Took part in the Bradford Millennium Way Relay today. It's a five stage race with two runners from each team on each stage - running in pairs. Otley AC team organiser Colin Best paired me with Hugh Pearson on the final stage from Ilkley to Bingley via Rocky Valley, Burley Moor, Weecher Reservoir, Shipley Glen and the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Approximately 11 miles in total - the longest of any stage. Hugh and I arrived at the start to be met by Colin with the news that the stage four runners would be expected in about 15 minutes. No rush then ... get changed, pin number to vest, have a pee ...
Actually Edward and Huw were later than expected but Hugh (confusing, I know) set off at a gallop. Definitely quicker than I would have done had I been running solo. The first four miles or so included lots of climbing. On top of Rombalds Moor we encountered a few deep bogs. Knee deep. At least. But after that it was easy going down towards Shipley Glen.
But then we took a wrong turn and added over a mile to our route. I must share some of the blame for that mistake as it was me carrying the map. Hugh thankfully spotted the mistake and got us back on the correct path - to Shipley Glen.
From that point on there were no problems at all and the terrain suited me much better. Moorland running doesn't really agree with me - especially at speed when coming across deep marshes and streams to jump over. Or not.
Anyway the final few miles were good and overall I was well and truly knackered. Especially during the first half when I struggled to keep pace with Hugh who's obviously used to this sort of thing. The blister was quite painful on the rocky uphill sections but not enough to slow me down and for the last third of the route I hardly noticed anyway. I had drained it yesterday afternoon and used a Compeed blister plaster and two pairs of cushioned socks.
Thanks to St Bedes AC for organising the event and to Colin Best for organising Otley AC teams. And to Hugh Pearson for not letting me slow him down too much only one month after my last 24 hr race.