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Tour of Pendle – Bad Weather Route

Tour of Pendle – Bad Weather Route – 14 November 2015 – 14 miles / 2700 ft

Famous for its witches but I had to make do with David Anderson, unless you count all the Pudsey Pacers that were milling about.

We had tripped across to Barley for this end of season long ‘un accompanied by incessant rain and a forecast for more. The registration hall was busy and steamy hot with faffing about runners including our own great white Hope there for his first ever full Tour and swearing blind he would be wearing full waterproofs because of the weather.

In fact the forecast wasn’t great and so the course had been shortened, missing out the last 2 killer climbs. More importantly by the time we registered they only had small T shirts left. Fine for my professional athlete type toned honed and generally perfect body, but I think Lee Hinchcliffe of the Pacers was optimistic in the extreme if he was thinking the same.

Anyway off to the start, crammed into the roadway ready for the initial dash, most in cags due to the rain. Sprint along the lane and then sharp right up to Pendle Hill. My plan was to follow David round , as he had the car keys and so far all was going well. Rob of course was long gone, off with the fast lads well in front.

So up to the trig and then the long run right to the south end of the Pendle ‘ Massif’. Dark clouds hovering but allowing spectacular views below them across the local villages as we came down to the reservoir.
About turn then and back the way we had just come. A clamber and stumble up a narrow root lined path, grasping onto a wire mesh fence for grip, and then onwards to the Geronimo descent.
Arms in the air and a shout of Geronimo being compulsory (for me anyway) for the short slippery near vertical descent to the river below. Me and David still close together and in and among the pesky Pacers.

About half way round now and with only a couple of small climbs left before the short cut across the tops and back along the valley and track to the finish. Unfortunately this is where my thigh niggle kicked in so I skirted the next checkpoint and left the racers to it. I picked up another retiree near the foot of Geronimo and together we limped back.

By the time we got to the finish the marshals were just about to pack up but at least there was still some of the very excellent soup left.

Rob had finished about 8 hours earlier with a tremendous first place, not bad for his first go at the race.

Rob Hope 1st 1:46:30.  David Anderson 79th 2:16:08.  Charlie Mac SOUPth  (Full Results)

(Thumbnail image by Andy Rothwell, used under Creative Commons.)

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