Sunday, 8 September 2013

Barrel Inn fell race 6.5mi. 27/08/2013.

50th birthday celebrations followed by no running for a week resulted in my first Woodbank Parkrun time (normal route) of over 23 minutes since August 2012. That would never do with the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc nearly upon me, so as a last ditch attempt to fettle the fitness back to where it should have been prior to becoming old, I decided to squeeze in this evening race from Eyam before my departure for Chamonix. It required a prompt departure straight from work and a change at the back of the car, but I didn't regret this impromptu racing opportunity.

This was my first time on this event and my first race from the famous plague village. It's a superb race that tests the lungs and the legs like the best of them, and the eyesight too when we're plunged into the dark woods with the root-infested footpaths; then there's that cheeky little climb just before the finish when we think we're already on the final descent. I was glad I'd researched others' race reports beforehand and was ready for it, otherwise I might not have been able to overtake a few on the final, final descent and half circuit of the sports field to the line.

We got to enjoy a perfect summer's evening. It was good to see the usual suspects Caitlin Rice and Chris Jackson of Glossopdale Harriers once again. Whenever I turn up to a local fell race, there they are! It's that serial compulsive fell racing; it breeds speed. It's all good. :-)

Caitlin and Chris already well finished by the time I collapsed across the line.

This is a good race for first-timers who want to try out a bit of fell racing, as long as they are prepared to be out there for an hour plus.

I took pictures but some of the action shots are a bit blurred. Running and snapping are not conducive to photographic excellence.

As a postscript, on my return journey to Stockport the A6 to the bypass had just been closed for night-time resurfacing so I got to enjoy a reroute in the wrong direction to Buxton, then home via the old road up Long Hill. It wasn't all bad. I was able to reminisce about the Shining Tor and Goyt's Moss fell races as I passed the turn-off to the Goyt Valley.

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