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  • Writer's pictureIan Marshall

UKA Inter-Counties Fell Championship

For the first time in many years Kent entered a team in this championship. The team of five was a combination of runners from Cambridge Harriers and Tonbridge AC. The team:- Max Nichols (Tonbridge AC, U23), Julian Rendall (Tonbridge AC), Clem Dixon (Cambridge H) Christian Poulton (Cambridge H) and Steve Hodges (Cambridge H).

The Inter Counties event was incorporated into the Moel Eilio annual race. Saturday dawned with a cloudless sky but a tad chilly, perfect running conditions. People had made their own way up to Llanberis on the Friday and we all finally met up at race registration. Laura who had reckoned on an easy afternoon in the sun was talked into entering the race and so had a not so easy afternoon, but all credit to her for joining in despite no real preparation and finishing fine.

As well as the team above Ian Marshall and Laura Portway entered the race as open entries.

The start was on a narrow lane at the back of the town and vests were spotted from all over the UK inc Northern Ireland and various parts of Scotland. About 300 runners were crammed into the start area including some of the best fell runners in the UK, 1pm and we were off and immediately started climbing steeply, initially on tarmac then tracks and finally onto the open fell. This climb lasted the best part of 2.5 miles until we reached Moel Eilio summit, on the way up many false summits were encountered which didn't help morale or the legs!

The weather was perfectly clear and the views from the tops were fantastic. Underfoot was mainly short grass and the course from Moel Eilio onwards was a switchback of steep longish descents followed by equally steep longish climbs, not a flat section on the whole course. At about 5 miles the final descent on large clumps of tufty grass with Llanberis and Lake Padarn far below, the last two miles were on tracks/tarmac and was a fast run down and finish at the Youth Hostel. Everyone finished ok with no incidents to report. Post-race analysis was undertaken in the pub in the evening. A brilliant day on the fells in perfect weather.

Kent came a very creditable 9th out of 20 county teams. Max Nichols was 4th overall and 1st U23 a great achievement, Christian was 1st V50 and Ian 1st V65.

The various summits on the race route

Yorkshire won the men's event with a total of 18pts.

Cumbria won the ladies event with a total of 6pts

RESULTS: 4. Max 61:05 4th (county) 1st (U23) 26. Julian 66:06 25th (county) 77. Christian 74:09 61st (county) 131. Steve 82:53 76th (county) 154. Clem 85:27 77th (county)

OPEN RESULTS: 267. Ian 106:05 278. Laura 110:10

The event was a success and it was good to see a Kent team compete again. Hopefully we can now enter a county team on an annual basis.


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