‘I just caught a glimpse of Richard Briscoe heading off towards the Scree descent – I knew at that point that I’d catch him quite soon… Dave Bagot managed to go out for a training run the following morning – oh to be young again, I’ll be walking like John Wayne for the next few days.’ Andy Firth on the 17 mile Borrowdale Fell Race
As always loads to report! The Borrowdale epic, first places for Briony Holt, Laura Hesketh, and Tom Brewster. Read on…
Lee Mill Fell Race – Wednesday 29th July
Darren Rushton reports: Wednesday evening I head off over the hill into the valley of death as the lone ranger into Rossendale Valley to the Lee Mills fell race. I was not expecting what lay ahead of me. A short steep lung bursting start if ever I saw one, onto the tops of Lee quarry with a massive ray of sunshine beaming over the Rossendale Valley, some cracking views. Then swing left over a nice boggy power sapping Brandwood Moor onto Walstead clough. A nice little climb out, zig zag back to the top of the quarry, and then a nice run in to finish. Afterwards when saw the results I realised that there were two lone rangers from Clayton. What a tough race.
Darren Rushton 56th 1:01.53
Rick Moore 76th 1:05.40
Cock Hill Wood Fell Race – Thursday 30th July
Jacob Boyle finished in 2nd place, Paul Hesketh was 8th, Sean Clare was 12th, and Bob Hirst was 20th. Full results.
Borrowdale Fell Race – Saturday 1st August
Newly retired Andy Firth warmed up at the Ambleside Sports Guides Race on the Thursday before tackling Borrowdale two days later.
Andy reports: The Borrowdale fell race covers 17 miles of rough fell with approx 6500 ft of climbing. The race is organised by Borrowdale’s “Scoffer” who manages to enlist fell running legends to help – Gavin Bland on registration and timing at the finish, Jonny Bland on car parking with Nicola Davies, Billy Bland as a marshall at the fell gate.
Clayton-le-Moors had 6 members taking on this massive challenge – Dave Bagot, Ivan Whigham, Andy McFarlane, Wendy Dodds, myself and Richard Briscoe. Having camped over at Braithwaite the night before there was plenty of pre race banter in the pub, but it was clear that the two Borrowdale virgins Dave Bagot and Richard Briscoe were a little apprehensive before a race with a reputation for being very tough. Mark Nutter had an entry and despite having travelled up to join in the camping fun he decided that his dodgy knee would not survive the course and he instead did a bit of a training run in charge of taking photos. I’m sure the real reason was that he was worried that I might beat him!
Heavy overnight rain made sure that the course was well watered, but the weather on the day was perfect for running – sunshine but with a cool breeze on the tops which thankfully were clear of any mist – so little chance of anybody going walkabout.
The start requires a fast sprint to get the a bottleneck 200 yards into the race where nearly 300 runners have to squeeze into a small path which takes 2 runners abreast. Scoffer set us off and I managed to get to the bottleneck ahead of all the other Clayton runners apart from Dave Bagot who was off to a flyer. Ivan and Andy McFarlane quickly passed me on the fast run out to the fell, whilst once on the fell Wendy Dodds and Richard Briscoe also climbed well and both disappeared into the distance. I was pretty sure I’d see Richard again, but that was the last I saw of all the other Clayton members until the finish.
I seemed to struggle with the initial climb, was generally slowly being passed by the field but once at the top of Bessyboot I slowly started to reel in runners in front. From Esk Hause the race gets onto the rougher ground, and whilst not speeding up particularly I just seemed to traverse the boulder field and descents better than runners around me and felt like I was gaining ground. As I approached the top of the highest point Scafell Pike I just caught a glimpse of Richard Briscoe heading off towards the Scree descent – I knew at that point that I’d catch him quite soon and so it proved as I skipped across the rough rocky corridor route mainly on the grassy line I’d reccyed a couple of weeks ago whilst walking with my daughter and her boyfriend. I thought that I’d seen the last of Richard, but on the tough climb up Great Gable he came back strongly and regained several places beating me to the top by a couple of minutes.
The descent off Gable is rough and I made the most of it quickly catching and passing Richard – on the route over Brandreth to Honister I felt like the elastic had finally snapped and I had shaken him off my tail. I had however reckoned without the agony that is the climb of Dalehead – all my energy had been drained and the climb felt like wading through treacle. You don’t see the top till you are well up the climb, but it is one of those hills where you think the top is just over the next rise – until you get there and find you still can’t see the top. About half way up I saw Richard behind me again gaining time on me – could I hold on till the top which I still couldn’t see. In the end as I dibbed the sportident timer at the summit Richard was less that 50 yrds behind, but I was confident that my descending would keep me in front of him.
My legs were really complaining on the initial descent to Dale Head tarn – I had a good line and stayed mainly on grass, but the boggy section to the top of the quarry was energy sapping reducing me to a walk several times. Mark Nutter was waiting here to take photos and provide encouragement and finally I was over the stile and off down the left of the beck on my grassy line I’ve been using for the last few years. This descent felt great and Mark couldn’t keep up as I let gravity do its stuff – across the beck after 200 yards picking up the trod that other runners had used bypassing the rough stuff in the top of the quarry. The descent was soon over leaving the agonising flat run back to the finish, across the fields to the bridge over the river and the lane. My legs didn’t want to run any more, and motivation was low until Mark Nutter finally caught up and started bullying me to keep running to get in within 5 hours. It was agony but I just managed to finish with a few seconds to spare.
This is the 19th time I’ve completed this classic race since my first attempt in 1988, but I now have to accept that age has caught up with me finishing over an hour down on my fastest time from 2000 (3.54.07). Richard hobbled in just over 7mins later – his descending isn’t quite the same quality as his climbing, but he can be justifiably proud of taming the beast of a race on his first attempt. First Clayton back was the youngster Dave Bagot in a time of 3.52.37. Afterwards Dave admitted that the rough ground was a bit of an eye opener for him since most of his other Lakes races have had better paths/trails to follow – that said he is already talking about how to improve his time next year. Dave also managed to go out for a training run the following morning – oh to be young again, I’ll be walking like John Wayne for the next few days.
Dave Bagot 71st 3.52.37
Andy MacFarlane 113th 4.14.10
Ivan Whigham 141st 4.32.45
Wendy Dodds 163rd 4.39.55
Andy Firth 205th 4.59.43
Richard Briscoe 215th 5.07.39
York 10k – Sunday 2nd August
Breton Holdsworth finished 20th (out of a huge field of 5136 runners) in a time of 35:57. Full Results
BOFRA Farelton Knott Fell Race – Sunday 2nd August
Briony Holt took first girl and 8th overall in the U14s race. And Richard Briscoe was 56th in the senior race – after Borrowdale the day before!! Full results.
Worsthorne Moor Trail Race – Sunday 2nd August
The usual impressive turnout from Team Clayton at the penultimate race in the Grand Prix. Congratulations to 1st lady Laura Hesketh!
|1||Marc Hartley (Barlick FR)||M||41.03|
Parkrun Roundup – Saturday 1st August
Well done to first timer Emily Johnson (JW10) who finished 118th in a time of 15:28!
Burnley Parkrun – a total of 244 runners took part
Congratulations to Tom Brewster who’s back after injury on taking 1st place!
|69||Katy THOMPSON||24:19||VW60-64||New PB!|
|90||Elouise Sylkie PEMBERTON||25:27||SW25-29||New PB!|
Parkrunning on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere!
|Medina IOW||21||Simon WILSHAW||21:44|
|Worsley Woods||17||Dexta THOMPSON||20:35|