Whilst on holiday in California in September this year I happened to discover a race which may appeal to members of Dark Peak. An apt description of the Tioga Pass run is an uphill half marathon, although with a difference! Starting at 6,600 feet in Lee Vinning on the Eastern side of the Sierra it runs up the main highway to finish at the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite National Park. at an altitude of just under 10,000 feet and passing through some spectacular scenery on the way. Having been up to the summit of Mount Whitney at 14,500 feet earlier in the week I decided that I was suitably acclimatised to uphold Dark Peak honour and enter. I soon discovered that I was in some serious company with most of the other runners living and training well above 5,000 feet.
As I had never run at this altitude before, I decided to take things fairly easy early on, after all I was on holiday! The race started and a group of nine runners soon established a good lead on the rest of the field. I managed to hold 10th place until three quarter distance when I was caught by another runner. Within the last half mile I knew that someone else was catching me but I thought I had saved enough energy in my legs to outsprint him. Unfortunately, sprinting at 10,000ft. is not easy, my legs felt as though they were made of concrete, and I was just beaten to the line.
Organisation of the race was excellent with drinks stations every 3 miles and loads of refreshments afterwards. Being an \'international\' competitor I was made to feel very welcome, the organiser even sent me a copy of the results! Explaining what fell running was, however, did prove difficult.
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