Sunday, 6 May 2012

Glossop 3-day running festival. 05-07/05/2012.

I discovered this on Friday and decided to have a go to get some much needed enforced speed work under the 31" belt before next weekend's Brecon 40 (shame athletic performance doesn't match outward appearance). This is turning out to be a bijou, perfectly formed series of friendly races.

Saturday was the Chunal 3-mile fell race with 1,001' of ascent from the O Sole Mio restaurant. It was an out and back with an anticlockwise loop at the end that tortured us as it toyed with the hill. At the start, race organiser Des Gibbons who also ran the race, closed gates and collected the flags on the way round, jokingly congratulated Jack Ross in advance for winning the race, and why don't we just go straight to the prize presentation. Des you wag. ;-) The climbs and descents were steep and tough. The loop at the end was long enough that, even at my slow pace I did not meet Jack on the return leg. An eyeballs-out performance with palpitating heart and peak of 202bpm got me 21st out of 26 finishers. Naughty heart. I hope the barbecue and imbibing planned for afterwards will improve matters for tomorrow's race. My time was 38:34, winning time 26:56. Results.

Chunal: waiting for the start.

Sunday was the Moorfield 5k road race from The Beehive pub. The weather was even better. The air temperature might continue to be unseasonably cold (global warming my rear region) but there was no wind and the sun was luxuriously warm. Des ran again after handing over the starting orders to the publican (I think). He mumbled "Go" under his breath to send us off running the undulating lanes in an anticlockwise loop out to the A57 and back to the lane to the finish. The lane to the finish contained a big uphill section. I was forced to power walk while my gasping tongue licked the road clean along the way. I didn't lose time on those in front trying to run it. My time of 25:08 (without palpitations) got me 15th out of 25. Winning time was 20:09. Des finished 4th in a speedy 21:36. It is a hilly route. Results.

Finishers at Moorfield 5k.

Monday's race was the James's Thorn 5-mile fell race with 1,611' of ascent from the Royal Oak on the A57 out of Glossop. The cold breeze was stiffening and the forecast rain was threatening as we waited for Des to return from marking the course. He whizzed down in his car a couple of minutes late and turned around with his hazards flashing. A peep of his horn signified the start as he drove up the road just in front of the front runners to lead us to the turn-off up the track thence onto the fells. A wide panorama of looming hills opened up in front of us which I'd never seen before. The view excited me. I could see our track descend down and swing to the right to begin the serious climb on the fell all the way to the top. We set about running upwards into the strong head wind as spots of rain began to blow in. The course was amazingly mud-free and it was brutally runnable for the most part, until after a false summit or two and the final climb around the back of the hill to the top, which became very rocky.

There was a small loop at the top to avoid too much clashing of the return runners, of whom I saw only one. Dave Taylor came flying back down like a thing possessed with a look of concerned concentration etched on his face. He was there before I had a chance to think about getting the camera out.

From the top it was virtually downhill all the way to the finish (save for the uphill return on the track). I got overtaken by only two on the return (I think), but I had been doing some overtaking of my own on the climb, so it balanced out. The rain never came to anything and the sun was trying to show itself again. With the wind now behind us and with the increase in speed, cooling was becoming a problem, so off came the skull cap, windproof got hitched behind the head and sleeves got rolled up to make it just bearable. Out onto the A57 it was a downhill all the way back to the pub as I chased the runner in front. I hammered as fast as I could go but, as always, it didn't feel fast enough. It was enough though because no-one else was near as I crossed the finish in 47:11. That got me 36th out of 55. Winning time was 34:48. What a machine is Dave.

Afterwards in the pub, prize presentations were made after Des and helpers had sorted out the results. Not only were there prizes for that day's race, there were also prizes for the whole series. Tom Jackson won the series. Not that many had done all three and some of them had gone home. You know what that meant? I won my first ever bling in a fell race, by default as Des read down the list in increasing desperation. I shall treasure my gift until my dying day because it will surely never be repeated.

The results as best as I can manage so far are here.

Plenty more climbing still to do on James's Thorn.

Link to photo album.


  1. Cheers Nick - been waiting for Saturday's results - you're the fount of all knowledge!

  2. Wow some BLING!!! awesome effort Nick. You have obviously recovered fast from the Fellsman. My feet were quite swollen and right foot complaining ever so slightly so have been taking it easy since. 50k road/trail race next weekend but will be taking it easy on that.

  3. Well done on the bling, Nick.
    Must be a nice boost.
    Well done.
    A very good effort after the Fellsman as well!

  4. BLING!!! ... How good is that??? ... way above my payscale I'm afraid. Congrats Grrrrr :-)

  5. The bling was only because I hung around.

    I didn't feel The Fellsman in my legs (in fact I'd forgotten I'd done it, TBH).