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Thread: Hardest UK fell race....?

  1. #21
    Master sbrt's Avatar
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    I found the Peris one of the toughest but most enjoyable.

  2. #22
    Master Tussockface's Avatar
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    The Derek Price Memorial Grisedale Horseshoe from Patterdale is up there for me (and I've done Borrowdale and Pendle). It's the only race in which I've been so knackered I've actually had to crawl up an ascent. The rough. steep 2000ft descent off St Sunday just drained my legs.
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  3. #23
    Master Tussockface's Avatar
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    The general question about what constitutes a 'hard' race is interesting.

    Part of me definitely concurs with Superflyguy - the short races are the ones where you really, really suffer intensely. For ten to twenty minutes, death appears merciful. However, when those minutes are over, resurrection is rapid. Similarly, when I used to run on the roads I always used to say that a 5k was much tougher than a half marathon because you were moving faster than your comfort speed; but 5 minutes after you've finished you find yourself chatting normally and could probably go off for another run.

    The long races force you to grit your teeth and stay at it through pain which is at a relatively lower level but for a prolonged period, and recovery times are correspondingly extended.

    After 30+ years of running, my conclusion is - notwithstanding my comment on the Grisedale Horseshoe, above - that there is an argument that in one sense all races are equally hard. If you try your best, and adjust your own effort according to distance and terrain, you're operating at your body's limit whether it's a mile along a flat canal bank or 20 miles with 10,000ft of climb. If one event feels easier than another, you're simply not taking it seriously enough.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Alan Lucker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tussockface View Post
    The general question about what constitutes a 'hard' race is interesting.

    Part of me definitely concurs with Superflyguy - the short races are the ones where you really, really suffer intensely. For ten to twenty minutes, death appears merciful. However, when those minutes are over, resurrection is rapid. Similarly, when I used to run on the roads I always used to say that a 5k was much tougher than a half marathon because you were moving faster than your comfort speed; but 5 minutes after you've finished you find yourself chatting normally and could probably go off for another run.

    The long races force you to grit your teeth and stay at it through pain which is at a relatively lower level but for a prolonged period, and recovery times are correspondingly extended.

    After 30+ years of running, my conclusion is - notwithstanding my comment on the Grisedale Horseshoe, above - that there is an argument that in one sense all races are equally hard. If you try your best, and adjust your own effort according to distance and terrain, you're operating at your body's limit whether it's a mile along a flat canal bank or 20 miles with 10,000ft of climb. If one event feels easier than another, you're simply not taking it seriously enough.
    I've come to that conclusion too.
    Hardness, in terms of physical effort, is the spread over time of pain (and the voices in your head saying slow down). The shorter the distance the smaller amount of time the pain fits into (provided you are trying your best). I personally prefer a greater spread of pain. Medium or long fell race. A 5k flat road race to me is almost self torture.

  5. #25
    Master Rob Furness's Avatar
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    I've found the three peaks hardest. I have no explanation for this but I've failed to finish several times and it always kicks the hell out of me. Borrowdale was hard but enjoyable as well. Not done Jura and the time I did wasdale it was insanely hot and runners were dropping like flies, including myself so hard to gauge.

    The shorter races such as Burnsall are hard work but I think it's manageable hard work for most, the end is fairly near so it's easier to push hard. Maybe that's just me
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  6. #26
    Senior Member djglover's Avatar
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    I agree with tussockface, any short race is tough because you are suffering in vo2 max for many minutes. I did Y3Ps this year in 3:30 and it was much more pleasant than even Kildwick! Just nice steady running until ingleborough and even after that not as hard as the short stuff IMHO!

  7. #27
    Senior Member fellgazelle's Avatar
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    Jura for me. No other race I've done comes anywhere near close.

    I haven't done the DazH race (yet) and have to admit that it looks tough, but I reckon Aarochar Alps would take second place.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member William Clough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tussockface View Post
    The Derek Price Memorial Grisedale Horseshoe from Patterdale is up there for me (and I've done Borrowdale and Pendle). It's the only race in which I've been so knackered I've actually had to crawl up an ascent. The rough. steep 2000ft descent off St Sunday just drained my legs.
    Glad you mentioned that one. I don't do that many races but that one was a bugger. 10 miles and 5000 feet if I remember correctly.

  9. #29
    An interesting discussion. I've been asked recently what's the hardest thing you've ever done and I've struggled to decide as when I have got a 'hard race' correct in terms of pace, nutrition etc, I have found it ok and felt I could've gone harder. An easier question would be what race have you found the hardest?
    The races I've felt the worst afterwards are first time I ran the three peaks (second time was fine), my second tour of Pendle (first one was fine) but the only race I have fallen asleep in my car afterwards with one shoe on and one off was the Wadsworth Trog - had a terrible second half.
    Never done it (never got an entry) but woulld expect the High Peak Marathon should be up there, I'd be pretty scared of the Howarth Hobble too as I've never done that distance. Dragon's Back? The Spine? (you can probably guess I'm not a long distance specialist!!)

  10. #30
    Senior Member Sam W's Avatar
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    Completely objective selections from me (though I suppose they can't be anything but), but here's my tuppence worth:

    Edale Skyline, pretty taxing this year due to horrid weather (driving rain/sleet for large parts & clag from Brown Knoll to Grindslow Knoll). As was said in an earlier post, it's pretty runnable for a great deal of it too so the temptation to go all out was too much for me!

    Tour of Pendle, keeps on coming & packs a massive punch very close to the end as you climb Big End. Wasn't at full fitness when I raced but I've never spent so much time falling on my backside. Heavy clag & no knowledge of the area didn't help.

    Bradda Niarbyl (yesterday), not anywhere near full fitness & totally alien territory to me, featuring the odd precipitous drop into the sea easily in sight added to it. Bits of it felt really runnable but I don't think I've spent so much time walking in a long (testament to my lack of fitness). I get the feeling I'll be picking gorse spines out my legs for a few days yet...

    The above is totally objective of course; I struggle on longs (nutrition, physical & mental endurance, spread field so often harder to draft with a group) in all honesty too & feel much more comfortable giving it my all on races under 5 miles. Not done any of BOFRAs or any Lakeland classics (bar Kentmere), so can't comment further than I'd probably pick the long races as the hardest judging on past form!

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