Anniversary Waltz 2016

Waltz (n) a ballroom dance in triple time in which couples spin round as they progress round the room.

All very genteel, oozing glitter, sequins and high heels.

But prefix “Anniversary” and suffix “Fell Race” and it’s far cry from the Strictly ballroom. And the highest heels in sight have a 9mm drop.

Helen, Hester, Tim and I lined up for this classic horseshoe round Robinson, Hindscarth, Dalehead, High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells. At a shade under 12 miles and almost 4,000 feet of ascent it is quite a beast, but this was the ‘fun run’ of the day as it has a big brother, the Teenager With Altitude which is about 15.5 miles and approx 7,500 feet of climbing.

The 400 runners doing the Waltz milled around with the usual excuses coming thick and fast – sore ankles, lack of fitness etc etc. The best one though had to be guy who proudly told us that he had slept in a cave the night before.

“It’s my stag do,” he explained, sporting a cheerleader’s outfit.

Then we were off. The climb up Robinson is the sort of thing not to be dwelled upon – three points of contact, ‘nuff said. But after that the rollercoaster of down, up, down, up, down kicks in and it’s just brilliant. The steep hurtle off Dalehead offered some route choice fun and, different to my last attempt at the race, there is now a flagged descent from Catbells. It was a nice day and the views, when I was able to look up for long, were simply breathtaking.

At the finish we were three happy ladies. Helen had taken a bulldozer to her previous time for the race, wiping 45 minutes off her 2009 result. I managed to be 25 minutes quicker than last time and Hester reported her knee to have survived this pre-three peaks test in fine fettle. Tim must have had a good one too, because none of us ever saw him again after the start!