It’s Race entry time for the 2018 Spine Race and I have a place

But I won’t be lining up on the start line…

After my Did Not Finish (DNF) at the 86.2 mile point I limped home and aimed to recover, learn my lessons and get back on it for the race in January.

That wasn’t to be, the injuries were not “bruised metatarsals” as I had thought, nor was the pain in my left knee just a few ice packs and a week off for recovery…

I suffered two broken metatarsals in my right foot and one in my left.
Kinda explains the discomfort.

Here I am some 37 weeks later and I am still not 100%, but then have I ever been 100% for any event? Every Mountain Marathon I have run (unofficially) I have been carrying some form of injury or recovering from one… I wonder if anyone who takes part in these exciting events is every truly 100%.

After a week or two after the event my injuries were not healing and a month later after being pecked by all and sunder – I finally went for x rays, nothing to report… so I went back for further ones and the second discovered two cracks in my metatarsals in my right and one in my left foot.

The injuries occurred  somewhere between the 3 and 7 mile point on the Spine Race which for those who know the route is Kinder Scout, in all my years of haring around the mountains, peaks and trails I have never had an injury like it so simply did not recognise the warning signs, the ache I thought was just because my lacing was a little too tight.

My lacing was way too tight and due to the freezing conditions and perhaps even the river crossing my feet expanded and the laces simply caused my bones to crack – feeble things!  It may have been whilst I was hopping from rock to rock to ensure a good start (I was in the front 3rd and felt strong) who knows, what I do know is that at Snake Pass (10 miles) I was in a lot of pain and needed to address it – I swapped shoes at the 16 mile point, but it was too little and too late and it would be now a matter of time before my feet would be in that much pain a dnf was inevitable.

And so… it was.

So rather than winjin which is what I did a lot of at the time, it was and still is time to reflect wisely and understand why it was I ended up with injuries that I have never had previously.

• The bottom line is that my fell shoes Salomon Speedcross 3 were just too tight
• I used waterproof socks that was a mistake for the early stages of the race
• I should have dropped out at Snake pass (10 mile point)
• I should have used elasticated laces which would have mitigated foot expansion

You know that “should have, could have, would have… yada yada… “
I hadn’t been aware of elasticated laces other than glance at them in the outdoor stores and see them as “novel”

The pain relief was such that it allowed me to continue when I should have called it a day – it is feasible that I caused further damage.

There is now a bone spur that has grown over the area that was mostly damaged, this is quite common I am told and I have called it sid… sid the spur… some racers have them removed, I am keen to keep the £1000’s in my bank account rather than cosmetic surgery besides it hasn’t been an issue yet because I haven’t covered any distance of note other than a swift bimble around the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and a few treks up Snowdon, Ben Nev etc…. no mega 40 mile days..

It’s interesting to see the new Spine racers posing questions online that I was asking this time last year, all the usuals, “which sleeping bag is best, what maps, what boots, etc etc… I am in envy mode as I would love to take part again, I am convinced it is there for me to do and I have it in my heart to complete it.

Just not in 2018.
Good luck to the Spine class of 2018 I shall be with you every step of the way albeit by watching your little dots….  Phil