• Rombalds Stride Winter Challenge – Pie, peas, and potatoes

Rombalds Stride Winter Challenge – Pie, peas, and potatoes

I really enjoyed the Rombalds Stride Winter challenge this this last weekend… it lived up to its name and there were beautiful snowy moors with snow coming down as well, but no wintery pics from me just the aftermath of 21.7miles 3,100ft of muddy, snowy and boggy moors. I was determined to give it a good run with no in race pics and because I felt I had planned my nutrition and fluids well, no need to stop at check points… just get the card clipped and keep moving, this must have helped with my PB  as well as trying to chase Steve Rhodes down at the start, but with being a few 100m’s ahead at Baildon moor, I never saw him again.
At one point I went into a bog over my knees with both feet… I was a bit stuck and had to drag myself out with a little help from another runner. Loved it and got a course PB 3hrs 46 so chuffed… 9mins quicker than last year! Followed it up with 9 mile run home after the customary pie, peas and potatoes at the end of the event. So all in all, I have had an ultra day.
I have done this event three times now and it was the first ‘trail’ race I entered and I went into the bog that year as well. I really enjoy this race, it isn’t the easiest event, the trail is muddy and takes a lot of effort, with sticky muddy fields that seem to be the same each year, boggy sections and which today had the added icy cold to add to the day. Not to forget some climbs that come as a real kicker and the slog up the muddy section to the top of the Chevin is tantalisingly close to the end. The terrain is truly mixed from roads, lanes, trails, grassy field to moors, flagstone and rocky paths… it is a great tester of where you are up to after winter training or the lack of it. Putting on the blue plastic shoe covers to keep the school hall somewhat free from mud can be just as challenging at the end without getting cramp! Running is not always about getting some bling. I treat my clip cards like medals
Over the last 3 events I have run 3:58; 3:55 and today 3:46 – lost time in the bog!! Otherwise it would have been a sub 3:45… note to self ‘Don’t fall in’.


After having some recent physio I am still not 100% but getting better and I was able to run the downs or more runnable sections okay and able to gain speed, but still slow on the climbs. More to do on elevation training this month.

PIE, PEAS, AND POTATOES

The meal at the end is well earned and goes down a treat, along with pudding and a cup of tea or coffee. A chance to sit and catch up with friends on how their race went.

I will for sure be doing this event next year… fixed into the calendar as a great local event… come rain, sleet, snow, or shine – I’ve not had any of the later in three years so you never know.

Matthew Armstrong

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