Four motley Striders made their way to Hayfield for the classic Kinder Downfall fell race, sponsored by Pete Bland Sports. Getting there early allowed us to drool over shiny trainers, hydration systems, socks, expensive waterproofs and plastic whistles – you put it in your mouth and blow it, John!
The anarchic start to fell races was taken to another level as runners assembled on the road outside the Royal Hotel, bringing local traffic to a halt. After a short reminder of the race rules, a last minute completion of a race entry form (by someone allergic to officialdom) we were off.
Having recced the start, we knew how important it was to be on the right of the pack to enable us to take the “racing line” around the hairpin bend, to save valuable seconds and get a clear view of the route ahead.
Forty minutes, and 2000’ later, we reached the Kinder plateau. With a slight “tail wind” we soon recovered from the oxygen debt induced by the climb. Gladdened by the stunning views, the next 3 miles of technical gritstone trail running were some of the best you could wish for – we even got slightly sunburnt.
After “posing” for the photographer at Kinder Low, the race changed up a gear on the paved descent to Edale Cross and the pastures above Tunstead farm, allowing “descenders” to show their skills as they vaulted the styles without breaking stride.
A final mile on tarmac to the finish and it was all over.
First Strider and 1st MV55 was Greg 75th 90:18; 2nd, Simon Bottrill 118th 96:17; 3rd, John Houghton 177th105:00; 4th, Steve Dewick (running under Dark Peak) ?
Refreshments were had in “The Wanted” at Sparrowpit – again! Cheers Rob. [Greg]