Great Lakes Fell Race, Sat 16th June
Category: Fell Published Date Hits: 546
The great and the good of the English Fell Running fraternity gathered in the Western Lake District on Saturday in dreadful conditions to contest the third race in the 2012 Championship series. Many entrants chose, perhaps wisely, to stay at home as the rain had been falling for days and was set to continue for Saturday along with low lying cloud. A few hardy Holmfirth Harriers who needed to collect crucial points for the English Championship and the Harriers Fell Championship, made the journey to the Langdale valley. The Great Lakes race is categorised as a 'long' race (greater than 12 miles) and whilst only 13 miles it has more climbing (6988 feet) than any other long race in the calendar. Starting in Great Langdale the route is packed with variety and includes much ground new to fell racing. After a fast ascent of The Band to Bowfell, the route makes a high-level summit-hopping circuit of Upper Eskdale , including the two highest peaks in the Lakes; Scafell Pike and Scafell. The somewhat lonely homeward leg returns from Slight Side to Pike of Blisco.
Just over 300 runners set off in the rain and mist, but the conditions were such that almost 10% of the field chose to drop out. The rocky terrain proved very slippery and some ascents seemed more like waterfalls than paths. The swollen river crossings proved somewhat exciting and it was definitely a case of team work to get across them safely.
Holmfirth's Veteran Andy Hauser, who is challenging the English Vet 55 category this year, was struggling over the wet, slippery rocks in the early part of the race and was one of many who retired at Esk. Meanwhile Tom Brunt was having an excellent run, up with the leaders and in the top 10, until the descents from both Great End and Slight Side proved tricky in the mist and cost him about 15 places. Despite this frustrating set-back, he finished 24th amongst a very strong field, in a time of 3:14:52. The story was much the same for other athletes including Helen Berry, currently lying second in the English Championship series. Helen was in third place and running well until the run back towards Pike of Blisco which was shrouded in mist, catching many athletes out. Eventually back on track, Helen finished a credible 4th place (77th overall) in 3:53:17, retaining second place in the series. Dave Knight was the only other Holmfirth representative in the race, collecting valuable points towards his club Championship competition. Dave finished 204th in a time of 5:27:22.
The race was won by local athlete Ben Abdelnoor of Ambleside AC in 2:48:45. The ladies race was won by reigning English Champion, Lauren Jeska of Todmorden, in a new record time of 3:28:28. Despite cut off times being imposed by the race organiser at certain check points in the first half of the race, the second part was clearly tricky for all, with the last athlete crossing the line in 7:57:16.
Club Events in May
ALL NEW MEMBERS MUST ATTEND AN INDUCTION SESSION BEFORE THEY WILL BE ALLOWED TO JOIN IN ANY TRAINING SESSIONS/RUNS.
THE NEXT INDUCTION SESSION IS:
6.15pm Thursday 23rd May 2013