Some sharp-eyed members may well have seen the recent picture of P&B’s Boff Whalley crossing the line of Sedbergh Gala Fell Race with none other than current British 400 metres record holder and Olympic medal winner Iwan Thomas.
Initial excitement/concern that Boff had recruited him as our new sprinting coach for Tuesday night training sessions proved unfounded, however, as it’s now clear that Iwan was there being filmed for a segment about fell running for a forthcoming episode of BBC’s The One Show.
Boff has written a great piece about the experience; here’s a short snippet:
The start line. Precisely 100 runners of all shapes and sizes, male and female, young and old, all now aware (the tannoy has been working overtime) that they’re toeing the line with a champion athlete. A real runner. An Olympian. Three, two, one, a blast of a whistle, and we’re off out of the showground and heading up a winding, stony track leading to the foot of the mountain. The elite runners sprint off ahead. Iwan, competitive blood surging through his veins, goes with them. I’m about twenty metres behind, struggling for breath, doing a rotten job of being running partner/foil/moral support. I can’t keep up. He’s too good. He’s a bona fide athlete, and he has thighs the shape and power of motor pistons. He’s off and away, and I’ll never see him again. Blimey.
We reach the foot of the fell. We haven’t started the real climb yet. Suddenly Iwan is in front of me, gasping.
“I’m bastard knackered,” he shouts.“
Read the full entry, entitled “The Crab, the Mountain and Me” over on Boff’s site here.
We also had a few other members running the race, with Ian Nixon finishing 5th in a time of 20:57, Mick Hill in 29th & 25:59, and Caroline Harding in 79th & 32:51. Full results to be found hither with lots of photographs from the Woodentops site thither.
We don’t yet know when the fell running segment will air but we look forward to catching it when it does. Top marks to Boff for getting P&B on the telly and hat’s off to Iwan for sounding like a nice bloke and giving our oft-overlooked sport a go. He’s very welcome to join us for Hill Sprint training in a couple of weeks’ time…