We get up early-ish and drive the thirty odd miles south to a place called Mytholmroyd, near Hebden Bridge in the Calder Valley. This is the setting for Alice’s Run which is a 10k race.
A bit of research reveals that this event is in memory of Alice Redmond, who was a student at Leeds Metropolitan University. One night she climbed out of her kitchen window on the third floor to help a fellow student who had become locked out of her flat. Unfortunately she slipped and fell to the concrete below. She died a few days later. She was 21.
This was in 2005 and ever since an annual 10km charity race has been run in her memory. The event also raises money for Epilepsy Action, whom Alice had worked for during a student placement.
Race registration and the finish are at Calder High School, where Alice was a pupil but they take us across to Brierley Field for the start, where they make us do a lap of the playing field. It takes us over 4 minutes to lap the field and we don’t get a km marker, so I assume there aren’t going to be any. Then my worst nightmare appears... mile markers. Well I need to get used to them, I’ve got thirteen of them to look forward to at the weekend.
After the lap around the field the route takes us onto the river tow-path and then becomes a mixture of road, woodland tracks and footpaths. None of which are too evil on my ankles. The same can’t be said of the hills, which started short and sharp but seemed to get progressively less short as the race went on or was that just my imagination and tired legs.
Some of the uphill sections were a bit narrow and caused bottlenecks as when one person up ahead decided to walk a stretch, we all had to. Overall though, it was all very scenic and somehow I clawed my way around in a very respectable 12th place.
The goody bag was reasonable; Dorset Cereal Bars were a sponsor! There were also crisps for the dogs and of course the coveted T-shirt.
There’s a bit of a mix up at the presentation when they give the over-40’s prize to someone who was behind me! I queried the results, as did several of the other over-40’s who'd left me for dust! I think it was all sorted in the end.
Hopefully this unplanned activity, as I was hoping to have been simply watching others swim this weekend, will have topped up my half marathon preparation and perhaps edged up my appetite into cheeseboard territory.
Which I finally got to indulge myself with... but it was a disappointment. It wasn’t a very local selection and very light on actual cheese, it was mostly salad. The Buck Inn has many things going for it but it won’t be making my (as yet unwritten) Good Cheeseboard Guide.
(Sunday 5th September)