FKT: Matthew Blackburn - Yorkshire Three Peaks (United Kingdom) - 2020-07-09

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Total time
11h 4m 57s

Brief report for my fastest known time attempt of a double Yorkshire 3 peaks.

The record caught my attention a while ago as I thought it was pretty attainable if I could hold myself together on round 2. I'd done a recce in February which showed me a lot of it isn't great running but some of the route you can open up on. The plan got shelved though cause of lockdown and the restrictions. Why yesterday to do it (9th July)? Because I've been put back on Furlough for a week and decided Monday I need to get my ass in gear ready for the busy end of year race schedule after a lazy June. Shock therapy ?. Also I wanted to do it mid week so the paths weren't rammed and the weather looked miserable enough to put people off. And to celebrate my first haircut in 5 months.

Round one - The first 5 mile climb up to Ingleborough isn't great running, stoney, water flooded. Actually kicked a rock and stacked it after 3 miles, not too much damage. The summit was in the clouds and it was quite windy. All 3 peaks' summits were in the clouds for most of the day, meaning your coat was coming off and on a fair bit. Climb down Ingleborough is a stepping stone death trap. Followed by Whernside, the ascent is short, steep and painful. I'd say I'm pretty good at shuffling rolling hills but I f'in hate that last mile up Whernside, you just can't shuffle. Once Whernside is over that's 2 peaks down within the first 10 miles. This is a good mental milestone as the descent of Whernside into the river Ribble valley is great running. After an initial tough 10 miles it's followed by 8 miles of bliss. The ascent up Pen Y Ghent seems to go on for ages, it's not bad just drags on and you're happy to see the trig point once you climb some very very steep stepping stones. Coming down again is bit of a death trap especially when the stone is wet, more of a scrabble down. The route doesn't half have some really slow tricky miles but some quick ones if you still have it in your legs after the ascents.
From Pen Y Ghent it's back to Horton in Ribblesdale where I was parked. Feeling a tad tired after just under 5 hours for round one. Coffee and half time food was ready and waiting. But did the cardinal sin, I got comfy - had a couple of coffees changed my top and just sat in the back thinking 3 peaks is not a bad day out, do you really want to go up again? It's not a race etc etc. Agreed with myself I'd do Ingleborough again then call it a day after 4 peaks. Restocked my bag and headed back up.

Round 2 - Stacked it again going up Ingleborough, luckily again not much damage, no bleeding this time. Got up to the Ingleborough trig point turned to come back down. The path down next to Whernside and Horton are right next to each other. Do I go left or right, what would the wife say? What would Goggins say? Legs feel ok! I've got my headtorch etc etc etc. Left I go. Whernside was a f'in torture. But the run into the valley was great, felt ok other than I was running out of water, as it was getting quite humid. I also needed something sugary. Luckily enough the only place on the route I'd spotted was a brew van in the valley. I was preying for it to still be there. It was there but the shutter was down, so just started knocking probably too hard and luckily a woman popped out who was packing up. Hostile at first but could see I needed my hit and the deal transacted smoothly with pleasantries. Got a second wind now, up and over Pen Y Ghent wasn't too bad, wasn't too quick was feeling it a bit but I was moving steady enough. Dropped down back into the car park after 11 hours 4 mins for a new FKT ???