30 August 2014 – 10 miles / 3805 ft – British Championship Race
The Welsh and final instalment of the 4 part British Fell Racing Championship.
The usual suspects were in attendance for both the men’s & the women’s teams: Rob, Darren, Alex, Niall, Graham & me for the men. Plus Rachel & Claire for the women.
With Rob sitting at 1st equal in the Senior Men’s Open category, as well as 4th in the V40, Darren at 9th in the V40, and Claire at 10th in the senior women’s event… glory was there for the taking!
Alex got his excuses in early announcing he’d been in A & E the night before until 1 am. It transpired he’d been out for a gentle trot with our P & B marathon stalwart Martin Landells who had unfortunately slipped and broken his wrist. Apparently this is 4th time he has done this, 3 times when out with Alex. So all the best for the recovery Martin and perhaps think about a new running partner.
Back at the race itself, Mike Blake the RO is well known as a bit of a character and he had us doing the Hokey Cokey back and forth beside the start line tree as he tried to corral and count off the herd of runners.
There were a few worries about the race route as it was new for the Championship but as it turned out, bar a misty descent off Moel Eilio, and a cruel steep uphill finish through the final field, all was reasonably straight forward. We also got an educational lesson in descending as the top boys came past us on the out & back up the very first steep climb of Moel Cynghorion.
Rob showed he is truly back on top form by winning the race and therefore placing first overall in both the Open and V40 championship.
Here’s Rob’s thoughts on the sharp end of the race:
I was feeling slightly jaded after the show races and having spent most of the week nursing my back injury with a range of spinal decompression exercises but was keen to have a good run. The British Championship was being closely contested in the open and vet categories and there were a number of permutations. The race set off at a brisk pace and soon hit a very steep and long climb. Fellow competitors were pushing the pace but I was conscious that there was still a lot of running to come. I managed to pull clear on the run off Moel Eilio and maintained to the finish up a field with what looked to be an innocuous climb but what felt pretty brutal at the end of a run.” – Rob
Very well done Rob! British Champion for the 4th time! And I think the first person to win both Open and V40 in the same year.
The rest of us made it round in one piece, mostly by staying well away from Alex. Claire even having time for a chat with some new found friends on the way round.
Rob Hope 1st 01:24:53. Darren kay 21st 01:37:10. Charlie McIntosh 35th 01:43:18. Alex Jones 59th 01:48:08. Niall Bourke 61st 01:48:54. Rachel Pilling 99th 02:00:14. Graham Pilling 110th 02:05:35. Claire Green 126th 02:10:54. (Full Results)
Photos by the fantastic Norman Berry of Holmfirth Harriers – full set can be viewed here.