So, its out with the old and in with the new. For my February resolution I’ve decided to give up beer. What? Why would you do that? Basically because I’ve spent the entire day wishing I was dead because of the worst hangover this side of Manchester. All good prep for tomorrows clash at Mickleden straddle.
This weekend report is a bit odd, I suppose as I’m starting it on Saturday, and talking about tomorrow, which will eventually end up being today, and, anyway. Results.
Saturday had a lovely touch of snow on the ground (so I am led to believe), and a load of people got out and enjoyed the delightfully sunny day on the hill. Mark Ollerenshaw made his way to Hebden Bridge and ran in the Calder Valley season starter at Wadsworth Trog. At 152 furlongs and 2433 cubits of height gain, the Trog is a considerable piece to break off and chew. Mark did excellently, getting his long distance legs into order coming in 9th in 2:50:53.
Mickleden straddle is approximately 4.3 old Peninkulmas long (look it up) with about 14.5 Nelsons columns worth of height gain. Added to the fact it is run through what can charitably be called “a total clagfest of a bog”, it really is a bit of a challenge. Thanks to this years race committee for the idea that it should be the second race of the fell series. A decent number of people from the club turned up for this and it was lovely to see the smattering of blue and orange throughout the starting pen. Old acquaintances were renewed, and the race began.
There was a fair old ding-dong at the front of the GDH pack with new member Chris Webb and Tim Budd swapping lead for a while. Tim had a decent gap on Chris going down to Slippery Stones, but was pulled back on the climb out. It was neck and neck up to Cut Gate once more, but the promised showdown towards the end failed to materialise as “glass ankles” Budd threw a wobbler on a stone and ended up limping home, gifting the 30 points to Webb, who relished the opportunity to be 6th. Tim ended up a sorrowful 13th.
Behind them, Steve “the dark” Knight began his campaign well, running with Jamie Helmer for a while, before Steve‘s Fell sense took over, and gained some distance from Jamie‘s road-running legs. Steve made places all the way to the end, arriving in 22nd and Jamie a few minutes later in 54th. Behind Jamie, there was a short gap until the seasoned ultra-runner-turned-5k-star Paul Skuse ploughed his furrow down the hill to the end in 72nd.
Jason Hart pulled in at 104th after a testing time across the top, including bloody knees and muddy psychological damage. His excellent effort through the bog lands him in top spot on the Fell table. The man responsible for the champs, Steve “the doctor” Pepper, from a slow start, overtook a good number of people, but was mainly focussed on beating Mr Crompton’s time from last year. I believe he did, netting himself 139th position – also getting his own back on John Stephenson (who trounced Steve royally in the Kinder Trial a couple of weeks ago).
John, in 156th came in just as the rain began to fall ruining his chance of finally having a fully “dry” Mickleden Straddle”. By “dry” I suspect he means precipitation wise…. Next through was Cheryl, the sole Glossopdale Babe of the day, pulling ahead in the champs table by a decent margin. She mentioned passing John Hewitt on her way in, and I wasn’t sure if she had a quick chat with him, or pushed him in a hedge. Whatever happened, Cheryl was 165th and John, despite his thoroughly speedy start showed his excellent ability to be on his feet for more than 3 hours coming in 180th through the gate.
Overall standings looked like this:
6th Chris “spider” Webb 1:49:34
13th Tim “glass ankles” Budd 1:55:37
22nd Steve “the dark” Knight 2:00:51
54th Jamie “the roady” Helmer 2:10:20
72nd Paul “ultra” Skuse 2:15:56
104th Jason “shot through the” Hart 2:25:49
139th Steve “the doctor” Pepper 2:36:03
156th John “Mc” Stephenson 2:45:49
165th Cheryl “cat-like” Stitt 2:51:19
180th John “time on yer feet” Hewitt 3:03:13
Over at Rombalds Stride, Nick Ham had a fabulous day out, enjoying his 18th consecutive Stride. Apparently the going was “soft to sloppy, requiring measured effort, judicious foot placement and much composure”. He finished in 4:13 in, what I would imagine, was a fairly muddy state.
Judd Hirst was out in the Lake District this weekend on the Kong Mountain Marathon. Apparently this was nothing to do with running up hills to rescue a princess while oversized primates hurl barrels at you (semi-obscure Nintendo reference, look it up), it was a delightful day out by all accounts, with snow, bog, hidden bog in snow, ice, fog, steep snow chutes and general fun. I have no idea on his placing, but amusement was had, and he got back to the Shire in one piece, so we’ll call that one a win.
A load of people did parkrun in various places around the country, and the consolidated report is here.
Paul Peters was in Sheffield taking part in the British University XC champs. According to Strava he was well pleased with the result…. but I can’t find the results anywhere, so well done Paul. How did you do? I would imagine it involved a fair amount of mud and clag, but that’s just XC for you.
The pub run happened on Thursday, and was, by all accounts, a decent evening out – thanks to Guy for stepping into the breach left by me (apologies), and just to keep you all up to date – Daz is still repping Cock hill every day. Someone buy that man a beer.
I’m away for the next few weeks, so if anyone wants to take up the mantle of “reporter and general maker-upper of things”, drop me a line. If no-one gets in touch, I will actually have a computer, but I will, literally, make stuff up. You have been warned.