A new race organised by Saddleworth Runners took place this last Sunday from the well-known to many a fell runner, The Cross Keys Pub, published as 10km with 400m of climb it was, on paper, going to be a good test.
Being just over the hill, this was one of the more convenient races to attend so far this year and with a Chip Butty thrown in at the end for good measure the £7 entry fee was again excellent value, particularly with chipped timing as well.
Even though the race was new, many will have run parts of the course before. The start was definitely new with 175m of climb straight away to Sykes Pillar, not for the faint hearted. Along the skyline we went then to the Pots and Pans Monument before dropping sharply down towards Tunstead. So far so good, but as many of you will know, just around the corner was the stinger, the ascent back up Aldermans Hill, another 175m climb bringing many to their hands and knees, those that have done this race will know just how gnarly this is.
Once at the top it was back along the skyline before the quick descent down the toboggan run, known to many from the end of Cross Keys Relays Fell Leg.
Overall the course was excellent, a great test of technique and stamina but also a fair opener to those new to fell running with the course very runnable and really well marked and marshalled.
109 was the turnout for this race, which considering it was new race and straight after some major races was a great effort.
Our very own Katie Walshaw, flew the flag for us, finishing a superb 5th overall in 46.51 and almost 8 minutes ahead of her nearest rival. I managed a very creditable 17th in 52.09 which I was over the moon with as it was another 30 seconds of a step closer to some of the fellow competitors I have been jostling with all season.
As with many of the events we have attended, this was another that was very well organised, the results being processed very quickly and with both the start and presentation taking place promptly, it didn’t feel to take most of the day up as some can.
It is another race I would recommend is well worth supporting especially being so close to our doorstep and on very familiar ground.