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.

Knowl Hill Fell race Norden Rochdale

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.

Knowl Hill Fell race Norden Rochdale

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.

Knowl Hill Fell race Norden Rochdale

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 . Please contact Steve for prints via website.