As the summer fell races have come to an end I wanted to do a post on some of the race highs and lows as I never get the chance to do a post on each one individually. This year I did some old favourites as well as taking on a few new challenges.
Masson Hill in Matlock at the end of April marks the start of the summer fell races here in Derbyshire as it’s the first race to be held in the evening with the light just about holding out. This year we arrived to race HQ in a stupendous hail storm. Sitting in the warmth of the car it was a struggle to force my way out to registration. Luckily the skies soon cleared and the race stayed dry if a little cool with the top of the hill dusted with hail making it look very wintry for late April. Always a fun race, our club had a huge turnout of 30+ runners which was great which was a huge success for the first race of our new annual fell series. I managed to come home as 3rd woman.
Towards the end of May I controversially threw in a road 10k race. I like to do this about once a year as I find it a useful way for me to benchmark my progress. As each fell race is so different, it’s tricky to work out if you are improving unless you manage to do the same race year upon year. A flat road 10k should give you a similar result no matter where or when it is held and so for me I find it a useful gauge. This year I used the Sinfin Classic and was thrilled to come home in a new PB time of 41:59 and 6th lady.
There was a week in June where I ran 5 races in 6 days which in hindsight was a little silly but I just couldn’t pick and choose which ones to do! These included one of our local league races, the Accelerate Edale Race, Calver Peak, Tansley and Castleton. All good fun with my finishing positions ranging from 2nd woman at Tansley to 11th at Edale. Still work to do on these tougher Peak District routes!
The stand out race for July was the inaugural Warslow fell race which as a bonus piggy backs onto the village beer festival. This is definitely one to remember for next year. Despite unseasonably cold and wet weather, I really enjoyed this. I was totally unprepared for how steep some of the ascents were and laughed out loud at the site of the first one whilst scrambling up on my hands and feet. Watching a chap slide down on his bum faster than I could run down the other side was hilarious, hope he didn’t go over any rocks! I managed to come 1st lady but mainly due to the fact it was a new race so not many entrants!
A few days later I got a last minute entry to the Crich Monument race. This was the first time I had raced this as it always sells out well in advance. A tough course taking in a few of the local hills and some long stretches of flat towpath which I always find hard for some reason. I was absolutely thrilled to come 1st lady with my Harrier teammate Helen coming home just after me. I received my first ever proper trophy that will be engraved with my name which really did make me smile! Add onto that the commemorative ale, Prosecco and running gear and it was a great prize package!
At the end of August I decided to go totally off piste and venture to my first ever rave abroad….in Wales! Ok so not technically abroad, but a long way from home Toto. The Moel Famau Mountain Race was the course of choice as it goes up a route we used to walk up as a family when visiting my grandparents who lived nearby. It was a baking hot day with the start at a village fete. My Dad came along to cheer me on which was nice as unlike the usual races, there were unsurprisingly no faces I recognised on the start line. The race was a straightforward head up to the top on one path and then back down another. In the heat and feeling hungry I was overtaken by an oompa loompa, well, a lady dressed up as one at least. I couldn’t allow this to happen, I was wearing my Harriers vest and could not let the side down! A push of speed on the downhills allowed me to overtake the little orange and green lady and I finished as 3rd lady with pride still intact.
The final evening fell race of the year which marks the end of the season for me was the Longstone Chase. A lovely evening meant for a beautiful race with far reaching views across to the hot air balloons being released from the Chatsworth Show. Such a fun race full of lots of friendly faces. Another 2nd place finish for me and a lovely handmade glass trophy.