We are here in wet and humid Castleton on day 1 of the `3 races in 3 days series`, tonight’s effort is a 6.7 mile fell race. We are tonight Rob Beers (Me), John Houghton, Dan Valencia, Steve Dewick, Greg Pettingill, Dan Valencia, `Fell Virgin` Matt Chalmers and staying with us this evening Barrow Runner Haydn Williams who is also doing the Edale Skyline tomorrow. So despite multiple traffic jams and forgotten Bra`s (!) we get to Castleton in time, I`m in retro kit this evening and quite un-ironed it looks actually thought the rain might increase it but everyone seems to notice.
Set off as usual with Greg in my sights for the first half mile of tarmac, I`m watching the old warhorse slide up the pack whilst I get stuck behind some of the pointiest elbows this end of the Western Roman Empire. I finally get past Greg on the ascent towards Lose Hill, I have it in my head that I can stay ahead of him on the climbs at least and hopefully put some distance. Not far off the top of Lose Hill `Captain Cautious` is passed by a flying Pettingill on the descent and it’s a game of catch up as he`s looking strong and I’m still pattering on behind.
What actually happened next is I was running and Greg was getting nearer it wasn’t tactical, anyway I go past him going up Mam Tor fully expecting him to leave me standing on the descent. For non Fell people watching the leaders come off Mam Tor over Flagstones, Grass, Mud and rocky ground is something really to behold, there is some amazing nerve and skill there. I circle the trig point and start my descent, the guy just in front has taken a great line and I follow him as its mainly grass which I’m not too bad on seeing an impressive Simon Bottrill and the others on the way down the Tor shouting my best wishes.
We descend more sharply at the turn down at Hollins Cross, it’s a lot steeper and I lose quite a few places to local runners used to such rocky terrain, somehow I`m still in front of Gregmeister. Once I hit the road I feel safe in my abilities and power on to the finish even taking a Dark Peak shirt in a sprint on the line!
Lovely evening out and first fell race of the Peak district this year for a few of us, Chalmers came home ecstatic saying we were absolute nutters but loved it and was truly amazing!
Results – Rob Beers (95th, 59:07) Greg Pettingill (103rd, 59:32) Simon Bottrill (119th, 62:01) Dan Valencia (145th, 65:11) John Houghton (156th, 66:19) Matt Chalmers (211th, 76:04) and Steve Dewick (224th, 81:20)