I woke today to rain and wind as much of the country has done and my first thought was ‘should I run’? it’s another Monday morning and the East Pennine Orienteering Club (EPOC) run. Secretly I was hoping that it would be cancelled, and I could spend the morning in bed but us fell runners and orienteers are a hardy bunch so deep down I know this wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t stop me checking the Facebook page every five minutes just in case but 9:00am came and it hadn’t been called off so I got in my car and drove the ten miles or so over to Rishworth and the Truly Scrumptious café where we were all meeting.
I arrived in plenty of time for once and had a chat with some of the other runners as we waited for Graham our run leader to arrive with the map of the route. Graham was a bit late due to roadworks but soon we were off heading down to the River Ryburn and a run on the embankment. I’ve had some injuries to contend with recently and these were at the back of my mind as picked up our pace. The wind and rain had cleared, and it was now a bright, winter morning, perfect running conditions for me and I was wrapped up warm and enjoying myself. My right knee and left ankle that have been giving me trouble felt good. A couple of days rest and squats seemed to be making a positive difference.
We came off the riverside and headed back up towards the A58 where we crossed over and started our first climb of the run towards Soyland Town. I was wearing my Mudclaw 300s, ideal for running off road but not for on the road. I am getting used to running in them on the road and my pace and confidence is improving. We climbed up a road and soon we were crossing muddy fields, my favourite terrain, and marveling at the ability of the orienteers to run and read a map at the same time! It takes all my skill to remain upright and I have a very limited ability to read a map never mind do the two at the same time!
It was over the fields that my right hamstring started to ache and I began to wonder if this was going to be one of those days when all my old injuries flared up and I would begin to wonder if I should carry on running or find something else to keep me fit and active.
We came to a road at the end of the fields and turned right to head back down towards the A58. The pace was nice and steady, and we were having fun. We crossed the A58 and the River Ryburn and headed down towards Kebroyd. After we crossed the Ryburn there was a short but tricky part where we had to climb a small path up from the riverbank to the path above. One slip and I would have ended up in the Ryburn but luckily, I managed to stay calm and I was soon at the top of the hill running again. It was here we had a chat about the recent Windy Hill fell race part of the Calder Valley club championships. I didn’t enjoy this race at all. I thought there was too much road and it was more technical trail than fell. Some agreed with me, others didn’t. everyone is different and has a different experience of the same race. We agreed though that it wasn’t really what we would consider a fell race for the reasons above and it would be one for us to avoid in the future.
We turned right and headed towards Rippendon. Dropping down to the park we climbed again to what we assumed was an old railway line long gone now. This part of the run was relatively flat and I was able to put some pace into my run and open up my legs. I felt good and was moving with ease and I didn’t notice any aches or pains! Bonus! This path carried on for a couple of miles until we dropped back down to Rishworth and we were back at the Truly Scrumptious café for a well earned full English breakfast. A good run with good friends. I explored some parts of the Calder Valley I haven’t run before and my knee, hamstring and foot all feel better for the run and have the minimal aching. I’m really looking forward to next weeks run up and around Mytholmroyd. The EPOC runs are a perfect way to start the week.