Stan Bradshaw Fell Race 2017
The forecast was awful but the day is great; how do they get it so wrong sometimes with all this technology. And they are so adamant and arrogant about their forecasting; especially the non-meteorologists brought in as a bit of eye candy.
So at the start line for this fast nine miler the 240 runners are dressed in full winter gear all the way through to singlet and shorts. The ROs are pretty relaxed about things though. I’m wearing a pair of gloves and a helly both of which are ultimately unnecessary. The lass from Galway changing next to me is in full winter survival gear. I get to meet club newbies Matt Bourne and Steven Cartmell for the first time. Welcome aboard gents, you’ll definitely enjoy your fell running in the orange and green of Bowland.
We’re in picturesque Barley at the northern end of Pendle Hill; witch country. I note that the Log Cabin café has beef broth and dumplings on the menu; wheehoo, had it before and I’m definitely going to have it again, but only if I come in under an hour and a half I tell myself.
Setting off, it’s the usual route up to the trig, the long slog over exposed and boggy ground to Churn Clough reservoir; round the back to Stainscombe Dole and then we get to know who’s got the stamina in them with that long 15 minute pull back to the top of Pendle. It becomes apparent that I have a little more than most as I make up some places. I’m doing that well I wish it could go on a lot longer, although painful, clearly others are feeling it more. My problem is leg speed though, as in, I haven’t got much of it. Long and slow, that’s me right now, I need to vary my training up a bit; you race like you train, I can hear Mike Johnson saying it right now.
Anyway, over and down through the Ogden reservoirs, one lovely last steep bit and then a good mile or so through stodgy, slippy, cow fields to the finish. It’s so much better than finishing on the road.
1 hour 29mins 19secs.
Yippee, Log Cabin here I come.
After washing in the stream with everyone else, I sit out in the sunshine enjoying my dumplings and get talking to a lady with her German Shepherd. The breed ranges from insipid all the way to ‘don’t mess with me’ wolf looks and tendencies. Hers is a beautiful 6 year old bitch with a wonderful attitude to humans. I tell her as much. The conversation then goes on about how uncanny it is that dogs take on the personalities and looks of their owners. Funny that.
I wander back to the village hall to see the prize giving; Rob Hope got first, easy pickings for him with this field of runners. Al Heaton’s son finishes a creditable 14th, nice one.
Looking at the finish list I get speaking to a gent with a Germanic accent, he’s from Monchengladbach in the north west of Germany. It’s a happy coincidence as I lived there for two years as a youngster and was (am) a keen fan of Borrussia Monchengladbach; Netzer, Heynckes, Kleff and Berti Vogts were my boyhood heroes. He left there in ’73 and came to work in Huddersfield; and loved it. His contract ran out and he moved over to Belgium, which he hated. He got an opportunity to move to London and the company he was with transferred him up to Liverpool thirty years ago. He ‘s a member of Newburgh Nomads and has done his BG.
As usual, but in no way taken for granted, many thanks to the organisers and marshalls. Its all done in typical low key fashion and all the better for it.
Oliver Heaton, Preston, 14th place
Chris Davies, Saddleworth Runners, v60, 40th place
Dave Tait, Dark Peak, v70, 115th place
Mick Green, Horwich, pacemaker instal, 107th place
Photos set 1 https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q…lZUHNfcjZBUHdn
Photos set 2 https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q…NraW5oRFNTaWlR
All the way from Monchengladback via Huddersfield – Fred Duenbier
In memory – on Pendle