There might have been unseasonal snow this weekend, but that wasn’t enough to stop our hardy Clayton runners getting out and about to dust off their racing shoes over the weekend as well as during the week. With top level fell performances from the Juniors, gritty ultra efforts, classic road racing, Parkruns all over the country as well as the Annual Club Awards, there has been plenty to celebrate this weekend.
Wednesday 13th April
Mike McGee Memorial Cowm Reservoir 5k
Mid-week action from this 5K race around the scenic Cowm Reservoir, in memory of Mike McGee who passed away in 2012. A fast, flat course (and sweets at the finish) attracted two Clayton runners to test their legs.
Saturday 16th April
Anniversary Waltz Fell Race
Representing the third counter in the Club 2016 Fell Championships, this tough Lakeland AM race of 11.5m covers the Newlands Valley Horseshoe and can be prone to bad weather. No such issues this year, with a dry and sunny, if cool day.
Results were not out at the time of writing but David Bagot was first of the Clayton runners home followed by Dave Motley, Andy Orr, Neil Hardiman, Ryan Wilkinson, Paul Wale and Richard Briscoe. By all accounts it was a hard route but an ‘absolute belter’ as described by Fell Captain, Dave Motley.
English Junior Fell Championship Series – Todd Crag races
A strong contingent of Clayton Juniors were in action at the first round of the FRA English Fell Championship Series at Todd Crag, Ambleside. Unfazed by an initial and brutal tarmac climb onto an equally steep and rocky fell section onto Loughrigg Fell, all our Juniors gave it everything with great performances from the U8s through to the U14s.
Jenson Bentham was flying in the U10 Boys, leading for much of the race eventually coming in 2nd, with Jackson McKay and Ella Dorrington both 4th in the U12 Boys and Girls races respectively, and a flawless race from Briony Holt to dominate the U14 Girls race.
There were great runs too from Felix Thompson in the U8 Boys (9th), Helena White (4th) and Kady Thompson (19th) in the U10 Girls, and Josh McKay (32nd) in the U10 Boys.
Also in the U12 Boys, Dexta Thompson (8th), Christopher Brown (17th) and Robbie Smedley (24th) all ran strongly, whilst Liberty Thompson was 23rd in the U14 Girls. Special mention to Claudia Bentham, 18th in U14 Girls and running in her first fell race – a tough introduction to fell racing but with more to come from her in the future no doubt.
With these results, the Juniors have got Clayton off to a strong start in the FRA Junior Club Championships too, sitting in equal 4th place, only a point or two behind the leading Lakeland fell running clubs. Well done to all of them for a collection of stellar performances on the fell this weekend.
The iconic Fellsman Hike covers over 60 miles of very rugged Dales moorland, climbing over 11,000 feet along its route from Ingleton to Threshfield. Despite (or perhaps because of!) this, it attracts a large field of regulars and newcomers keen to test themselves to the limit, complete with their mandatory kit issue mug.
Martin Terry, Simon Halliday, Ralph Baines, Nick Olszewski and Adrienne Olszewska all toed the line in Ingleton to begin their long efforts through into the night and the following day. Finishing this gruelling event is a huge achievement, and definitely one for an ultra runner’s ticklist. All made it round in very boggy conditions and deserve huge congratulations on their achievements.
Adrienne Olszewska sends us this report:
The Fellsman is a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland. The event climbs over 11,000 feet in its path from Ingleton to Threshfield in the Yorkshire Dales. Most of the route is over privately owned land, the use of which is secured by the organisers for the weekend only. This being the case, the route does not follow well defined footpaths, so the entrants’ navigational skills with a map and compass are tested as well as their physical fitness. Because of this, only fit and experienced walkers or runners should enter.
The organisers’ pre-race briefing warned entrants of cold temperatures and the importance of sufficiently warm kit since blizzard conditions had been seen on some of the hill tops on the course. Fortunately this calmed down and there was only the odd flurry of snow from time to time. We were off on the long slog up Ingleborough, visible this year and snowy on top. Going the opposite way to the classic 3 Peaks Race, it was a slippery descent down towards the Hill Inn and plenty of people came a cropper on the way down, me included. Then the slog up Whernside follows before you turn and head back the way you came. A drop down into Kingsdale and the almost vertical clamber up Gragareth.
At this point I had pretty much dropped behind most of the runners so was on my own until grouping time. It’s a bit of a mental challenge when you are a back of the pack slowie. You can’t rely on following the people in front because they have all disappeared over the horizon and the next person is still quite a long way behind. You have to push yourself to keep going and have confidence in your ability to find your way. A lot of the time you seriously question your sanity and wonder why you are putting yourself through such misery; particularly when you are dragging yourself out of yet another bog and it’s cold, wet and there’s something sludgy and deeply unpleasant swishing around in your shoes. But, you carry on. Maybe because you don’t have a choice since you can only retire at a roadside checkpoint and so you have to at least make it to the next one. Also you don’t want to voluntarily retire without a good enough reason so you think all kinds of daft nonsense such as; “maybe a mild concussion would do it”.
Then you arrive at one of the hill top checkpoints. These are usually a couple of people in a tiny tent wearing so many layers of clothing that they can barely move. They cheerfully clip your tally card and ensure that you are crossed off their checklist. They are often there overnight in harsh conditions, probably feeling the cold much more than you because at least you are moving. It’s a good kick up the bum and their unrelenting cheerfulness is infectious so you head off to the next checkpoint with a much more positive mindset. In this event you have to be grouped at the overnight section. Competitors have to be in groups of at least 4 for safety reasons. It always amuses me when I speak to Nick, who is much faster than me, that I’m so far behind him that he gets grouped at the checkpoint that I get disbanded at the following day! If you are running with other people then you get to stay with them when you are grouped.
On your own though it’s a bit more of a lucky dip. I got grouped with 3 chaps who were fast hiking; Mick, Dick and Cliff (sounded like a sixties pop combo – should have changed my name to Sandy or Cilla to fit in really!). We made good progress through the night despite losing Cliff for a while on the moors heading to Hell Gap. Fortunately, we found him before we got to the next checkpoint otherwise we would have been disqualified. Strangely, a prospect that now horrified me despite kind of hoping for it when I’d been on my own earlier on! We were disbanded at dawn and Mick and I ran down from the top of Great Whernside. He took a better line than me towards the bottom where I got stranded in the peat hags and was floundering around hopelessly for a while until a kind fellow competitor dragged me out and kept me company until the end.
So two finishes on the Fellsman under my belt. I will be back next year and fingers crossed just maybe I will make it under 24 hours. This is a fantastic event organised and run by an amazing army of volunteers that make it a very addictive experience proved year in and year out by the number of people that just keep coming back.
Results to follow
Great Langdale Christmas Pudding 10k Take 2
A seasonal hangover from last Christmas, this beautiful, undulating run along England’s most beautiful valley replaced the abandoned Christmas Pud 10k from a flood affected December 2015. Martin Brady and Graham Kissack made the trip to the Lakes to sample its delights.
Club Awards Evening – Turf Moor
There was a big turnout of Juniors and Seniors alike for the club’s Annual Presentation of Awards. The event was held at the 1882 Lounge at Burnley Football Club, and those present enjoyed a great evening celebrating the achievement and effort of members and coaches, combined with a little bit of partying. Trophies for Club competitions, as well as for wider series were awarded along with some special awards for individual achievement and support for club activities. Many thanks to all those who helped organise and facilitate this celebration of all things Clayton.
Sunday 17 April
Radcliffe’s popular, scenic 10K race, covering parts of the trail, roads and paths of Ringley, with a sting in the tail, takes you through some of the route of the Manchester, Bury and Rossendale Railway line as well as the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal. Peter Butterworth and Kevin O’Brien ran whilst Julie Toman fitted in her second race of the week.
3 Bridges 10k, Lancaster
This scenic route is almost entirely traffic free, and crosses three bridges spanning the historic River Lune. The course is mainly flat and fast, giving rise to fast times. Martin Brady (V50) completed the race in 46:08 and Daniel Isherwood also ran, completing around the 40 minute mark.
Results to follow
Arant Haw fell race
Taking competitors right into the wilds of the Howgills, this short but steep race has been a popular fixture and represents the final of this years Kendal Winter League. Wendy Dodds was there to represent Clayton.
Results to follow
Woodbank Parkrun – A total of 182 runners took part.
Bolton Parkrun – A total of 353 runners took part.
Burnley Parkrun – A total of 289 runners took part.
|11||James BOULT||19:50||SM20-24||New PB!|
|66||Reece Adam LAWRENCE||23:48||JM15-17|
|91||Cassandra Darling SMEDLEY||25:01||VW35-39|
|100||Annabel WILCOCK||25:18||JW15-17||New PB!|
Penrith Lakes Parkrun – A total of 185 runners took part.
Pendle Parkrun – A total of 83 runners took part.
Fell Foot Parkrun – A total of 121 runners took part.
Tooting Common Parkrun – A total of 413 runners took part.