Sunday, 26 June 2011


so yesterday i left the house in one state of mind, at sorts with myself, and came back in a totally transformed state, buzzing and elated. so what happened in between?

i set off in my car, minus the pooch whose company i didn't fancy!, with the idea of maybe going to the gym, maybe going and having a run somewhere to help clear my head. lots of maybe's, none of which were filling me with any degree of excitement. it was just one of those days. we all get them, thankfully for me they're few and far between.

so i thought i'd text my mate, jonny macc, just on the off chance to see if he'd fancy a nice gentle trot out to chew the cud and help raise a little cheer. the text I got back was a little unexpected.. 'off to do the whaley waltz*. fancy it?'.

OMG i thought, i haven't done a short race for at least 2, if not 3, years (teggs nose). whatsmore, i haven't done any speed work of any substance for ages too.and i'm not what i'd describe as race fit for a short blast like this one. and to top it all i'd had a few the night before!

what if i come last i thought to myself. bugger it! the whole idea had taken me so by surprise there was nothing to it other than to say 'on my way'. it would be a blast even if i do shame myself. so throwing caution/anxiety/nerves/panic to the wind i headed round to maccas, quietly excited and part bricking it, to pick him up en route. with zilch eaten he kindly fed me toast and jam, a favourite pre race fuel, washed down with a nice mug of tea. a quick change into some kit and off we headed on the short drive to whaley bridge.

(macca and his mate matt at registration)

looking round at the other runners at the start there weren't many, what i would call,fun runners kicking about. it was a small field but most looked fairly handy. oh well. too late now i thought..let's just go and enjoy it. the hooter went and off we went along the main street heavily lined with people clapping and cheering, most there for the afternoon fete not just the race.

it's essentially a race of two halves. all uphill for the first half then down for the second. it was mostly muddy and slippy throughout and only equipped with my north face rucky chuckys (not the ideal shoe for this sort of thing) i took the downhill with a little bit of caution in a few places.

a mile in realising i wasn't going to be last i settled into the run and loved every minute of it. i made decent progress (for me anyway!) up to the 'turning point', windgather rocks for the second half descent, during which i fell back just two places (listen to me becoming all competitive and bothered about placings!).

then just before the finish came the real treat..the jump into the river, which was flowing at 4ft. another friend, phil from buxton,told me the best strategy was just to literally leap as far as you can into it..otherwise you have to swim across! whatsmore there was a huge crowd of spectators on the other side expecting entertainment and comedy from each and every leap into the river. i think they got their money's worth. my landing was akin to peter kays infamous bombing in the john smiths ad..somewhat ungraceful and making one hell of a splash. all races should finish this way!! you can see it in all black around 3.07-3.17 into the video

i was buzzing having loved every minute of the whole thing. a sliding doors moment/text that just might see me now lining up to do a few more of these. i loved the intensity of it all, pushing myself and putting a bit of a shuffle on, something i haven't tried or done for a long time. and phew i didnt finish last

so cheers jonny macc for the off the cuff inspiration! it was truly a blast and a fantastic re-immersion (literally) back into fell running. i'll be coming back for more.

the white nancy ale afterwards back in the vale in bollington wasn't bad either!

*for those not in the uk, the whaley waltz is a 5.78m/792ft fell race in the peak district.


Ali said...

I'm liking that river crossing - as the lady in the crowd says "come on, get in!". There's not nearly enough dooking in races nowadays. And no need to bother with a shower after you finish.

Ian Charters said...


Love it, what a day out!

Drunkeneuphoria said...

Hahaha, love races with river crossings. Not done one for awhile. May have to look at a few of the West Yorkshire ones in Winter.

kate said...

ACE!!!!!! ...brilliant river crossing technique, kinda ninja swap thing ;)

Will Meredith said...

Good one UC! Well done and good to do a few shorter races now and then.

Mary Jones said...

Glad you enjoyed our little race! Thats me jumping in the river just behind you. its saves scraping mud of your trainers for days afterwards.

ultra collie said...

ali..she wasnt having any jessie-ing around was!

de..i fancy doing a tour of them all

kate..right up your street

will..thought you may have been there

mary..thanks. you put on a cracking race! which one were you? in red or another top?

JessiePants said...

Glad you found some mojo out there for the Waltz. Sounds like a really nice race and the video was great. That's why fell running is just so exciting, ADVENTURE!
Well done!

Stu Stod said...


just superb.

Nick said...

It's a cracker isn't it? I did it last year for the first time. I would have been there this year had I not just landed at Manchester airport.
These short sharp furious races are so enlivening. I'm glad you discovered it and got enlivened.