13 June 2015 – 9.1 miles / 4,068 ft
British Fell Running Championship – Race 2 of 4
Scotland, as all you amateur geographers know, is an actual different country & is therefore a long way away. And so it proved, as we picked Rob Hope up at the A65/M6 junction, after a 1.5hr drive with another 2 to go.
However Rob soon settled in the back seats, with a tarten blanket to keeps his legs warm, and the journey passed in the blink of an eye with tales of past & present.
We learnt such illuminating facts such as the ideal pre-race snack, cheese & jam apparently, & that for years I have been going too early with the coffee. These & many other major defects have subsequently been corrected & I am now looking forward to an immense improvement in performance.
In the race, for the men, Matt Lockyer threw the towel in early, not even travelling due to potential problems with immigration. I think he has a false Yorkshire passport. This left just a Famous Five to fill the required team positions for the chaps. No DNF’s to be allowed.
For the ladies, with Caroline Harding nursing a dodgy ankle but bravely setting off anyway, a full team seemed unlikely.
We gathered in the small square outside the race HQ for the customary briefing & to provide a standing target for the swarms of midges, then we trotted off towards the hills with a real life pipe band providing the accompaniment.
The route was sort of in the manor of the earlier English Championship race at Stretton i.e. mostly rolling runnable hills with the odd demon decent, but there was the added bonus of a good deal of tussock bashing.
Rob Hope had run it before but admitted to having no real recollection of the best lines. However this didn’t seem to hamper him as he produced another great performance to finish 3rd overall and 1st V40.
Joe Baxter had a strong run to come in 31st followed by me in 47th. Then came the rest in a mob all in the low hundreds & within 5 minutes of each other – both teams finishing 6th overall.
Rob Hope 3rd (1st M40) 1:25:45. Joe Baxter 31st 1:38:55. Charlie McIntosh 47th 1:42:21. Claire Green 104th 1:55:51. Graham Pilling 114th 1:58:25. Niall Bourke 118th 1:58:52. Rachel Pilling 126th 2:01:12. Jo Schreiber 191st 2:16:57. Caroline Harding DNF’d with ankle!
PS – Next up is the English event in the series, Lingmell Dash, in the Lake District, 25th July.