It's was my 36th Birthday and I fancied doing something new and exciting to celebrate in style. So I signed up for my first Fell running race on a cold snowy day! For this I chose the '12km Soreen Stanbury Splash fell running race' with a 400m climb on the Brontë Moors above Haworth.
Lesson learnt: The only people who grow old, were born old to begin with; and that's not me!
True to my running style I miscalculated how far up I had to run from the parking to the start line, so I missed the first 10mins.
With no one to follow except for the occasional foot prints on the snow, I was lost a few times in 'Gods own country' and had lots of fun splashing into icy paddles, followed by a jog on fluffy snow and hard-rock mud. Luckily there had been the occasional humans walking their dogs so I could ask: Excuse me, have you spotted any runners while out here?
I must have looked pretty hopeless cause one them said 'Love do you know where you're going? You still have plenty to go'. To be honest, I didn't have a clue where I was or how to get back either so the only way was forward. It soon become apparent that this is one of the fun of fell running!
Lesson learnt: I wasn't lost, I was simply exploring in an unknown direction.
I run most of it alone and finished last (!) but as with all the off road races, it attracts a lovely bunch of people and I met some of them later on at the 'throwing food' party session where the 'organiser' threw candies, packs of chips and biscuits at the runners gathered in the local pub, who stood strategically in good spots to catch them.
Came back with fab memories, more sweeties than I should ever be allowed to eat and was even given a Birthday cake. What can I say; the best £4 I've ever spent on a race!
Lesson learnt: It's fun to do the unexpected.
The following day there was a picture of me on twitter posing with the sponsors food in my hands and a message that said: 'Greek athlete enjoys the delights of the Soreen Standbury Splash race and Haworth moor'.
It was extremely flattering to be called an 'Athlete'! and I loved how the organisers thought I'd travelled from Greece to participate at this exciting fell race; obviously a slight misunderstanding. Think that with my 'athletic' performance Greece would have done better sending anyone except for me!