 2 more racers in front of me coming into the cricket club for the lap around the pitch and they were 2 places which I wanted after all the hard work I had put into the race. It was a brilliant feeling crossing the line in 3:51, I was more than happy with that and David Bagot coming in at 3:52 and winning the prize for 2nd under 23. There was also Paul Hesketh who had a storming race coming in in 20th place doing a 3:38 and Martin Terry in 32nd doing 3:47, Ryan Wilkinson in 38th doing 3:51,David Bagot in 42nd doing 3.52, Brian Horrocks in 45th doing 3:53, Mick Dobson in 59th doing 4:04, Ivan Whigham in 64th doing 4:07and Richard Bellaries in 104th doing it in 4:38,
We also picked up 5th in the Men’s team prize
The race was won by Simon Harding from Macclesfield, completing the race in 3:00.22. All in all we had a fantastic day out in tough conditions and all completed a really tough course, I am sure we will be back to take it on again some day. Thanks to CVFR’s for putting on a fantastic event.
THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT…
Full results can be found here
Thank you to Ryan Wilkinson for this fantastic race report.