Fell Relays

23 Striders ran in the Fell Relays on Middleton Fell in The Howgills on Sunday. It was a little breezy, and damp at times for runners later in the day, but the visibility was good, and underfoot the running conditions were ideal. The A Team finished an excellent 21st out of some 200 teams, the Mixed team, 145th, and 3rd in their category, arguably the best result of the day, as opposed to best performance, which was from Edd Charlton-Weedy, 16th overall on the last leg for the A team. The vet 50 team finished 173rd, with our Open B team enjoying their run, but were a runner short, as a result of the 5 call offs in the last week, and therefore unplaced.

Full results are at www.sportident.co.uk/results/2014/BritishFellRelay

With event photos at www.woodentops.org.uk/index.php?topic

Thanks to all who ran - Paul, Roy, Tristan, Harold, Neil, Edd, Zoe, Kirsty, Robin, Jamie, Anthony, Sarah, Tim, David, Julian, Janet, John, Jon, Rob, Jason, Andy, Mark & Sharon, a pleasure to share and run with you on probably my last event in Striders colours.

Midsummer Madness / future fells

A group of Striders made the annual trip to Hebden Bridge in the South Pennines for this seies of races organised by Calder Valley Fell Runners. It is an ideal introduction to fell running, with 3 races over the weekend; a tough 4.5k race with 320m of climb up Wicken Hill on Friday, a simple navigation race of around 12k on Saturday, and a relatively easy 6.5k, 210m of climb on Sunday. A weekend worth putting in the diary for next year. Chris Purse was the top performer for Striders this year, 1st M55 on each day, picking up the award over the 3 races, and finishing 10th overall. Julian Catmull ran well on Saturday, 15th overall and 1st M50. Tim Brockington and Richard Rule each ran well over the 3 days, the latter enjoying his first taste of the fells, with Jon Legge also running on Saturday and Sunday. Conditions were excellent for spectators if a little warm for the runners, and Jon sacrificed his run on Sunday to assist a heat stricken runner. Also joining us for the weekend were John and Lorna Pettifer from Mid Essex. John almost swept the board in the M65 category, winning all bar the Saturday race. Full results for the weekend, and links to photos can be found at www.cvfr.co.uk.

There are a number of opportunities to run on the fells in the coming months. This Saturday, 28th June, there should be a time trial at Lingwood Common. Sunday 29th, there may be a day trip to Shropshire for the Callow Fell Race (a tough 5 miler, not reccommended for the novice hill runner), and Saturday and Sunday 12th/13th July there is a weekend trip to the Brecon Beaconns for the Pen-y-Fan and Fan-y-Big fell races. The Fell Relays are on the weekend of 18th/19th October, in the Howgills. This is always a highlight of the year. We will be entering teams, and would welcome volunteers, especially for the ladies team. More details of these events will be on the chatboard.

Coniston / Great Lakeland 3 Day

A number of Striders were in action on the Lakeland Fells over the weekend. Paul Jeggo and Roger Gooding ran in the Coniston Fell Race. A medium counter in the English Fell Championship, there was a high quality field for this 14k (1065mclimb) race, Paul having another excellent run, finishing as 6th M50, 113th overall in 85'56", Roger 297th in 109'19".

The Great Lakeland 3 Day is a mountain marathon, with a choice of routes. Edd Charlton-Weedy, Janet Hill and John Williams all opted for the B Course, some 90k distance with with 3200m of climb over the fells, starting from Pooley Bridge and including Beda Fell, High Street, Yoke, Wansfell Pike, Loughrigg, Lingmoor, Blea Rigg, Grisedale Hause, and Boredale Hause. Edd was running the B course as a result of a recent injury, and convincingly won the first two days, but had to retire on the 3rd day. Janet was 1st Female veteran home on the first day, and at the end of the 3 days after 90k and some 18hours running was just 2 minutes behind the (15 years younger) overall 1st female veteran. A thoroughly enjoyable and well organised event in good conditions on Saturday and most of Monday, with the beer tent, hot water and transport of overnight kit more than compensating for the extra challenge of a third day on the fells.

More success on the fells

On Saturday 4 Striders ran in the Carding Mill Canter. This is an excellent fell race of around 8k with 500m of climb, taking in the hills around the Carding Mill Valley in Shropshire. Conditions were good for running, although there was snow (just) on the hilltops, and Paul Jeggo again ran well, finishing 9th overall and 1st Vet 50 in a time of 49m3s, just over 6m behind the winner. Roger Gooding, Tim Brockington amd John Williams also ran, and full, and incorrect, results can be found at merciafellrunners.org.uk Paul is also likely to win his age category in the Shropshire winter hill series, even if he loses his current overll 1st place before the final race at the Wrekin in early April.

The previous week was the New Chew, a fell navigation event over the rough terrain of the Saddleworth Moors. There were 3 courses, Long Score and Short Score, where the runner visits as many controls as possible in a set time, and a scoreless event, where there is no time limit, but all specified controls must be found. Janet Hill and John Williams ran the scoreless event, and while it has to be said that the competition was a little less than fierce, they won the event.

There are a number of fell races in the coming months; the next is The Wrekin in early April; there is a possible weekend away in mid May for 3 days in May at Hayfield in Derbyshire, and Midsummer Madness in June. Further details of trips will be on the chatboard.

Long Mynd Valleys Weekend

Conditions on Saturday were foul for the first of the weekends races, the 4k Tittersone Clee race up, round the trig pillar and down the highest hill in Shropshire. Despite the howling wind drving the rain and snow flurries this was a good race for Striders. Paul Jeggo won the M50 category, as usual, Janet Hill took the award for F55 and John Williams the M60 prize. Best preformance of the day came from Edd Charlton-Weedy, equalling the feat of erstwhile captain Mark Healy sometime in the last century, and winning the race, beating his nemesis from last year, local Mercia man Paul Jones. Tim Brockington also ran, but suffered the fate of many in past years, and did not find a good descent route.

The same 5 lined up for the Sunday race, the 18.5k Long Mynd Valleys. Despite the generally fine conditions there was to be no repeat of the prize glut of the previous day, with category winners John and Paul beaten into 2nd place; Janet however retained her title as 1st F55, though a computer timing glitch initially indicated otherwise. Edd was on course for a top 10 finish again, but his failure to recce the course changes led him astray after the last checkpoint atop Yearlet, adding some 8 minutes to his time, and giving him a somewhat embarrassing finish, running up the road from the south east rather than down the spur from the south west. Janet also had an interesting finish, 3rd lady home, (after an early start, so actually just over an hour slower, but in a still creditable time of just over 3 hours). Despite his walkabout Edd still ran well enough to win the shield for the weekend; an excellent performance, and from a quick look at the names on the shield the first time that this has been accomplished by a Strider.

Read more: Long Mynd Valleys Weekend