A short but sweet update this month, which saw good weather and plenty of racing action!
A mega-report by Paul Skuse!
Rainow 5 (May 4th)
May’s races started with Rainow. Seems ages ago now. It’s a fast start up a steady climb followed by a steep climb up to White Nancy then some lovely running on the top, fast and grassy (apart from the countless stiles). Then it’s back down, fast as you like, taking no prisoners, knocking down walls (if you’re Sean Collin’s that is!) and back for tea and cake. Winner. I think it was me, Sean, Chris Jackson and “Ever Present” Nick Ham on this one.
Buxworth 5 (May 12th)
Next up was Buxworth. What a belter! I love the climb on this one. It really is a fell run on the tarmac. Great team turnout out which always sets the mood. Frank Hamiliton ran like a boss and was the first harrier home. You shouldn’t be able to move that fast and look so comfortable. We also had me (I think I got V45 but didn’t stay for prizes), James Barnard, Stefan (his first non-XC race as GDH), Gaffers, Neon, James Moon (first race as GDH), Natalie Bunting, Rachel Walton and Sarah Mills. I think it may have been the first race for some of the lasses as well. And after an ace race we went to the pub for a drink all snuggled up in blankets. Winner. Also thanks to James M’s lass and Sean C for coming out and supporting (he was kicking himself that he wasn’t in the race!)
Alderman’s Ascent (May 14th)
Alderman’s Ascent – the Boss, the Daddy, the Widow maker, the Heartbreaker! Loved it. The run was good but the pies, cider and sunburn are the main memories on this one. I could have spent the whole day there. Ben T made an awesome comeback for the team taking 1st place; Stevie K as Pennine, Chris J, me, Sean Collins and Ben H made the contingent. Got the team prize on this one which always puts a huge smile on my face. You should have seen Ben and Sean come in – they HATED IT until 2 pints in and were ready to sign up for 2023! Got to be one of my best racing memories ever.
Next up, the Hayfield-based Three Days in May series…
May Queen (May 20th)
I love this little race – it’s like a mini-Chicken Run. Hayfield up to Lantern Pike and back pretty much sums it up. Loads of tea and cake at the finish. Love it. Ben T, Josh, Sean C, me, Chris J, Rob M (the Man in the Orange Hat!), Pete N, Crutches and Nick “Ever Present” H.
Mount Famine (May 21st)
Apart from the novelty start, it’s the climb out of Dimpus Clough that stands out on this one. It may be runnable for some but I was deffo opting for hands on knees. Loads of flying ants on the top getting in the eyes, ears, nose and mouth which is always fun. Ben T had a belter but lost first place with a simple wrong turning (he wasn’t alone in this), Chris J showed his climbing legs and smashed it. Neal B made an impressive comeback with his delicate knee and aced it (apart from rolling his ankle). Then it was me, Crutches, Nan, Nick, Cathy and Beryl.
Lantern Pike Dash (May 22nd)
Top GDH turn out across all the ages. GDH owned the day! Sadly, a missing marshal turned the junior race into a bit of a debacle, but lessons were hopefully learned. Can’t find any results for this, but Ben T took the prize for all 3 days. And a new V70 record for Frank F! There had better be a proper junior report somewhere as the kids were ace and did us proud.
Shutlingsloe (May 22nd)
Some of us (me, Chris, Crutches and “Ever Present”) then jumped in the cars to head over to Shutlingsloe for the second race of the day. It was stunning. It was so quintessentially English, I felt I’d gone back in time. The race was ace, even on battered legs. You ran down from the starting field to a small woodland, crossed a river, scrambled up a very steep and very soft embankment till you clear the trees then all the way up to the trig and back. It’s a longer but infinitely more runnable version on the Lantern Pike Dash. I grabbed a hot dog about 30 mins before the start. Ian waited (and waited) for a burger – he was possibly still chewing on the start line. How he kept it down, I’ll never know. Mind you, we had to practically wrestle him away from getting a beer before the start. Happy days.
Dovestone Diamond Multi-Terrain Race (May 25th)
Time to finish the month. Dovestone Diamond. One of the best GDH turnouts of the month with plenty of new faces. Possibly my best personal performance of the month – I ran it like one of J’s sessions and I pushed hard enough to feel utterly gone at the end. The route is pretty much a 50/50 split of trail and road. Honestly, there’s too many GDH to mention and even more who weren’t on the list as GDH (if they had, we would have got the team prize!) Tons of prizes too across the age cats, for Stevie K, Christine P, Beryl, John P, Frank F and me.
Roll on June, ‘cos the races keep on coming!
The Old Colliery Canter
Report by Rachel Boorer-May
A few weeks ago I ran my first ever ultra race of 30 miles, which was one of the “It’s Grim up North” events. It was a lapped route of 6 x 5 miles.
It was the hottest day of the year so far when I did it. Thankfully I opted for an early start which was 8am instead of 9:30 as it was really warming up when I got there, let alone starting 90 mins later!
The route as predicted was hilly in parts, and after getting up “Bast*** Hill” once I asked myself how on earth I was going to do it another 5 times! That was the actual name of the hill, I’ve not made it up! Everyone was really friendly and it was nice seeing the same people time and time again on different laps, it helped to spur me on. I tripped over a stone on my second lap and almost fell flat on my face, but somehow with a lot of flapping around I managed to keep myself upright! The last lap was certainly the toughest, but with some mental grit and determination I dragged myself round and finished. I was so happy that I’d done it!
I also got first female in my race category which I was really chuffed about! However didn’t win a prize as I wasn’t chip timed as I started early and nothing was set up when I started.
Now I’ve done it and I know I can do it, I’m looking forward to E24 in a few weeks time.
Lower Borrowdale Skyline
Report by Zoe Barton
I did another FRA English Champs at the Lower Borrowdale Skyline. The route suited my style of running to a tee – grassy, steep hills, which I slogged up, and flew down. 42nd out of 77 females.
Old County Tops 2022
Congratulations to Tim Budd and Chris Webb who achieved fantastic result at this Lakeland Classic, finishing 4th overall and 1st V80. You can read a great write-up by Tim on his blog.
Club Champs update
May’s challenge was the Multi-Terrain Ultra, which saw scores of Harriers take on a 30-mile route in three stages, each starting and finishing at the turning circle in Old Glossop. Well done to everyone who got round this gruelling course!
There’s not quite as far to run in June, when the Champs moves onto the Hyde 7 – you can enter the real race as part of the Tour of Tameside on 19th June, or run it yourself any time during June (see details on the Club Champs page).