9 May 2015 – Cressbrook Crawl

I didn’t expect much response to….“Fancy warming up for the Clawson 10k with a fell race in the Peaks beforehand?” However, previous reports of sun, dry rock, low fees, beer and chips had obviously permeated into the psyche of small group of Striders who needed to satisfy their new desire for suffering while enjoying a great view.

And so it was that four homogrippyshoe and a fell virgin (homoroadshoe) found themselves, mugged by a race marshal, parking ¾ mile and 500 feet below the event centre – ensuring that we had a good warm up for the event that was the warm up for the most important 10k in the Strider calendar! 

One hour, £7 lighter and a little jog latter, No’s 4,5,6,7,&8 lined up, under a black threatening skywith a hundred kindred spirits to enjoy 10.5km of road, rock and mud masquerading as fun.

Oh gentle reader, do not be fooled by talk of fell races being all up and down, for this one, unusually, started at the top of the hill necessitating a cruel 1 mile, 500 foot ascent to the finish. 

Fortunately (the free) beer and nationally acclaimed chips, in Stoney Middleton, revitalized most of us sufficiently to race again. 

First Strider back was Greg 22nd (8th MV 50) 55:50; followed by Rob Beers 29th 57:25; Luke Eggleston 37th 58:27; Simon Bottrill 40th 59:16; Andrew Bentley 48th 1:01:02. 

Due to an English Fell running counter-event in Shropshire, 80% of the field were veteran runners! [Greg]


Cressbrook situated near Monsal Dale, for the annual Cressbrook Crawl race which is around 6.7 miles in length, we get five Striders out today.  The day begins by introducing Fell debutant Luke to the delights of Uriah Heep, well delightful for me and Greg anyway!
11:00 start from outside the Pub (more on this later), first maybe quarter of a mile is road and uphill before veering downhill onto farm track downhill. Soon after a lady behind me falls very heavily, it sounded awful, one of those days when you don’t even want to think about wet limestone rock and such. I think Andy was hanging back because of those Inov-8 shorts,  the type of apparel that should be saved for wedding nights.By the top of the main climb I’m second strider although I should’ve taken it slower (It’s all run-able!) , would’ve run it all if I had. Get going at the top again and start kicking back a bit, however on the real descent it’s a windy slippy path with plenty of wet rock, lovely, just the stuff that slows me to going downlike Professor-X on a bad day. It’s here that Simon catches and passes me, he`s struggling with his ankle, and all the blazing colours of his kit choice aren’t going to be a great help.

Back onto the flat it’s the three trails of High Dale, Monsal Dale and Millers dale to finish, I know this wasn’t for every Fell Runner but was able to knock out some serious speed along here: Get past Simon again, one runner even complimented me on my downhill’s (yeah as if!). The good news is I can see Greg probably 40 seconds in front, y`know you sort of feel better when that happens. The finish is uphill (rare)and just under a mile of steep road, Greg has flown up here while I’m more erm …cautious (read slow), it’s very decent and I’m happy probably a minute or so behind Greg and second Strider.

Greg Pettingill 1st Strider 22nd overall and get this 8th in V50! That we found most hilarious. Rob Beers 2nd Strider (about a minute behind the Gregmeister). Luke Eggleston 3rd. Simon Bottrill 4th Strider and Andrew Bentley 5th(where’s your Stilton top!).

Free beer with your race number, whether that is a pint or a bottle or what they were happy to give you whatever, big thanks to Mountain Man Haydn Williams of Barrow Runners who gave me his number also(Yay!) then off to Stoney Middleton for the best chips in the Peak, yep truly living the dream-superb day out.  [Rob]