Penistone Footpath Runners and AC
A Fabulous little route taking in the trails and quiet country roads around the village of Thurlstone. Fantastic views looking over towards the Peak District and a very welcoming and relaxed event.
The course features a 6.7km route, slightly longer than the route run for this event in previous years. The alteration this year was made to avoid a field of cows and calves, but it seems the new route will stay for next years event at least. 83 runners showed up on the day and while a staggered start had been planned a mass start was decided on due to fairly low numbers and there being plenty of space in the start area. The race started at 14:00 on 03/07/21.
Registration was laid back but smooth, typical of many trail and fell running events. Everything was outdoor apart from needing to duck into the registration tent to provide the race entry fee (in cash or by cheque on the day for this event). There was a great atmosphere all through the race and the volunteers were fantastic.
The route offered about 140m of elevation gain, beginning and ended in the football field just up the hill from the St Saviours Church in Thurlstone. The first section of the race was uphill trail, followed promptly by a downhill road section. The road sections on the course were fairly short and quiet roads. Minimal traffic was encountered. After the downhill road section the race turned off towards a farm and across some fields. This section of the route is not public right of way and is part of the course opened up with landowners permission specifically for this event.
The route then skirted round the edge of Royd Moor reservoir and then off through a couple more farms and a few more fields before coming back and heading down a quiet road into Thurlstone, then linking up with a track that brought us back to the football field and the finish line.
I had not really prepared for this race. I entered it relatively last minute and my training schedule that week did not provide me with optimum recovery. With very non-fresh legs, no real speedwork in my training and with the conditions being warm and muggy (my least favourite), I did still manage to run the course roughly as fast as I had been expecting to. A time of 35:56 is nothing to really shout about, but I did what I had hoped to do.
The race did serve to help highlight some weaknesses and give me an idea of where my shorter distance trail race pace is at, so I did find it to be a very useful learning experience. I don’t cope particularly well on downhill road and my struggles with heat and humidity were very present. The weather did mean that I felt very light headed and nauseous for a fair chunk of the race, but I managed to push through these spells.
I felt happy with my performance, it’s a good marker for me to work on and develop from. Shorter distances are not really my goal but I feel they’ll be fun to throw into my calendar to mix things up a little bit.
This year for me is mostly about building my training up and trying a few races to get back into the groove. Next year I’ll look at getting a bit more competitive about things.