Stuart Gregory was the only Stilton Strider to make his way to Derbyshire for the Bluebell Chevin Fell Race (4.57miles) having run a steady time at Huncote the previous day. Stuart found the first half of the new course very challenging, but was still maintaining a not too distant gap to the main field. Unfortunately, the second climb up Sunny hill and Chevin hill was a killer. Nevertheless the second lap of the course proved slightly faster for Stuart who came in 61st and last place, in 1hr 3m 27sec after finding it hard going from the outset. [Stuart]
“Will She take a stud Sir… ?“, she most certainly would today, dry as a bone on pavement but muddy and wet offroad, should’ve worn the heavy duty fell shoes rather than summery trail shoes for this.
Besieged with a plethora of weak excuses its only three Stilton Striders at the most wonderful Great Hucklow Fell race today (Race 4-of the Accelerate Gritstone series), namely Myself, Greg Pettingill ( aka Sir Godfrey De Pettingill) and Steve Dewit (For a Chewit) [Err, his surname is Dewick… -Ed].Having done this race before variety is the name of the game, making it hugely enjoyable, a downhill start for a good while and a good `bum slide` banking to go down open preccedings, half a mile in and all are covered in mud. Over a couple of fields before a long endurance sapping climb to the first summit followed by a very marshy descent on springy marsh-like ground which see`s a few go over teeth first. Another climb to the highest point and another long marshy descent before a nice long strip of tarmac, Greg by the way has taken `Pole Strider` position clearly enjoying himself immensely on the terrain. Back onto the grass and we enter single track woodland which many would label precarious, its slippy and angled, low branches, rocks and tree routes and you have no way of passing the person in front-you think Bluebell woods is treacherous?
We come out in a long valley which is totally made up of ups and downs along sheep tracks, before a sharp pull out of the valley and a V-shaped down and up that makes the last hill. Into the woods and were descending down now to the finish at Great Hucklow, even get me doing a sprint finish! Covered in mud from so many bogs and muddy sections, feels great.
Greg may have made under the hour, I was about 80 seconds behind, didn’t catch Steve`s time but superb race lovely mix of everything and the Stilton top is dripping its quite humid out there, yep all runnable also!
£5.00 entry for a 6.2-ish mile race, Inc Flapjacks of many varieties after the race and probably the best post Banana I’ve ever tasted (locally sourced?) , great day out and great race, i`ll continue to sing very highly its praises. [Rob]
Only one Strider (Simon Bottrill) made the trip (and only because I was camped around the corner) to Alderwasley for the 3rd of the Peat Pits Wood Fell Races. Disappointingly the terrible overnight weather in Derbyshire meant that some parts of the course where impassable so the race was reduced from 5 down 3 miles.
The short two lap race was still challenging enough though and after a quick start I soon found myself picking my way through a very wet peaty trail with some tight turns, a sharp downhill and a long slow climb (which seems steeper on the second lap) back to loop past the start. Came 15th out of a small field of only some 43 runners in 21:19. [Simon]
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]
Being only 30 minutes from the office, I couldn’t miss this super little, AS 7Km 340m , evening fell race.
Not expecting 130 runners, the organisers struggled to process everyone as they attempted to trial some new chip timing kit. As a result the start was delayed until 7:15.
This was a classic, brutal up-down fell race. The 340m ascent, through the woods and fields, to the summit of Masson hill only eased only occasionally.
A short field section on the summit preceded an insanely fast descent from above the Heights of Abraham back down to the A6.
1st Strider Greg (5th MV 50), 51st, 38:28; Steve Dewick 119th, 50:26. [Greg]
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]
The Second `Chicken Run` Fell Race and it’s a lovely blue skied day at Hayfield in the Peak district, a mere £4.00 entry for this race just over 9k in length (it’s all runnable!), also looking pretty killer in that spanking new Stilton vest also courtesy of Mr Bryan.
Two salty Stilton Striders out before Cock-Crow are representing all of Leicestershire in the field of slightly over 100 runners doing today`s race (40 last year), just myself and Fell legend Greg Pettingill. It’s the Gregmeister who takes- off Eggcellently at the start of the race up a technical section known as `the Giggle Gaggle`, which is enough to triple your heart rate in no time, I`m pretty sure Greg would’ve stayed doing hill reps up there all morning.
Thought that was the last I’d see of him but, I’m almost behind him at two miles wondering if he`s set off too fast or fell fowl of an injury, it’s a long slow climb the first few Kand taking it steadier was a good plan. As I finally get on the flat Greg has kicked on massively and finally so do my leg`s also as I’m pure Poultry in motion looking down at the reservoir beneath Kinder Scout now known as `Richards Rib`. Despite the corking hot day there are still splashes of mud and water up there, very easy to lose yourself in the scenery and end up falling over as I noticed afterwards a few had.
The Sun is blazing and there is one more long and steep climb before a very long downhill a huge section which was very stony. I`m a decent descender on roads or grass but lose my nerve on the rocky stuff and get passed a bit here, still I pass two people later and really put the speed on in the last 2k for the finish line just behind the 3rd lady.
Greg Pettingill was 2nd vet and 49 mins not sure of his position and myself 29th in 51 mins, a very good run for both of us and top third also so that`ll truly doodle-do. It did appear a Stilton Strider had attained 3rd place when we saw the name Stewart Gregory, alas not our Stuart!
Absolutely corking race though very much one for the future calendar, lots of friendly marshals, great food, good facilities but bit sparse on the toilets but a bouncy castle should be at more races (especially LRRL).
A Clucking great day out in Sunny weather followed by a pint at Sparrowpit and chips by the river at StoneyMiddleton, living the dream…. [Rob]
In his second race of the weekend, it was back off to Derbyshire for Stuart Gregory as he took to the line for the start of the Bluebell fell race, and after a poor result on Saturday Morning he was hoping for an improved performance. This looked to be on the cards after the first 1.5 miles, as he sat with a small group of runners near to the back of the field, unfortunately by the final 1.5 miles the group had pulled away leaving Stuart in last place, and after chasing down but failing to overtake the remains of the group Stuart finished in last place with a time of 58:45. [Stuart]
Eager for some early season fell race training, Greg Pettingill and Steve Dewick headed to the Peak District for the first race in the “Accelerate” series. With the catchy slogan “Running made easy” and wall to wall sunshine, we were expecting running heaven…..how wrong can you be?
Unusually for a fell race, the start was downhill over perfect pasture, a short length of farm track and a stream crossing followed by reality…350m of ascent in 1km ! The rest of the race was perfect running on moorland paths and tracks followed by a knee crunching descent of the ascent. A fiver well spent! Out of the 361 finishers Greg Pettingill was147th 53:28; Steve Dewick 338th 69:33. [Greg]