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Fell Section

Duddon Valley Fell Race- Saturday 30 th May 2009

A view from the back (very back!) of the field – 18 (ish) miles / 7000 (ish) ft

 

Well, we were going to be up in the Lakes camping anyway….. and it was one of the club fell championships…..and I had said I was going to try and complete as many of them as I could this year………….

 

So I found myself there on the morning of the race feeling very unprepared and fairly convinced that I wasn’t going to get round (I’m not fit enough – no where near enough training, and it’s a really long 18 miles - never run that far before –, and there’s 7000(!) feet of ascent and decent – never done that before, and I haven’t reccied the route – the weather was too bad the day I was going to do it, and it’s hot, and I didn’t sleep very well, and I’ve got really bad hay fever and I forgot my asthma inhaler etc. etc.) in fact, why on earth was I there?

 

The day was glorious, clear blue skies but with a strong fresh breeze that stopped it from feeling hot. 6 Harriers came up to do the race.

 

We set off straight into the first long climb up to Harter Fell. I wasn’t feeling too good and quickly found myself at the back. We came off Harter Fell and down to Hardknott Pass where Adrian (my husband), my kids and various other supporters we had roped in from the campsite the day before, were waiting with refreshments. I didn’t say much apart from words to the effect that ‘there was no way I was going to complete this damn thing and that I was going to give up at Three Shires Stone, if not before!’

 

The next climb up to Hard Knott is quite short and I got up quite quickly and started to feel better. Followed the footprints off the top and found a reasonable line down to Moseldale – where I could see a few people moving very slowly up the side of Little Stand. The climb up to Little Stand is very steep and unrelenting and seems to go on for ever.

 

Headed north east off Little Stand and across the top of Gaitscale Gill and managed to find a runners trod that takes you all the way down to Three Shires Stone (didn’t have any one to follow by this point).

 

I got down to Three Shires 15 mins before the cut off time and met my supporters again, who were getting ready to stretcher me back in the car - only to announce that I was feeling fine and was carrying on!

 

Once you get up Swirl How you have done most of the climbing, although there are still a long way and three smaller peaks to go.

 

The last bit of the race is a bit of a killer and whilst it doesn’t look much on the map, the trek across the Pikes and the last climb up Caw are something you could really do without. At this point I saw the first runners I had seen in hours and caught up with a two who were struggling (one with really bad cramp). Encouraged one of them who was ready to give up, to keep going (I have been there and I know what it feels like!).

 

Got to the top of Caw to be told that we were officially too late – but was beyond caring at that point and carried on down to finish the race – joint last!

 

The weather stayed fantastic all day and the views form the tops were stunning. The views from the pub were even better afterwards! It was a great race and an amazing feeling to complete something that I really thought I couldn’t do!!

 

Sophie Barraclough

 

Results: 8 Julian Rank ( 3:18:12); 18 (1st V50) John Ewart ( 3:30:45); 36 Gavin Baxter ( 3:44:05); 101 Ian Shuttleworth ( 4:17:31) 202 Jim Somerville ( 5:38:09) 207 Sophie Barraclough ( 6:01:11).

 

 

 

 

About Us

Tom Brunt Fell Secretary

Fell secretary

Phil Hobbs

Email Phil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the fell running section. If you have an aversion to tarmac and the prospect of scrambling up steep-sided hills and careering down the other side on paths mainly populated by nimble-footed sheep, come rain, shine or snow sounds like fun, then fell running is for you. Holmfirth Harriers has a long and glorious history of running on the fells. Recent individual achievements include three consecutive wins in the Old County Tops for Tom Brunt and a silver medal in the Yorkshire championships for Helen Berry. On the team front we have had a series of solid performances in the FRA relays and the Ian Hodgson. In the 2009 Calderdale Way Relay the women were 4th and the men equalled their best ever performance with a magnificent 3rd place.

 

 

If you’ve anything of interest for this section of the site e-mail it in to Phil or Jacqueline.

 

 

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