DIARY: Three Peaks

A dull day was brightened considerably today by my decision to enter the WMRA Long Distance Championships at the Three-Peaks race in Yorkshire to be ran on the 26th of April this year.

While marathons and similar long-distance challenges is a priority for my later years (35-45), this was one opportunity I couldn't let slip. As the official WMRA Long Distance Challenge the route will be marked, and thus more accessible to an overseas runner, and it's a unique opportunity for myself and Emma to flag my international credentials.

Three Peaks
The Three Peaks race can be viewed on the IMRA website, and I've started my own research today as I've been laid low for two days now with a nasty case of the sniffles. Seems constant roadblocks are being put in my way to get together a good string of training. At least this time, I got three strong weeks.

Three Peaks is 38.6km long featuring three severe climbs for a total ascent of 1588m. There are cut-offs along the line where you will be ruthlessly turned back if you do not arrive in time.

Caution is advised, last year more than 10% of the starting field did not complete and back in 1978 the race claimed one of the 9 lives lost in the illustrious history of English Fell-Running.

Season Planning
Before joining, I send a mail to Emma to ensure that this wouldn't wreck my season, and she was happy to have me ready for the 26th of April. it's a long race, that will draw on your base fitness, strength, and willpower, not your raw speed, so it is well-placed early season.

Some damage will be done, but in Emma's words: "The benefits of doing this race outweigh the detrimental effects". She's talking fitness, of course, and experience doing extremely tough races that will make many races this Summer seem like a walk in the park. She's also talking about our long-term strategy, and this race is exactly what we need to help raise my profile with the Danish AA.

There's the risk of bombing out and doing terrible, but so what? If I have a bad day, I'll work harder, and come back and do better in another race. If you keep knocking hard enough on a door, sooner or later someone will come by and open it.

It will probably mean sacrificing one of the LL races I had targeted as being my major point scorers for the Leinster League. After the 15th spot coming back from injury, I had hopes to have a serious go at the top-10 spot in the race this April, but just 4 days after Three-Peaks I may have to leave it. A painful decision, to be sure, but Howth will always be around. This opportunity will not come back for a decade or more.

More than One
Very interestingly, another Danish runner, running under the banner of a British club, is entered into the race. So, it seems, that after all, I am not the only Danish hill runner. I like that, for one because it opens a ray of hope that perhaps one day, Denmark could send a team to the WMRA World Trophy and Europeans, but also because it makes my mission to enter these Championships and do better than all of my predecessors, more meaningful.

The Irish lads have to take on top runners to even get a shot at attending. I have to beat a time: 33 minutes, for the 10k distance. Somehow, it would be nice to know that there are other Danish hill runners out there, and not write the a chapter on Danish hill running all alone.

I hope I'll get the chance to meet this fella'. I beat all Danes who attended the Dublin Marathon, I would sincerely like to repeat that at Three Peaks and also beat the 10 or so of our rival Swedes that have come. Given their history, though, I could be betting against top class orienteers.

But nothing beats the prospect of good competition.

Now i just need to heal this virus, so my training is not continually disrupted.