Eight Point Two

Sally Fawcett Dig Deep Races 2014 race report

trail races suffolk trail races peak district


Sally was the first female runner to cross the finish line of the 2014 UTPD, part of the Dig Deep Peak District weekend.  You might also remember her from the training diary films that we have made.  Sally has sent us her race report which you can have a read of below…


Well done to everybody who took part – it was a fantastic weekend.


Sally Fawcett over the finish line of the UTPD the Dig Deep Races 2014


UTPD Report


My build up to the UTPD had been fantastic up to 2 weeks prior to the race. I had recovered well from The Highland Fling and done some good, long training runs. Then I needed a wisdom tooth out! I thought the week or so of rest wouldn’t be a problem and had loads of soft food sorted for when I couldn’t chew. I hadn’t banked on the sprained jaw resulting in munching paracetamol and ibuprofen right up to 4 days before the race. I didn’t run for 9 days, but did manage a couple of 10 mile walks. So, with 3 days to go I decided to do Grindleford Fell Race, if I couldn’t do 5 miles pain free I wasn’t going to manage 60 miles! I was very sensible with my pacing and completely non- competitive (see I can take it easy!) but was relieved to get through it with mild aching in the jaw only, and even upped the pace for the last half a mile to test it fully. So, the race was on!


On the race morning a had a bowl of granola and a couple of mugs of coffee but didn’t go mad with breakfast, instead I planned to eat from early on in the race. I had a plan to eat every 30mins, alternating a Shot Block and a third of a Chia Flatjack. This worked really well up to around 8 hours in, then I just drank Cherry Coke and had a Shot Block every about every 30-40mins. As it was hot I was glad of the two 500ml bottles on my Salomon Vest, I worked out I went through 7 bottles of water, 2 of diluted Coke and one undiluted Coke which wasn’t a massive amount for the length of time out but I felt I got this right.


From the first few miles of the race I realised I was in a good position, the first guy went off really quick, 2nd and 3rd were a little way ahead but then a group of 5 of us remained pretty close together right up to Moscar. I was very disciplined, always being the first to walk the hills when the guys around continued to run. I settled into 8th place and let them go ahead, but always in sight until the descent from High Neb. We came onto a long road section here and it was great to have Matt from Dark Peak, out for a cycle, deciding to keep me company and ride alongside me from 30-33miles. This was great as I wasn’t feeling my strongest here, I even said to Matt if I get to Edale (42miles) I’m on the train route so can drop out. He said not to be so stupid, of course I will be feeling drained as I have run over 30 miles and I was looking better than the guys in front! Those miles passed really quickly, just by having someone to chat to. Before I knew it the 5 of us had all more or less come back together and reached the second feed station at the bottom of Win Hill together, so I must have been running well to catch them up.


Win Hill came at 34 miles in, only ¾ of a mile but a hell of a climb, I actually enjoyed this as it was shaded through Parkin Clough and allowed a good long walk! At the top it was great to see Smiley Pacer Julie, she was actually about to head down as she thought she must have missed me. Along to Crookstone Barn one of the guys dropped back and I didn’t see him again. I settled into 7th place, walking more than the others but feeling surprisingly good. The descent into Edale was pain free, my quads were holding up well! The guys in front were temporarily out of sight, they must have set off up Hollins Cross at quite a pace but I knew there were plenty of climbs left. Near the top of Hollins Cross a group of chav’s, tops off, mobile phone blaring music out asked what was going on, when I told them how far I had run they offered me their water saying I’d need it more than them! I thought the descent from Hollins Cross would be more painful than it was so I must be getting the pacing right. Onto Cave Dale, this was a lovely climb, up ahead I was surprised to see two of the guys I had been in the group with earlier running at a very catchable pace! Before long I made my way past each, stopping for a quick chat but without much effort I found myself in 5th place moving away from them, managing a good pace along the top of Cave Dale all the way into Bradwell.

Sally on Win Hill, photo copyright of  Summit Fever Media

Sally on Win Hill, photo copyright of Summit Fever Media


More familiar faces, Isobel and Ken, appeared on the approach to the third feed station, 49 miles in and I was feeling ok! Quick chat, fill up of the water bottles, wetting of the Buff and hat and I was off for the final push.

Bradwell Edge is not a nice climb, at least it wasn’t quite the mud bath I have seen it every other time. It’s hard to get into a rhythm when you’re slipping and sliding on the mud but the really muddy sections were few and far between. It was still a relief to get onto the flat section along the river from Shatton to Hathersage, this was one of my favourite bits as it was shaded, fairly flat and nice and soft underfoot. As I crossed the railway line up the field from Hathersage I was relieved to know this was the last steep climb, and what a lovely suprise to hear the cow bells as Isobel and Julie ran across the field with Lotty and Karl from their house, so motivating for the last few miles.


Ian was still just about in sight (him in 4th, me in 5th place) as I climbed out of Hathersage onto Ringinglow Road, but then Ian had a real kick and pushed the pace. He was out of sight in no time, I thought with 6-7 miles to go that was far too early to push on, but he let me know at the finish, that’s where he spotted 2nd and 3rd place not far ahead! He managed to catch them but they pulled away as he’d put everything into the chase.


I carried on up to Carl’s Walk, relieved to be in the last few miles, picturing the beer and pizza at the finish! Turning onto Houndkirk Road I was able to get a good pace for 58+ miles, even managing a 8.53 min mile! Julie, Michael, Isobel and Ken again popped up unexpectedly at Houndkirk giving me a boost for the last effort. Through Limb Valley I was running the whole way, even the hills, I think all that caffine was getting me through these miles on a bit of a high!


My aim was for sub 11 hours so I was delighted to come into the finish at 10 hours 43 mins in 5th place, with a new female course record. It was only then I found out how close the 2nd – 4th place guys had been in front. It was probably best not knowing, as I would have pushed myself and no doubt suffered for it if I had thought to try to chase them down! Looking at the data I averaged 10’42 per mile at 5.6mph, a stat I’m really chuffed with considering the 2722m of ascent. If you like hilly races this is definitely one for you.

I just wanted to finish by saying thanks to the those who came out to support, the Smiley Paces were so  encouraging, it is so motivating to see a familiar face when you have raced all those miles and really spurred me on to the finish 🙂



Sally Fawcett over the finish line of the UTPD the Dig Deep Races 2014

Sally Fawcett over the finish line of the UTPD the Dig Deep Races 2014, Photo copyright of Summit Fever Media


1 Comment so far
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Great report, Sally. Conratulations – sounds like a perfectly paced run. Interesting to know that your mind was playing tricks with you at the half way point, but you came through strong.

Comment by pachester67

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