Fell Section Update – February 2024

Evening all! Time for the latest Fell Update – enjoy & see you at Ian Roberts on Sunday, whether racing, helping or spectating!

February 2024 – a real mixed bag of weather for sure, but it didn’t stop us getting out there!

The seniors were in action at Windy Hill on Sunday 11th February in the second of this year’s championship races. Since the last time we ran it back in 2019, the route has been extended to 12 miles & around 2100 ft of ascent, with a cruel uphill finish, so a few of us went out for recces in the weeks leading up to the race to find out what lay in wait! And to great effect it seems, as Richard Anderson stormed round to finish 4th overall in a cracking time of 1.24.23, followed closely by Tim Brook (7th & 2nd MV40 in 1.27.38), Phil Hinchcliffe (8th in 1.27.50) & Tim Street (9th in 1.28.10). Safe to say we picked up the team prize! Phil Hewitt has done the race a few times now & had another good run, finishing 20th in 1.34.59, ahead of Curtis Firth (25th in 1.36.46) & Michael Sanderson (29th in 1.38.18).  James Washington managed to secure a late entry & was very pleased to finish 40th in 1.42.55, particularly as he was running this distance on the fells for the first time! We then had a 3-way battle between Keith Baird, Andy Shortt & Ian Goulding, who were pretty much still together before the start of the final climb. Keith has been taking part in the Kong Series of short, sharp races around Keswick over the winter & this seems to have stood him in good stead, as he pulled away to finish 87th in 1.57.14, with Andy not too far behind (91st in 1.57.59). In his first race as a super-Vet, Ian let the ‘youngsters’ go, but was delighted to scoop the MV60 prize, finishing 95th in 1.59.33! Fran Whitworth had been struggling to shake off a bad cold in the run-up to the day, so was just aiming to finish, but must have felt OK, as she had a decent race, coming back 117th in 2.04.53, whilst Diane Lee was aiming to break the 2.15 barrier & was very happy to finish 157th in 2.14.29. In the battle of the Burdons, Jon had the legs this time, finishing 195th in 2.24.15, whilst Becky recovered well from having to start at the back of the field following her misplaced timing chip incident to finish 212th in 2.32.31. In his first race for the club (in any discipline), it was great to see new member Josh Kras take it all in his stride to come back 218th in 2.37.50, whilst last but not least, Bill Hunter was also amongst the prizes, finishing 233rd & 2nd MV70 in 2.48.18. There were 243 starters (including the legendary Antonio Cardinale, who probably set off at sunrise) & the course record was broken by Todmorden’s Doni Clarke, who knocked a minute off the previous best, finishing in 1.16.39, all done without the aid of a watch – old school!

The juniors were in action at the Hoppits Hill races on Sunday 25th February, where there was a full programme of junior races, as well as a short & sharp senior race, in what was Nicky Spinks’ last outing as race organiser, having moved to Scotland some time ago! The results have just been published, so well done to Willow Moxon (2nd GU9), Niamh Sykes (1st U11 overall), Imogen Yelland-Brewer (3rd GU11), Arthur Gibbs, William Turner, Riley Moxon & Eleanor Yelland-Brewer who all flew the amber flag!

Elsewhere, we had a few out & about, including Tim Brook at Wadsworth Trog, where he was 5th overall & 3rd MV40, Phil Brown at Pendle Way In A Day, Keith Baird at BB (Blencathra) Kong, Tim Brook & Mark Henderson at Midgley Moor (where Tim was 7th overall & 1st MV40), Tim Brook (again) at Doctors Gate, where he was 8th overall & 1st MV40, Adam Sunderland & Mark Henderson at Hoppit’s Hill and finally, (and just showing off now), Phil Brown ran the Onkaparinga River Trail Race in Adelaide!

In terms of racing in March, as well as the Ian Roberts, the seniors will be at Heptonstall on Sunday 24th (on what seems to be the busiest weekend for racing so far this year), whilst the juniors will head over to Rivington Pike on Saturday 30th. We’ve got 16 entered at Heptonstall so far, which is great. I’m not sure what the limit is, but they’re nearly at 200, so if you want to run, I’d get entered, as unlikely there’ll be any entry on the day. Looking a little further ahead, entries for Pendle Cloughs will open to FRA members on Friday 8th March – this is very likely to fill up, so make sure you get your name down – it’s a ‘short’ Long race, so ideal if you want to build up steadily to Holme Moss!

And just to say that we’ve entered 4 teams once again for the Calderdale Way Relay on May 19th – no rest for the wicked!

Finally, some local(ish) races over the next few weeks:

Wolf’s Pit (Bamford, Hope Valley) – Sunday 10th March

Chicken Run (Hayfield) – Saturday 23rd March

Trunce 1 (Oxspring) – Monday 1st April

Bunny Run 1 (Haworth) – Tuesday 2nd April

See you on a hill sometime!

Phil

Hoppit's Hill Harriers

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