Saturday, 9 March 2013

DNS - Did Not Start

The Grindleford Gallop, a 21 mile loop setting off from the lovely village of Grindleford around the stunning Peak District. Even the miserable weather today could not spoil the impressive scenery.

It was an early start to the day, I had to pick up friend Brian at 5:45am and travel 3.5 hours 'tup north'.

A long journey but worth it to try a spot of Fell running in a new surrounding.

We got to our destiny with 20 minutes to spare to collect our numbers and 'dibbers' to scan at the various checkpoints. I instantly recognised Mike from the Twitter clan who we had met before, and it was also good to meet other new faces who I had been talking to on Twitter. The hello's were a bit rushed but I was looking forward to catching up on the run.

Brian and myself quickly returned to the car to sort out our final preparation for the race.

The car was parked adjacent to the field where the race was starting, and the field of runners were gathering ready for the start.

Brian climbed over and jumped down off the wall that separated the car park and the race start. I followed just as the gun went off for the start of the race.

The wall was of lose stone, typical of the area used to divide boundaries. I jumped but landed awkwardly on my right ankle and instantly knew that something was not right.

The dreaded wall of doom that I fell off (The drop the other side was bigger!)

Fortunately two St John Ambulance members saw me perform my stunt and were over to access the situation. They walked me over to their nearby first aid room and checked out my ankle. There was no instant swelling, they strapped me up and left it to me to make the decision whether to run or not.

By now the field of runners had left by about 15 minutes, but I was determined to run the race that I had been looking forward to, and now having arrived was even more looking forward to.

But alas it was not to be, 1.5 miles of trying to run, and as hard as it was to admit defeat, I knew my ankle would not be OK for another 20 miles on some difficult and hilly terrain.

Action Shot! 1 mile down...and out.

Brian was cool and due to suffering himself with an ongoing foot injury; although he could of run on, was happy to join me in a DNF or should that be a DNS 'Did Not Start'!

As I write this post laying with frozen peas on my ankle it's difficult to reflect on many positives from today. We'd spent 7 hours driving to run 1.5 miles, and cannot say I have learnt anything from the fell running experience because it was over before it started due to a freak injury.

We vowed to return next year, but still have the Loch Ness Marathon in September which means training through the glorious British Summers that we've come to love!

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