The Yorkshire Three Peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernshide and Ingleborough, form the basis of many events, whose total distance covers approximately 25 miles. I blogged about the recent event organised by Heart Research UK here, however I felt one particular aspect deserved a blog entry of its own.
Most people taking part in the event were walking, and there were only a few runners, so we had to be aware that we were in the minority. A few hellos, good mornings and thank-yous were exchanged to be friendly en route, which also help to diffuse any potential unrest or upset.
On the approach to Whernside (from Pen-y-ghent), there is a small bridge across a stream. As our feet were already soaked due to the poor conditions, we ran straight through the stream, passing a walker on the bridge. I may have heard a comment, but I couldn’t be certain. Meanwhile, with one of our party falling behind our group, we wanted to wait to let them know that, due to the poor weather and visibility, we would next wait for them the far side of the summit. While we waited, the gentleman from the bridge walked past us, making small talk about us running the event as we held open a gate for him.
We were quite close to each other as we went over Whernside, but we had to help another one of our members attend to an injury as we descended. It transpired that she had to withdraw, but we encountered this particular walker again on the higher section of Ingleborough (which doubles back on itself); he was walking down as we were going up. It was particularly steep, so our run had become a walk, but he made another comment, suggesting that he thought we were supposed to be running. I thought his remark was peculiar, but thought little more of it. Until I saw him in the distance, about 2.5 miles from the finish.
As is often the case, I was determined to catch and pass him before we finished – which we did with relative ease. But he made yet another comment, this time suggesting that we were not running the whole event and that we were only running the downhill sections. This was true to a degree, but so what? I powered up the next hill on purpose, partly in anger, but also knowing that he would see me. While I thought his comments were rude, I still thought little more of them. Until the finish.
As we were catching our breath and recovering beyond the finish line, the gentleman finished a few minutes behind us. His first words to the officials were to say that we had cheated as we hadn’t run up each mountain and were only running down them.
Just think about that for a moment. It’s not even like the event was a race.
All I ask is why? What is the point?
Or, do I just care too much?