Race Reports, May 2008

Garburn Trail Race, Staveley, 31st May

Shaun Roberts

Phew, what a scorcher again! This was the longest of the Lakeland Trail series, and although the course had to be reduced a bit from what was planned - so that runners wouldn't be attacked by nesting buzzards, would you believe - it still turned out to be nearly 15 miles of hard slog in the warm sunshine.

The race began with a steady climb on tarmac to the north to get us warmed up (as if), before descending into the Kent Valley. Good to get to a water station, even early in the race - also good to see it was actually there - apparently the previous year the entire station had been pinched overnight! Then a flattish section up to Kentmere (another water station - chocolate-covered Kendal Mint Cake available at all stops, by the way), and we could begin the main business of the day - climbing up to the Garburn Pass. Signs intended to be helpful ("1/4 the way up", "1/2 the way up", ...) rather tended to show just how slow progress up here actually was. Very warm at this stage and not a hint of wind. Colin overtook me on the way up the hill, by the way, and I thought that was the last I'd see of him. Finally we got to the top and felt a little bit of breeze and we could stretch our legs a little - though the track was very stony, and washed-out in parts, and the cyclists along the way didn't help much, it had to be said.

Coming back round the hill towards Staveley would have been quite pleasant in cooler weather, but as it was, the heat had sucked all the strength out of the legs (question to Striders medics: how does this happen?), and every little hillock forced us all into walking. Managed to catch Colin up at the last water stop, before we finally got to descend to the village, and approach the start/finish area by a quiet stream-side route (where sadly paramedics were attending one runner who'd collapsed in the heat) and we ran round the field to the finish. Quite a party atmosphere here, with music, bouncy castles, Wilf's catering ... and collapsed runners everywhere.

Dave Robson was already there, having dropped back to do the Garburn Challenge after his recent Herculean efforts (2:32:24), and Colin came in less than a minute behind me. Phil came in soon afterwards, feeling he'd had a bad run - but absolutely everyone had felt the heat at this one. My good lady wife Ros had also entered the Challenge as a walker, and did very well to get round in under four and a half hours (4:29:17), especially despite also suffering in the heat.

This is a great course, and a very well-organised event with something for everyone. I'd like to see what it's like in cooler weather.

Colin adds: Tony Audenshaw who apparently plays Bob Hope in Emmerdale was there as the token 'celebrity' to hand out prizes for the children's races and the 5.5km Sport Trail race. However, Tony proved he was more than just a hired face off the telly by not only running the trail race but finishing 44th overall in a time of 2:01:26. And he did it dressed as Tarzan with a wreath of plastic ivy draped around his shoulders.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Andi JONES Salford Harriers 1:25:41
17 Susan PARTRIDGE Leeds City F 1 1:51:26
171 Shaun ROBERTS M50 2:22:12
179 Colin BLACKBURN M40 2:23:08
358 Phil OWEN M40 2:48:50

437 finishers.

Raby Castle 10K & 5K, 25th May

Dave Robson

A lovely sunny day for this race which went on the usual route through the park surrounding Raby Castle. It was breezy, but it was from the east so we were blown up the first hill, but it made the hill up to the lakes a bit harder. Fewer Striders than usual at this race and Mike was the first Strider home. Friendly marshalls and well organised as usual. A long queue for the tearoom was the only disappointment !



Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Martin Scaife North York Moors AC m36 32.14
25 Carolyn Summersgill Middlesbrough & Cleveland f27 38.35
57 Michael Bennett m54 42.24
80 Geoff Watson m32 44.38
145 Adrian Jenkins m42 48.20
172 Dave Robson m57 50.08
210 Peter Brooks m38 52.13
218 Cal Young m20 52.43
234 George Nicholson m59 53.30
240 Jan Young f55 53.46
294 Alan Purvis m70 58.16

397 finishers.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Greg Ritchie Jarrow & Hebburn AC m16 18.32
10 Sophie Foster Birtley f12 22.27
52 Rosa Crowley-Bennett f18 30.11
77 Dorothy Jenkins f41 32.25
82 Emma Crowley-Bennett f13 33.03

136 finishers.

Edinburgh Marathon, 25th May

Dougie Nisbet

Good Grief that was tough. Really tough. I mean I knew marathons were hard and I was expecting it to be hard and I'd done the training and everything for this, my first marathon, but it was still a lot, lot harder than I expected.

I didn't start too briskly, being passed by Phil before we'd even reached the start line. I had a mild shin strain so I took it very easy for the first few miles. After 5 miles it had eased away so that was one less excuse, and it was time to start lifting my pace and running to my plan. I was also being driven slowly insane by a manic Scot dressed head to foot in tartan with a bizarre selection of Tupperware dishes under his vest. When he wasn't telling everyone in the crowd he loved them he was singing at the top of his voice; mostly a selection of Beach Boys numbers but also a surprisingly poignant version of the theme song to the 70's TV series White Horses. Thankfully at around 7 miles he spontaneously combusted and things went quiet for a while.

I kept trying to lift my pace and my pace was consistently refusing to be lifted. As we slogged east into a stiff wind along the seafront things got a little tactical. Unfortunately for the Harlem Globetrotter look-a-like who was surging away into the wind the tactics involved forming a beautiful echelon in his slipstream. He took the wind and sand in the face while behind him we lined up obediently like geese flying in formation.

Around the 12 mile mark I began to get worried. I was well down on my planned pace. And I felt rubbish. I did have a bit of a sniffle the night before. Chest infection or something. Probably full-blown flu in fact. Yes, that's what it'd be. I was alarmed that before even reaching half-way I was feeling sluggish and tired. I was drinking my potions and eating my gels, but there was no magic surge of energy. That'd probably come when I turned around and had the wind on my back.

After an eternity the psychologically crucial turn was reached, and it was a straight home run with the wind behind me. I was still hopeful that I'd be overcome by some magical visitation of energy and I'd power back to the finish and be on my target time. The wind started prodding me in the back, telling me to get a move on. The advice I'd read was to start unwinding in the last few miles back to the finish. Unwind or unravel? I wasn't sure. I really was beginning to feel quite wretched. Pain reports were coming in from all decks, shields were down, and a hull breach looked imminent. I was going to have to walk.

So walk I did. At the next water stop I walked for a bit, and it wasn't so bad. I could get used to this. It was the starting to run again after walking that I found to be quite complicated. I foolishly assumed that it would just be a matter of speeding up until I was no longer walking, but that didn't seem to work. Eventually I managed to hop, skip and jump and I was running again. Well, when I say running, I mean moving faster than the people around me who were walking. Most of them anyway.

This was my first marathon and I found it a rawer, more emotional affair than anything I've done so far. I felt quite tearful at the end. I thought I was ready for it, but perhaps I wasn't. A few more months basic stamina training wouldn't have gone amiss. The lady at the finish had a hard time putting the medal around my neck as I was gripping her shoulders, staring wildly at her, and repeating over and over again, That was SO hard!.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Paul McNamara 2:25:05
4759 Phil Owen M40 4:36:39
4935 Dougie Nisbet M45 4:41:12
5668 Margaret Thompson F55 5:02:05
5976 Leena Leinonen-Dooley F50 5:17:18

6613 finishers.

Druridge Bay 10K, 25th May


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
127 JEAN BRADLEY 52:04

401 finishers.

Summer Handicap Series, Round 2, 21st May

Colin Blackburn

An even bigger thank you to everyone for coming along and taking part in round two of the handicap series. The second round was even more popular with 30 runners taking part, 27 finishing both laps. 38 different runners in total have taken part in the first two rounds. Thanks to Dave Robson for marshalling in Houghall Woods and to Louise and Dave for helping out on the finish line.

The first five runners across the line were all new to this year's handicap and so had comfortable handicaps to beat. Some of them were very new to Elvet Striders and the first person across the line, Julie, was down for her first night. She'd only run on treadmills before and she didn't officially enter the handicap, but she raced around the woods to complete two laps comfortably. Julie was followed by Adrian, Mike, Andy and Kate.

The first runner across the line who had a 2008 handicap was Stef, beating her handicap, set last month, by nearly 3 minutes. Viv followed very closely behind also beating her handicap by a similar time. The fastest runner of the night was Will with a time of 29:39, Geoff Watson was second fastest on the night.

The next round will be on Wednesday June 11th—everyone is welcome!


Name H/C Start Finish Time New H/C
Julie 55:00 19:10:00 19:57:14 47:14 48:01
Adrian Jenkins 45:00 19:20:00 19:58:23 38:23 39:03
Mike Hall 55:00 19:10:00 19:59:12 49:12 49:47
Andy Jordan 45:00 19:20:00 20:00:54 40:54 41:19
Kate Fisher 51:30 19:13:30 20:02:07 48:37 48:54
Geoff Watson 34:00 19:31:00 20:02:12 31:12 31:29
Stef Barlow 43:18 19:21:40 20:02:14 40:34 40:50
Viv Patterson 53:25 19:11:30 20:02:14 50:44 51:00
Lynn Moor 51:24 19:13:30 20:02:32 49:02 49:16
Mike Bennett 34:34 19:30:20 20:02:53 32:33 32:45
Tom Reeves 34:00 19:31:00 20:02:56 31:56 32:08
Pete Fahey 36:50 19:28:10 20:03:09 34:59 35:10
Conrad White 35:30 19:29:30 20:03:30 34:00 34:09
George Nicholson 42:00 19:23:00 20:03:34 40:34 40:43
Shaun Roberts 35:00 19:30:00 20:03:37 33:37 33:45
Will Horsley 31:00 19:34:00 20:03:39 29:39 29:47
Nigel Heppell 35:54 19:29:00 20:03:49 34:49 34:56
Sandra Graham 38:05 19:26:50 20:03:53 37:03 37:09
Mandy Dawson 38:04 19:26:50 20:03:59 37:09 37:14
Susan Davis 39:05 19:25:50 20:04:06 38:16 38:21
Wendy Rowell 40:35 19:24:20 20:04:09 39:49 39:54
Jan Young 40:05 19:24:50 20:05:17 40:27 40:10
Peter Brooks 40:42 19:24:10 20:06:11 42:01 40:47
Carl Harvey 40:10 19:24:50 20:06:42 41:52 41:52
Michael Kitson 45:00 19:20:00 20:06:45 46:45 46:45
Alan Smith 39:00 19:26:00 20:07:32 41:32 41:32
Stan White 50:17 19:14:40 20:09:24 54:44 50:22

Windermere Marathon, Brathay, 18th May

Dave Robson

We stayed in Staveley near Kendal, but not at my usual place, this time we were outside the village in a house with fantastic views, but I did miss my usual place.

We got to Brathay in plenty of time and we were encouraged to park the cars near the lake so that my support team would not have far to carry their windsurfers and canoes ! They had a great time again. We met up with loads of Fetchies and it was great to feel part of a group, there were about ten of them doing the District Double.

I had no idea how the race was going to go. My legs had cramped the day before and I felt very tired after White Peak, so the signs didn't look good. However, a night in compression socks seemed to have helped quite a bit. I decided just to see how it went and slow down if the cramp came back. I took it very easy at first but soon settled into the pace of 10 min/miles that I had got into the day before. Ran for a while with a 100 marathon club runner and chatted away about marathons, it was great. I was taking sports drink and kendal mint at every station and also a gel every 4.5m. Never done sports dring and gels together before but it didn't seem to be doing me any harm. Walked the 7m hill and lost a couple of minutes, but then plodded on at the same pace.

As yesterday from about 5m I was catching and overtaking people and this seemed to help me along. As we turned at the bottom of the lake, the sun had gone behind clouds and it remained that way until the end. The next 5m after halfway were tough with lots of climbs and descents.

I remember reading a fellow fetchie's blog of Windermere last year as she described her district double. As I recall she found a second wind somewhere round the last quarter and much to my amazement I found something similar (just a lot less speedy !). Another Doubler seems to have had something similar this year. At about 18m after the tough undulations, I suddenly felt strong and started to speed up. I walked only some of the 21m hill but didn't lose too much. I speeded up a bit more in the last two miles.

In the last mile I passed one of the 10 marathons in 10 days runners (they do the same course every day, just amazing !) and I congratulated him on what he had done and then as I ran on he noticed that I had done White Peak (I had the white peak race number on my back) and he gave me some lovely loud cheers which encouraged me a bit more. Got a few comments about my sanity on the way round because of that number !

I drove up the hill to the Hall, round the bend to hear the loud whoops and claps of the assembled Fetchies - a lovely sound. 4hr 26m 29sec, my slowest marathon but I enjoyed it much more than Windermere last year which was 13m faster. It feels so much better not to blow up at 21 miles and have to walk most of the rest. I had originally set out to do both under 5hr so I'm over the moon to have done both in less than 4h 30m :-):-):-). Maybe next year I should aim to try and get both under 4h 15m *How did that happen ??? Can't believe I actually typed that just one day after*


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Mohammed Manir-Jolley Wigan Phoenix 02:44:29
420 Dave Robson M55 334 04:26:28

631 finishers.

Pier to Pier Race, Sunderland, 18th May

Shaun Roberts

A chilly breeze at the start for this popular race, and twenty-eight Striders turned up for this one, even more than for the Snods 6, and there wasn't even any free food! Oh, alright we did get a Mars Bar at the finish, but even so ... a very good turnout.

As per usual, the race started on the sand, with the tide a long way out, and we could cut straight across to the far end of the beach, climbing up to higher ground before the first choice of route - I kept to the cliff edge, as did half the field - others headed across the grass to follow the road down. Round Souter Lighthouse, then down past Whitburn Firing Range, and another choice: in previous years, nearly everyone went down to the beach at South Bents, climbing back up steps at the bottom end of the beach, but this time the whole field in front of me cut back up to grass at the top, and joined the top end of the prom. Round the sea front, then onto what seemed like a more stony run-in than before to reach the finish on the beach.

Tom came in as first Strider, and despite helping out with Bob Graham support the day before was over three minutes up on last year. I was well-chuffed to get a PB as well, Nigel had a strong run next, and it was good to see Graham back out racing despite not getting much training in these days. Sandra had a good run to come in first Lady, followed by Mandy and Debs. Lots of good runs further down the field, including Jackie winning the F60 age group! One more special mention - to Barrie Evans who looked to have a very good run despite all the knee problems he's been having.

A "10th Pier to Pier Race" fleece to everyone who'd pre-entered - not bad at all, though everyone tried to go back for one size smaller than they'd asked for! Excellent race again, and it felt a lot warmer at the finish than it had at the start.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Rob Hand Durham City Harriers M46 38:40
19 Michelle Holt Sunderland Harriers F24 42:14
76 Thomas Reeves M42 46:34
107 Shaun Roberts M51 47:58
159 Nigel Heppell M53 50:23
230 Graham Daglish M54 52:32
240 Sandra Graham F47 52:46
275 Mandy Dawson F41 53:53
327 Debra Goddard F37 55:16
393 Barrie Evans M61 57:06
407 Wendy Rowell F58 57:34
433 Alan Smith M61 58:12
435 Jean Bradley F52 58:16
456 Peter Brooks M38 58:40
467 Dougie Nisbet M45 58:56
517 Emma Robinson F37 60:25
520 Ian Graham M54 60:27
530 James Nicholson M61 60:46
534 Louise Billcliffe F45 60:57
565 Phil Owen M42 61:56
612 Christine Farnsworth F57 63:46
634 Philip Todd M37 64:18
639 Jackie Smith F69 64:26
668 Peter McDermott M65 65:03
673 Alan Purvis M70 65:14
718 Yvonne Jones F55 67:04
720 Linda McDermott F60 67:05
739 Margaret Thompson F58 68:00
772 Leena Leinonen-Doole F51 70:09
796 Jill Hall F48 71:45

877 finishers.

White Peak Marathon, Cromford, 17th May

Dave Robson

This was the first race of what is called the District Double - the White Peak marathon in the Peak District, followed the next day by the Windermere marathon in the Lake District. My daughter and her boyfriend drove me down to Derbyshire and my son joined us there and they all went windsurfing and canoeing on both days and seemed to have a great time. It helped loads bring driven everywhere.

Spent the night at Alfreton and got to Cromford Meadows in plenty of time and met lots of Fetchies. Bused to the start and my support team drove there to see me off. My plan was to stick to ten minute miles and not to try to go any faster. The race was all off road mainly on old railway paths with a section of towpath to finish.

I was told there was a gentle incline for the first 11m which you could hardly notice. Well it was gentle and went on for a long time, but I did notice these rises. We got to 11m and turned back on ourselves for a short section before going on a different trail and after that I found it hard for the next 3m or so. Got through that mental hard patch, but can't remember how, which is a shame !

I was overtaking people from about 5m as they slowed and after that nobody overtook me. The marshall at 11m said we had done all the hard work, but for me this wasn't correct. There was along steady climb from 16m to 21m. Then the first descent, followed by more uphill which I had not expected. At the top I cramped, but after about a minute of stretching I carried on but more gently. Then we went down the first 1:8 descent where I couldn't let yourself go. Then more of a rise before the final long 1:8 descent before finishing along the canal towpath.

Only one major road crossing and that was well marshalled. It was quiet a cool day, cloudy and spots of rain every now and then. An excellent scenic course and I recommend this race. The aim had been to stick to ten minute miles and I was happy that I had largely stuck to this, I haven't always been that disciplined. My legs didn't feel great afterwards in spite of taking it easy and the cramp did not bode well for the next day.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Daniel Soltys Telford AC 2:39:51
157 Dave Robson M50 4:19:16

197 finishers.

Mackay Mile, Maiden Castle, 15th May


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Matt Coffey Oxford City Senior M 1 04:32
Emma Toogood DCH U17 F 1 05:14
Fiona Shenton Veteran F 1 06:07

Men's Record: Shaun Moralee 04:21, 2007
Ladies' Record: Aiveen Fox 05:13, 2005

Snods 6, Snods Edge, 14th May

Elvet Striders at Snods

Colin Blackburn

This event is probably the closest regular road/trail race to my house so I took the opportunity to cycle across on a sunny but slightly chilly evening. I arrived in good time having erred on the side of caution with my cycling time. Even so I was still far from the first and there was already a clutch of Striders hanging around who thought the race started at 6:30. Once the village hall at Snods Edge had been opened up we all filed in, milled around, got registered, and got changed. More and more Striders appeared until there was a sea of purple and green, or there would have been if everyone had brought their club vests! By the time of the race there were 21 Striders running in a field of 61 runners. We were by far the biggest club there beating Blyth in the numbers game if not in the race. It shows what effect a bit of free food can have.

The race is mainly on quiet country roads with a few farm tracks and one cut across a field. My decision to wear trail shoes was probably a bad one considering how dry it had been over the past few weeks. My legs are still complaining three days later about the lack of support I gave them. Dave Shipman was a welcome sight cycling hither and thither around the course cheering us all on when we needed it most.

Tom led in the Striders men in 11th place with Mike and Shaun a few places behind. Mandy was the first woman home over all, winning a bottle of bubbly for her efforts. Debs was second woman and 6 of the top 8 women were Striders.

The race was followed by an excellent spread of curries, pizzas, sandwiches and lots of nibbles and then cakes and tiny chocolate doughnuts! Just as I was leaving the quiz was under way...did any Striders win that one too? [No, despite a huge last-minute push. Ed.]

The Snods 6 fantastic event and with a bit of effort we could make half of the field next year.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Paul Whalley Blyth 37:41
11 Thomas Reeves 41:57
13 Mike Bennett 42:44
15 Shaun Roberts 43:49
20 Nigel Heppell 45:51
26 Colin Blackburn 47:10
29 Mandy Dawson F 1 48:47
33 Debra Goddard F 2 50:21
38 Cal Young 51:55
40 Phil Owen 52:43
43 Jan Young F 5 53:58
45 Peter Brooks 54:38
47 Louise Billcliffe F 6 55:00
48 Jean Bradley F 7 55:07
49 Dougie Nisbet 55:08
50 Yvonne Jones F 8 55:29
51 Philip Todd 57:11
52 Dave Robson 58:12
57 Peter McDermott 1:02:06
58 Linda McDermott F 11 1:02:06
60 Kim Hall F 12 1:37:03
61 Mike Hall 1:37:06

61 finishers.

Ripon 10M, 11th May

Dave Robson

A great new scenic route. It starts on the same route as the new Jolly Holly Jog course and then moves off to follow the valley of the seven bridges which used to be on the old Jolly Holly Jog course. Then back up the main drive in the deer park (couldn't see any deer this time) and then it takes a new route to Fountains Abbey and then back on the old 10m course.

Basically four hills plus a few bumps. The previous route was probably 90% on road and now its probably down to 50%. Very hot and this with the hills caught out a number of people who set out fast and I was overtaking people who were slowing from 2m onwards. My aim was to do 10min/miles as a practice for next weekend. My time at 7m when the four hills were behind me was just under 70min so that was great and I allowed myself to speed up in the last three miles - I lack discipline ! Tee shirt to all finishers. A great race, highly recommended - the new route is below.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Garry Dunn Thirsk & Sowerby Harriers M35 54:40
185 Dave Robson M55 1:34:47

253 finishers.

Bowderdale Wild Race, Eden Valley, 11th May

Shaun Roberts

Phew, what a scorcher! This race was brought forward a month, partly to avoid the hot conditions in previous years, but by the Law of Sod it was again roasting for this scenic off-road trail race - 17K or so, with 2,100 feet of climb. I lined up with Nigel and Phil at the start and compared notes on what to wear for the event - we had three completely different approaches: topless, vested and full black body cover with rucksack - I'll let you imagine the scene until we get a photo online ... aha! Here we go:

Elvet Striders at Bowderdale

No, not a pretty sight, I'll grant you. The race began with a ten minute climb before reaching the narrow stony track that follows along the side of Bowderdale Beck. After 40 minutes or so, the path climbs steeply up the ridge to the west, and it's time for a walk. In cooler conditions it's possible to try running short sections, but in this heat I found it impossible, and tried to keep up a firm walking pace. A farmer waits at the top with his quad bike and water bowser - very welcome indeed - and then there's a really nice downhill section on turf, and great views open up ahead. We followed the ridge, with alternating descents and climbs, which again needed some walking, but eventually you come to a final long knee-trembler of a descent back down to the finish.

As is traditional for this one, Nigel managed to catch up with me at the final peak and ran away down the hill. We were a bit slower than usual, but were higher up the field, so I think we can blame the weather a bit for the times. Phil had trouble with his Achilles part-way round, but rather than walk miles back, he did well to keep going all the way home. The cool stream at the finish was soon full of runners cooling off.

This is a great course, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to get out on the hills - especially if the weather forecast looks a bit cooler than it was this time.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 James Douglas Border Harriers 1:09:11
8 Jess Trowbridge Gateshead Harriers F 1 1:31:11
21 Nigel Heppell M50 3 1:44:21
24 Shaun Roberts M50 5 1:45:17
54 Phil Owen M40 17 2:08:15

71 finishers.

Dryderdale Dash Fell Race, Hamsterley, 8th May

Shaun Roberts

A beautiful evening for a five mile race through lesser-known parts of Hamsterley Forest. Quite a few familiar faces at the start line, and we joked about how none of us had brought the usual maps, compasses etc, as obviously we wouldn't be needing them - well, we wouldn't would we, as the course was marked with huge yellow marker boards, so what could go wrong?

The race began with a long mile and a half drag with little chance to catch your breath, after which we had nice rolling or flat sections - Nigel was not too far behind me along here, just behind the leading lady. With about a mile to go, a marshal directed me down the final hill, saying "you can't go wrong now"! I had another runner in my sights coming down here, and hammered down the hill trying to catch him up, and - you guessed it - he missed a sign, and my eyeballs were so far out I missed it too! We ended up taking a slight shortcut to the finish, as did the leading lady, sadly, and so for the first time ever I was disqualified! Had to laugh about it, after doing all the fell navigation training ...

Will Horsley had a great run to win in under the half-hour. I actually quite enjoyed my non-qualifying run in 35 minutes or so, followed closely on the full route by Nigel and Emma - first Lady home. Debs' Dad Eric had a good run, and Jan won the F50 prize - her son Cal said this one hurt much more than the last fell race he did in Hamsterley, but he did well to come in the top twenty.

Nice new race - and a prize for every runner afterwards in the cafe.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Will Horsley NFR 29:11
12 Nigel Heppell M50 4 37:02
13 Emma Bain F/F40 1 37:26
18 Cal Young Unattached 40:25
20 Eric Whitaker Blackhill Bounders M60 2 41:45
21 Jan Young F50 1 41:52
DNC Shaun Roberts M50 35:06

31 finishers.

Coniston Fell Race, Coniston, 3rd May

Tom Reeves

I turned up on a very sunny and pleasant Saturday afternoon to run the Coniston Fell Race. Now I've ran in a few fell races (Hexham Hobble, Saunders etc) now so thought it was about time to step up and run a category A fell race. I was feeling pretty confident and hoped for a good race. There was a strong contingent from NFR including Geoff and Susan Davis so I figured I would try and chase after Geoff and maybe even pip him at the post!

The Course is 9 miles long with 3500 feet of ascent, hence the A category. There were three checkpoints Wetherlam (762m), Swirl How (804m) and finally Coniston Old Man (803m). We set off in the sun and soon hit the first hill at which point everyone got there hands on their knees and commenced the plod up to Wetherlam I tried to run but soon joined the rest of the plodders. It was interesting to see people taking a variety of routes. I however followed the masses and Geoff who had ambled past me on the first climb. We did manage the occasional run when the incline allowed but overall it was one hell of a pull up to the first checkpoint. As I suggested I was hoping to do well at the start of the race. By Swirl How I was just hoping to get to the end and by Coniston Old Man I was hoping not to collapse and come in last!

The run down from the old man was steep and didn't half batter the old legs. I was really surprised to come round a bend in the path in the final mile and see Geoff about 50 metres ahead (he tells me he took a bad line off the old man) I think he was also surprised to see me, he certainly stepped on the gas on the road to the finish. I'm afraid I couldn't respond (my legs were like jelly) and came in a couple of places behind him. I had told my family I would be round in 90 minutes, it took me 1 hour 43 (to be confirmed) I am ever the optimist. I must say (as you may have gathered) it is a tough race and only for those who like hills, but the course is in some fantastic countryside and it really felt like an achievement to finish. I might even do it next year.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Ian Holmes Bingley V40 1.11.43
26 Natalie White Bingley L 1 1.25.04
164 Geoff Davis NFR V50 1.42.45
168 Tom Reeves V40 1.43.08
296 Susan Davis NFR LV40 2.02.29

342 finishers.