The Bolton Abbey Half

Again a really fun race this year. I met a member of Didsbury runners who recently moved to Skipton and with Mum and Dad went up to Bolton Abbey pavilion for the start. The organisers made a lot of improvements this year, although the main road to the event was closed there were no queues of cars to get in.

The event had more going before the start too with hot food and drinks available and also bumped into the Physiotherapists  Mark and Katy (Paragon physiotherapty and KT Fitness) http://paragonphysiotherapy.com/running-tips-physiotherapy who helped me to run correctly this time last year. We talked about things and I told them I had changed my name to Sofie and they were really happy for me. It was super nice to see them.

It was actually this event that led me to seeing them in the first place, I got lucky this time last year. My knee had swollen and I noticed 2 days before the race that it was making clicking sounds. Queue searching for a physio in Skipton who could see me short notice, initially to advise on weather to run it or not, and when I saw they did the run-right training I signed up to that too. Seeing I only started running at the beginning of 2017, I guess that means I have now been running for longer with good form than I have with bad form . I intend to make a separate post about this.

Thankfully it was quite mild compared to last year, into the starting pen, and after 2 minutes silence for Armistace we were off. The course had been altered compared to last year and this time the HM ran from the pavillion to the stepping stones, over the bridge and back. It was quite fun actually as the path drops off on the river side and makes you feel like you are going super fast like a rally driver. 

We then get back to the pavilion and the real hills start, I think there’s almost 700m of climb on this course. Mainly from one hill but you run up it 2 different ways… its beautiful

Another improvement this year is where organisers have put gates into the dry stone wall, where last year there were 15 minute queues at styles. This was on a very steep descent.

I was soo hoping I would be Sofie on the racing bib but the curse struck again. I was in for a real chance as I had contacted the race director when she asked if anyone wanted to change their name but it mustn’t have gone through. By the way the race director was great if any other trans runners decided to go.

The half marathon route joins back up with the 10k and 10 mile routes at various points where it can be an issue to overtake, so there were points where I am running through heather bushes to get past people, but this just adds to the course.

We cross poo bridge at the bottom of the descent and run back to the pavilion through strid wood. It is so nice running through a place I have only ever walked through with my grandparents before, and being proud of walking the red routes, now I am running them.

Out of strid wood and back to the pavilion.

This is the point where the 10mile and 10k race finish, and the HM goes back up the massive hill  from the start, although on a different more scenic route. I remember having the same experience as last year, almost out of body. It is so quiet and I felt something powerful up there. 

At this point I was concerned my legs were going to tire too much on the uphills and I would have to walk, but I made it in the end. Would definitely have benefited from more hill training and more long runs, but I have been relaxed since the great north run and am really happy with how it went at this race. Last year with style queues (read: jumping over dry stone walls) and getting stuck behind a 4×4 at the finish, I ran it in 1:58:06 and came 44th. This year I managed to do it in 1:52:39. I would say the course was a little harder but not by much. I am extremely happy with my position, 16th, next time I need to start nearer the front! Looking at the results on strava later taught me something, next time I am going to go for a mile PB on that last downhill, I thought I was going fast but go FASTER!!! Something fun to look forwards to next time.

Again I prove that running a tough HM makes it look like your face is falling off.

Love you all X

https://www.strava.com/activities/1958607862/overview

2018 Results  https://racebest.com/results/kh9zh?

2017 Results https://racebest.com/results/6vke3?

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