Holcombe Mountain Trial Duathlon Sunday 18th September 2016

A short sharp fell run on Holcombe Moor in early morning mist; a flat out ride though Helmshore round to Edgeworth and back;  up on to Holcombe Moor again; and down to the Hare and Hounds for a pint or two of Guinness in warm, late Summer sunshine. I can’t think of a better Sunday morning.

Holcombe Duathlon 18 Sept 2016

Iron Man Preston

This was the second running of the Holcombe Mountain Trail Duathalon, capably organised by John Raho and Holcombe Harriers.

The event has a limit of 100 places and 52 starters, including a handful of Rossendale Harriers, set out on Sunday 18th September on a steep 8.3km run on rough tracks and boggy paths through Redisher Woods to Pilgrim’s Cross and back via Peel Tower. It was cool and misty and at Pilgrim’s Cross just starting to form a cloud inversion.

Holcombe Duathlon 18 Sept 2016

Ringer Phil Taylor

Such aesthetics were far from the mind of Ironman Andy Preston as he headed off into the mist at the front of the field. I tried to keep up with Phil Taylor who had stepped in at the very last minute as a relay partner ( or “ringer” ) with Michael Huggins. Also in the relay were Dave “Bradders” Bradley and Drew Webster. (Some of you will know Drew as the professional drinker who has accompanied us to the Ben and to Jura in previous years.)

 

 

Never having done an event like this before I had no idea how to pace the race, so I followed a policy of not thinking about it and just getting on with it.

I’d had a fairly good first run and I was in 9th position at the transition. Not having done this before I can pass on some advice to anyone tackling this event for the first time next year. You have to mount your bike on a cambered surface. Trying to mount your bike from the lower side of the camber when you are 5feet 8inches tall is at best embarrassing and at worst life changing.

Holcombe Duathlon 18 Sept 2016

“Really enjoyable event”

The cycle route is the 27km original ‘Mountain Trial Holcombe Circuit’, a challenging road course up Lumb Carr Road Hill Climb taking in the summit of the Grane Road and the winding road from the Grey Mare to Edgeworth – a road which has a head wind every day of the year.

Some fantastic looking full carbon bikes flashed by me as I toiled up Grane Road.  There had been some talk about “Spot Prizes” – I wondered if there would be one for the heaviest bike.

 

 

 

Holcombe Duathlon 18 Sept 2016

Michael Flatley

The final run repeats the first run route but in reverse direction, which means a much tougher initial climb up to Peel Tower on very heavy legs. But it’s worth it for the fantastic run in from the Cross to the finish.

Back outside the Hare & Hounds, the sun decided to come out so it would have been rude not to have had a well earned drink or two whilst waiting for the rest of the Harriers to come in. Which in the end were as follows.

Andy Iron Man Preston 5th  : Micheal and Phil 14th / 1st relay: Jon Tinman 16th : Dave Bradders and Drew (honoury club social secretery) 19th/ 2nd relay : Paul Henegan 47th : Dave Pearson & Lesley Fisher 43rd.

Holcombe Duathlon 18 Sept 2016

Michael Huggins

This is a fantastic, well organised local event which deserves our support.  There are plenty of Rossy Harriers who ride as well. Get it in your diary for next year.

 

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Chester Races

Chester Half Marathon

Sunday 15th May

After the cross country season ended on a positive note, representing Lancashire at the Inter Counties in Birmingham, it was time to turn my attention to the road. After a disappointing performance at the Wilmslow Half Marathon I decided to target Chester 6 weeks later.

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A 9am race start meant an early rise but the sun was shining and it wasn’t long until I was heading down to Chester Racecourse to meet up with fellow Rossendale racer Kris Armitage. The conditions were to play an important part in my race and I was in luck. There was a slight head wind on the first half of the course, so I hoped it would favour me on the way back. The way out saw Tom Charles (Trafford), Tarus Elly (Salford) and I run together up to 7 miles. Tarus took the following wind by the horns and put his foot down, leaving the two of us watching him extend his lead. We both worked well and put some good splits in utilising the wind and the slight decline in elevation before coming back to the town hall. The main streets of Chester were lined with cheering onlookers as I crossed the line 1 second behind Tom Charles in a solid 6th position.

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Clag Happy

Black Combe
AM – 13km (8m)/1000m (3281ft)
Sat 12th March 2016

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You’ve got to love racing! It’s not only one of the few times I’m allowed out with a responsible adult present, but often it’s the banter and surprises that make the day unforgettable.

Responsible adult duties were taken on by Mr Tinman, who it was revealed does lots of very grown-up stuff and is often called upon as double act to high profile politicians; not sure if he’s Ant or Dec though – but who is?

Filling a two hour drive of pre-race chat is not as difficult as it sounds and with a packed car of five fell runners and kit, banter soon turns to recent race performances and the explanation of the the not so politically correct term ‘chicked’. Obviously used by the yoof, I had no idea, a description of the superior prowess of a female athlete compared to your own sloppy effort and an opening debate that the hard working organisers of Women’s Week would have been proud.

First hints of what the day had in store came passing a street sign named ‘Black Combe View’ the blanket of opaque white clag that loomed above was ironic; like a work of modern art complete with cryptic message – the only thing clear was it was going to be an interesting race.

Race organisers had done a fantastic job of hiding the parking, tricking everyone into thinking they’d arrived too early, until turning down the lane to the line of cars that disappeared in the distance and off into the sea.

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Cosy changing facilities meant you were hit with just how cold it actually was out of the marquee and in the field but between running in and out, changing from vest to base layer, to long sleeve base layer, buff then gloves, it wasn’t long before the split start saw the ladies disappearing into the unknown with the men setting off not much after.

As a championship race there was a very strong field in both the female and male categories. Athletes you hold in awe, amazed by the hours spent dedicated honing their skills and able to hold their own at the front of the field without the advantage of the dancing conga line that we all benefit from further down the pack. Or that’s the idea!
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I made a mental note from earlier advice of not going hard off the start and save something for the second climb. Having done the race in 2014 it soon became all too familiar. The first climb didn’t seem as bad as I remembered but then the visibility started to be a problem and all you could do was try desperately to keep sight of those in front.

Sam and Pat got off well and myself, Andy and Jon seemed to jockey for position but they got away on the drag to White Combe which went on forever. I caught up with them at the Fodder Rack. In fact I caught up with about the last 30 people that had passed me as they loomed out of the mist on top of the marshals from all directions. Big thanks to the marshals here, they really had their work cut out. You could hear the panic in the frantic shouts trying to recognise each race number for the other to scribble furiously. This worked in my favour and got me back within my group.
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Then the second climb! Exactly as I remembered and it took no prisoners. I caught up with Jon and we had a moan, as only grumpy old men can – not of the climb but how we should have settled with vest only and how ridiculously hot it was!

Andy had powered off and as the climb levelled so did Jon (powered off, not levelled). I won’t see them again. A cheeky look at my compass on reaching the checkpoint and off over the heather to the descent path. This really paid off as I hit the path further down and it was a while before Jon came hurtling past. Expecting Andy any time I looked over to my right to…Rob Hope!!!

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Now I’ve done quite a few fell races and we’ve all looked for that photo online where you can clearly remember majestically bounding gazelle-like over the tussocks with a huge grin, loving life but the harsh reality, closer to the truth, is you realise the years haven’t been kind, the painful expression suggests maybe taking things a bit easier at your time of life and you know there’s a thriving bridge club at the community centre. So where’s a photographer when you need one, your tripping over them normally and yet the one chance of recording for all time, me battling down a descent for a whole 5 seconds with one of fell runnings elite and a photographer… nowhere to be seen! I was going to ask if he’d not taken the advice to pace himself till the second climb but it looked like he’d had a bad day at the office. I’m sure any reply would’ve been in good humour.

Well there were some big surprises at the finish. A mixture of elated and bemused faces, as stories were swapped. The fell sage Fishwick often says ‘only in fell running’ a never more apt line and why I’ve come to love our sport. No matter how much regard we have for our fell running greats, it’s reassuring to know that they are just human and are faced with and have to deal with the same issues we all do in each race. The ability to take it all with a pinch of salt then get back to their goals is what matters.

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The results made very interesting reading and it turns out the coordinates penned on Toshy’s arm must have in fact been fell groupie mobiles! Pat’s 7th fastest descent is incredible amongst such a strong field, with top efforts from Sophie (our only lady) and the usual suspects that turned out from Rossendale.

Now I doubt Rob will be dining out on his tale of the day he battled for his place down the descent from Black Combe with a Rossy Harrier, only just managing to break away, anytime soon. It’s an image I’d rather not spoil with the truth of a photograph to be honest but I think we’ll all take something away from the day, be it a lesson learnt, a string of extraordinary scalps or just the one shoe!

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Not taking anything away from Calders poster boy Ben’s achievement. I think the day belongs to Victoria Wilkinson. Incredible, establishing such a dominant lead in those conditions and truly out in front on her own. Not only that but breaking a long established course record, a fine ambassador for Women in Sport, Sport England take note. In that respect I don’t think anyone could disagree – we’ve all been ‘chicked’!

Well done Victoria ‘this girl can’.

Race Report by Scott Hitchen

Full Results and Splits

Classic Win

Different races are great for different reasons. Everyone has their favourites. It could be the landscape, maybe the long history of legends who have won it. It might be the pie & pint in the pub at the end. It could be that they’re just really bloody hard. Then there are a few special races that are all of these things rolled into one, and therefore romantically referred to as The Lakeland Classics. An elite series of races. All tough, all long (or super long) and all on every fellrunner’s wish list. Originally set up to save a collection of races from extinction, due to runner numbers being on a steep decline, a time based (not position) scoring system was set up as a series and The Lakeland Classics Trophy was formed.

Most people just love having a go and being part of these great races, perhaps dreaming of a top fifty. Imagine a top ten? But then, somebody has to win them…

So when Sam Tosh was the first Rossendale Harrier to do so in as long as anyone at the club can remember, I thought I’d ask him about his best season to date.

You’ve had some good results in recent years but it seemed like you went up a notch last season. What was different about 2015?

First and foremost I’d say consistency, both in training and racing. From May through to October I was able to race regularly whilst keeping up some decent volume/quality in training. It was the first time in a number of years that I’d managed this, with 2014 being a virtual write off in racing terms. Of course the five months of winter I spent in New Zealand, working and travelling, did no harm either!

Apart from your time spent travelling. Did anything else get in the way of achieving consistency? And how did you overcome this?

Returning to the UK I started full time work again in June. As almost everyone can appreciate, this in itself provides a challenge. Whilst the average day leaves me with plenty of time to train, a busy period or bad traffic soon sees me squeezing training in at all hours. Further to this being based in Birmingham half the week did my climbing legs no favours! Other than that it was mostly a case of trying to stay healthy and injury free. Whilst I had to manage some ongoing niggles during the season I was still able to train throughout with certain adaptations i.e. No downhill running / more cycling. Anyone who trained with me will have definitely noticed the contrived routes and sessions.
You must of been feeling pretty confident going into Langdale, but did you think that you could actually win the race?

With it being towards the end of the season I knew what sort of shape I was in, I was confident even with it being my longest race of the year. After managing wins at a few shorter races earlier in the season. I was standing on the start line of all my races aiming to win.

The only small doubt I had was route choice. Being between both the Ian Hodgson & FRA Relays I didn’t get chance for a recce. Whilst I’ve run most of the course before, it was 7 years ago! This was the main influence on my tactics as I knew there were some experienced runners likely to be at the sharp end.

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Photo by Andy Jackson

 

Onto the race itself. How did that pan out? Did route choice play apart in the end and how did you get on with the infamous Bad Step? 

A front group of 5 formed early on including local and past winner Ben Abdelnoor. Up to Esk Hause a pattern emerged of me leading the climbs whilst he would pick up the pace on the descents and rougher ground. It was a clear day so there were no difficulties with nav and his route choice seemed sound. I stole a few meters on the stepped path to Esk Hause so waited for the others, making sure I got the right trod under Esk Pike. I was surprised here when Ben and Morgan Donnelly decided to go up and over, I stuck to my guns with Tom Brunt and Andy Fallas, trying to keep pace on the race trod below. It paid dividends as we opened a 30 ~ 60 sec gap on the other two. Although it was short lived and a slight error contouring from Three Tarns saw us all re-group on the final climb to Crinkles high point.  Here I was happy to follow as we stuck left, tip toeing above a big drop before swinging back in below the Bad Step. Having not been down it before I was more of a beached whale than mountain goat; substance over style! No real time gaps opened but Ben managed to gain a small amount by avoiding it to the right. Following the short (but agonising) kick up Blisco the final descent was tactical. I picked a good line off the top and dropped the others. Not knowing the lower half meant I was reluctant to go it alone so slowed to re-join the train. Finally crossing Blea Tarn road, the pace went from steady to eyeballs-out in a matter of seconds. It was after negotiating the endless gates I managed a cramp filled sprint to pip Morgan and the others by one second.

 

Langdale is one of the true classic races of the sport. You must’ve been over the moon?

Together with my win at Burnsall and getting my local race record at Knowl Hill it was a real highlight of the year. I’ve been racing on the fells 10+ yrs now and even as a junior I aspired to win a Lakeland Classic. Over the moon would’ve been an understatement!
With it being a fairly long and close fought race I was knackered immediately after but I soon recovered with a pint and pie, after which I was able to appreciate it a bit more. Adding more significance was that I’d started the race 7 yrs ago, that wasn’t such a good day and ended with my first DNF after a fall coming off Bowfell. As such to finally come back and win the race made it even better.

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Beating Dave Lewis’s record at Knowl Hill (photo by Steve Bateson)

Moving onto 2016. How do you plan to build on from what you achieved last year?

When I look back on my training I think there are some significant improvements that can be made. 2015 was far from perfect in this regard so if I’m able to learn from mistakes I’d like to think I can see better results. From racing in 2015 I’m also well aware of where my strengths & weaknesses lie, hopefully over winter I’ve been able to work on the later whilst not diminishing and of my fortes. Likewise at 24 I’m relatively young (especially in fell running terms!) so each year I’m still seeing improvements in strength regardless.

If you look at the men’s championships over the last decade, the top end of Fell running has been dominated by a the same three or four names (Jebb, Bailey, Hope, Taggert etc). As they get a little older (but not much slower as yet), do you think it’s time for a fresh group to emerge? 

Yes, their consistency is what I probably find most impressive, churning out results year after year! I think there are now some younger runners starting to challenge, Tom Addison’s 2014 English Championship win was good to see. There are a number of others who are becoming increasingly competitive and at the same time it’s good to see Rossendale’s own improving, in both relays our average age must have been in the mid 20’s. From a personal perspective yes I’m definitely aiming to be in and amongst the group of names mentioned, to have their longevity would be great but first and foremost I’m focussed on enjoying and making the most of 2016.

 

Many thanks to the following photographers for the use of their photos. Please check out their sites here.

Stephen Wilson at Grand Day Out Photography

Steve Bateson at Running Pix

Andy Jackson

 

 

 

 

Ben Nevis 2015

At the foot of Ben Nevis the traditional bag piper led a four hundred strong parade of athletes to the start line. A grand total of seventeen Rossendale Harriers (which must be the highest number ever?) took their place and waited for the starter’s gun. Even the shy Scottish sun turned up to be part of, what was going to be, a great afternoon of true mountain racing.

Ben Nevis race 5 Sept 2015

Sam Tosh 3rd to summit

Rossendale’s leading light Sam Tosh kept good company with an early group of front-runners. Including Ricky Lightfoot, Martin Mikkleson-Barron, Robb Jebb, and Finlay Wild. The group slowly started to stretch out as Wild topped the mountain first. With the others only seconds behind, the race would be, as they say it always is, won on the decent. And it was. Wild bound past me as I continued the long upwards struggle.  The others soon followed, but the way in which Wild descends sets him apart. It seems so aggressive as he takes huge leaping bounds, but he manages to combine this, with what looks like, perfect balance and control.  I fought a lazy urge to stand back and admire the spectacle but reminded myself that I had my own race to worry about.

Ben Nevis race 5 Sept 2015

Bit Steep. Patrick Brennan with Caitlin Rice (Glosspdale) just behind.

The first five to the top stayed that way until the finish. Sam Tosh taking a hard-earned 3rd place in a real, top quality field. Ashley Holt was the next Harrier in 38th place with a cracking run at his first Ben. It was also the first time he’d worn his brand new Walshes. He looked in absolute agony at the finish, as everyone is, but this seemed out of character. Ashley is from Bacup.  With a bloodied hand (presumably from a secondary wound) he peeled back his socks to reveal the biggest reservoir like blisters on the heel of any foot, in all time. Ever. He popped them both with his teeth and people started throwing life belts. It was a strange scene, yet no one let on.

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Chris Jackson (Glossopdale) admiring Ash Holt’s new Walshes.

Continue reading

Rochdale Three Day Event

Event report by Jon Tinman

Ever wondered what it would feel like to run 3 races – road,  trail and fell – in 3 days?

First race – Friday 12th June 7.30 pm – 6 miles on the road from Norden up Edenfield Road and back through Ashworth Valley. There was a good turnout from Rossendale Harriers: 6 women and 5 men for all 3 races. It was hot and humid and it kept threatening rain. I prayed for rain but none came before we set off at a daft pace up Edenfield Road.  Ashley Holt played a waiting game and strolled home in 4th. Lorraine Hopley made her intentions clear from the off, finishing first woman home. For me, not having done any road races, the pace and intensity was a bit of an eye opener, to say the least. I had managed, just about, to keep pace with John Ealing. I had no idea how it would feel to try and race the following day, but at least I wouldn’t have much time to worry about it.

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Lorraine Hopley winner of Rochdale 3 day Event

Second race – Saturday 13th June 11.00 am – 6 mile trail race. After a leisurely 14 hours recovery we were all back in Norden.  My legs felt like they had been injected with concrete. Naden Valley appeared to have its own micro climate – sub- tropical. It was hotter and even more humid than the night before.  It felt as if all the oxygen had been removed from the air. I had to remind myself that Michael Toman ran 2 or 3 races back to back all the time.

Everyone who had done the event before said that the trail race was the hardest of the 3, because there was so little time to recover from the first race.

Apparently it was hotter last year. If so, it must have been tough. The climb in each lap was not as bad as I had been
led to believe but it played on your mind as you headed back round for the second and third time. The route is a great trail run and kinder on the joints than charging on tarmac down Ashworth Valley.

After the second race Ash had eased himself into first place but Lorraine had dropped to second. In my own race John Ealing had taken over a minute’s lead from me and I couldn’t see any chance of making that up in the third race. In fact I couldn’t see myself getting out of bed the following morning.

Sam Tosh - Winner and owner of new record at Knowl Hill

Sam Tosh – Winner and owner of new record at Knowl Hill

Third race – Sunday 14th June 11.00 am – Knowl Hill Fell Race  Whether it was relief that the end would soon be here or the comfort of the familiarity of a fell race, I felt quite good as I made my to the start; at least I did until I realised there were over a hundred additional runners, all on fresh legs.

It turned out to be a cracking race in superb running conditions. I didn’t manage to make up the time on John Ealing but at least restored some honour by reducing the difference by a few seconds.

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Anthony Dalton 2nd beating old Dave Lewis record at Knowl Hill

In what turned out to be a good day for Rossendale Harriers, Sam Tosh took first place in a new record time; Anthony Dalton was second; Ashley Holt fourth and first overall in the three day event; Lorriane Hopley was first woman in the 3 day event and Rossendale Harriers took first team prizes in the both Knowl Hill fell race and the Three Day Event.

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Ash Holt Men’s winner of Rochdale 3 day event

We all owe a huge debt to everyone at Rochdale Harriers for the superb organisation of the races. Thanks for a great 3 days.

All photos used with kind permission of Steve Bateson at http://www.runningpix.com . Please contact Steve for prints via website.

Blackstone Edge

Blackstone Edge Fell Race 20.05.2015/3.5m/1201ft

Skills & experience : Bog snorkelling

Race Report by Rob Andrew

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Andy Lee amongst others

As the season of midweek races gathers momentum , it seemed only right to make the short hop over to Littleborough for Blackstone edge. A short, sharp race that is designed to do exactly what it says on the tin….hurt you in the shortest time possible .

The race registration is at Knowl Farm nr Lydgate. No airs and graces, just a good honest registration point in a farm outbuilding. Four quid in the tin and done . The race itself dates back to 1983 and has been a British and English Championship counter on two occasions. The race is non-profit and has a reputation for bizarre prizes and great cakes.

Unusually, you can stand on the start line and see the complete route. Pre race chat was dominated by the tactical planning of getting through the bogs that lay ahead. Bogs, whose notorious reputation was enhanced as runners shared anecdotes from previous races. How bad could it be?

Four Rossendale runners made the start line: Scott Saddler, Andrew Lee, Rob Andrew and Nick Harris. It soon became apparent that it was going to be a Calder Valley domination as nearly 50 red and white vests swarmed around the remaining teams.

The race began with a mass sprint along the road , with runners desperately seeking to establish race position before the single file tracks. A clever ploy by the organisers to encourage people to get themselves into cardiovascular difficulty before the hills even begin. After the mass sprint, the climbing began through single file tracks – steadily rising . Overtaking required negotiating the mud, but the stronger runners soon made headway. Scott Saddler carefully picked people off , whilst Rob and Andrew began what turned out to be a good duel. Then the first round of fun began! A quick descent into the heart of some of the nastiest bogs the region has to offer. The air turned blue, as expletives rang out from runners losing whole legs to Blackstones natural defences .

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Rob Andrew in BLACK skull cap EDGING (get it?) out Andy Lee

With the bogs negotiated , the summit of Blackstone Edge lay ahead. This was a steep drag up to the trig point , which reduced even the front runners to a lactic filled stomp. As Scott predicted, this is where the race really began, with gaps opening up across the field. For mountain goats like Scott, this climb must have been the highlight of the day. For the rest of us, I’m not so sure ! Once summited, a rock strewn plateau welcomed tired legs, making it difficult to find your natural stride. Once across , everyone got ready for ‘Fun: part 2″ , a longer , fast descent down into the dreaded bogs. If Carlesberg did bogs, this would have been it. The traditional charge down the slope was halted continually by the loss of solid ground under your feet, with a few face plants thrown in for good measure!

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Race winner Dany Hope (Horwich)

After gaining a sense of satisfaction and relief on arrival at the other side of the bogs, the route veered back up the hillside to cruelly remove it . With the last descent to the finish getting closer and closer , everyone dug deep to plough through the wet ground to hold positions or close gaps down. Myself and Andrew again traded places , neither wanting to give up the chase . The race returned at pace down the same single file tracks and along the road, finishing in the farmers field. A truly enjoyable, tough race with lots of talking points in the post race debrief. This was also a race of firsts for me. The first time I’ve been served water in an old pot noodle pot and the first time I’ve seen buckets of water issued with sponges at the finish. After competing the course , I totally get the need for the buckets! A belting race, highly recommended .

Thanks to Rob Andrew (Rossendale Harriers) for the race report.

All photos courtesy of Nick Dawson. Find his gallery here.

 

Howorth Hobble

Haworth Hobble

14th Mar 2015

Distance: 32m

Climb: 4400ft

In the week leading up to this years Hobble, Davina Raidy posted on Facebook that her running partner for the race had to pull out, so she was in need for someone to take their place. Within the hour Davina had two lads squabbling over who would run with her. Within the next hour Scott Sadler (Me) & Jason Craven had formed our own Team and persuaded the Race Organiser to let us have a late entry. Sorry Davina!!

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A few days later we were on the start line and raring to go. Davina had paired up with Richard Harrison so everyone was happy. Jason and I had agreed to try and take it easy and enjoy the run. None of us had run an ultra since last Summer and we were both still complaining about having a cold. The usual excuses I know but it helped us stick to the plan and enjoy the day.

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The race was great, perfect running conditions, excellent support with great food and drink at the checkpoints (including Talisker whiskey and jam doughnuts at 20 miles), and paced just right for a fast few finishing miles.

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My first time running this race and I think I’ll be back now that I have a time to beat.

Scott.

 

Jason Craven & Scott Sadler – 5:32.10

Davina Raidy & Richard Harrison – 6:19.59

Neil Cornfoot – 6:37.03

Lisa Parkinson & Beverly Holmes – 6:37.23

 

Full results… http://kcac.co.uk/events/hobble/15_hobble.html

 

Thanks to Mick Howard for the photos.

 

 

Teenager with Altitude & Anniversary Waltz

Teenager with Altitude

18th April 2015

Distance: 15.5m

Climb: 7600ft

 

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Scott Sadler (Me) and Jonathan Melia turned out for this mammoth race. As is usual for the weekend of this race, the weather was perfect. Clear blue skies and warm temperatures.

I did a full recce of the race route 3 weeks earlier and it was clear that there are several sections where you have multiple route choices. I made my route decisions during the recce and stuck exactly to my plan on race day, even though I was sometimes tempted to follow others.

15.5 miles is long, but not really that long. It’s the climbing that makes this race so tough. Looking at previous results I was expecting to complete the race in about 3hrs 30mins. I decided not to wear a watch as I prefer to completely trust to feel on races with a lot of climbing. This worked well for me, and although I got a bit of cramp during the final climb up Cat Bells, I was able to run hard off the summit and finish strong. Happy with my effort I got my phone out of the bag to stop Strava and see how close I was to my target. I was surprised to see that I was 17 minutes down on my target time but I wasn’t disappointed as I felt like I had a great run and enjoyed every minute of it.

Next year I will be making a few changes to my route choices and I’m confident that this will help me reach my goal time. Not all of my route choices were bad but there were a few obvious places where I either lost ground, or others made ground on me by taking different routes.

Jonathan only decided to enter the week before and had very little knowledge of the route. This didn’t seem to matter as he also had a great run, finishing 20 minutes ahead of me. Top effort!

Jonathan Melia – 11th – 3:27.29

Scott Sadler – 26th – 3:47.06

79 Runners

Results here… http://www.anniversarywaltz.co.uk/?p=453

Strava trace… https://app.strava.com/activities/287921571

 

 

Anniversary Waltz

18th April 2015

Distance: 11.5m

Climb: 3600ft

The Anniversary Waltz was also ran on the same day and this covers much of the same route (The second half anyway!). Two Harriers ran in this race…

Rob Andrew – 53rd – 2:07.57

Michael Toman – 68th – 2:13.49

192 Runners.

Results here… http://www.anniversarywaltz.co.uk/?p=448

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midgley Moor

Midgley Moor (BS)

28 February ’15

5mile/1250ft climb`

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Thornton Taylor and Michael Toman battling

A record number of entries registered at the pretty setting of Booth cricket club for the Midgley Moor race. This was thanks in part, to the race being the first counter in the Run the Moors Grand Prix which acts as a joint club championship for several clubs from the South West Pennine area.

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Jeff Hignett on the way out

Pre race chat was dominated by route choice. A rarity in shorter races but this would surely have a part to play. Although the majority of the race is unflagged, I think you’d struggle to get properly lost, unless it was really claggy. However, vital seconds, minutes even, could be gained by picking the best lines.

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Janet Howarth looking far  happier than her brother Will (below) at this point.

The race starts with a stiff climb that typifies the steep sided valleys of Calderdale. Once things start to level off a little farm fields are swapped for wilder, heather moor. This is where the fun starts. A follow my leader fashion was quickly replaced with a pebble dash of runners scattered all over Midgley Moor, taking several different trods. Or even opting for the more kamikaze style of out and out heather bashing to cut crucial corners.

Keith Walmsley following Will Lowe (it's safer in a club vest Keith)

Keith Walmsley following Will Lowe (it’s safer in a club vest Keith)

The finish is a bounding decent, where you can really let go, all the way back down to the farmer’s field. Finishers were rewarded by the local farmer, who was handing out the newest post race recovery drink to hit the market “RegoMoo” but it reminded me of a pint bottle of semi skimmed, if I’m being honest.

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Emma Smith all smiles

First place for the Men went to Shaun Godsman of Calder Valley Fell. With the local club also picking up the men’s team prize. Helen Berry of Holmfirth took the Women’s honours, with Clayton taking the women’s team prize. Ken Taylor of Rossendale won his category yet again, being the first vet 60 male.

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1st Male Vet60 Ken Taylor

A healthy number Rossendale Harriers turned out, which is great to see. In previous (recent) years you could count them on one hand at these sort of local races. So the club is definatley going in the right direction on the fells. A special mention goes out to Rossendale Harrier Keith Walmsley for completing his first fell race. He seemed to of had a good do, but was reportedly heard afterwards saying “it’s a bit dangerous. Isn’t it?” Only if you let yourself believe it Keith.

Full results found here.

Thanks again to Woodentops for the use of their excellent photos.