Edale Skyline Fell Race. 21 miles. 1373m ascent. Category AL.
Once upon a time someone decided that it would be a good idea to spice up a village fair by getting the local lads (and it would only have been the lads back then) to run up the nearest hill and back down to the village, and the sport of fell running was born, reports Clem Dixon. That is still the classic format, but what if you wanted to make the race longer? Someone had the idea of a route that didn't just take in the nearest peak but of a circuit of all of the points on the skyline visible from the village, a complete 360 degree traverse before descending back. Not all places lend themselves to this format but Edale at the head of the Hope Valley in the Peak District is perfect for it; bounded to the North by the Kinder Scout plateau and to the South by what is known as the Great Ridge, there is just one point at which you have to descend to the valley floor before almost immediately slogging your way back up to higher ground.
It was a shame that for one reason and another I was the only one from the club to take this on this year. As fell races go there isn't much that would put it outside the comfort zone of many: there is no need to agonize over route choices, nor to fear getting lost; the descents are exhilarating rather than scary; there are cut-off points where you can be timed out but they are quite generous. There is still the small matter of covering 21 miles of mountainous terrain though!
I was in two minds about including a photo with this report, those that know me will be thinking: what's this? Clem wearing more than just a vest? Is he going soft in his old age? To explain, it was something that those running the event, having studied the weather forecast, were insisting upon, and I have far more respect for organisers of races like this than to do anything but comply. As it turned out the wintery showers failed to materialize and we had superb views all the way round, but the bit of the forecast that said zero degrees on the tops with a wind chill taking the "feels like" temperature down to -10 was probably about right.
What do you get for finishing? A medal? A technical T-shirt? Don't be daft, this is old school fell running: a pie and mushy peas (and some unforgettable memories).
Result: 164th Clem Dixon (3rd M60) 4:31:42.
Eastern Master AC/Veterans AC Indoor Championships, Lee Valley
A handful of the clubs masters athletes rounded off their indoor season at the EMAC/VAC Indoor Championships at Lee Valley. Running as a guest Chris Loudon (M35) set yet another personal best, this time over 800m recording a time of 2:00.27s. Tim Carter (M70) had a busy day contesting three events recording a personal best of 9.25s in the 60 meters and season bests in the 400 meters of 71.23s and 3.57m in the long jump. Matthew Preston (M50) came away with two season bests in the 800m (2:25.35s) and 3000m (10:59.33s). Natalie Mann (W35) achieved a best throw of 7.11m in the shot.
Lucy Foreman continued her preparations for the London Marathon on 23rd April with an outing over 20 miles at the Hillingdon 20 formally the Finchley 20. Lucy knocked a massive eight minutes from her previous best for the distance with a time of 2:14:28 for 42nd overall and third women.
Orion 15 Multi-terrain
Another preparing for London was Christian Poulton, who tackled the Orion 15 multi-terrain race at Chingford, finishing in 48th place with 2:11:46.
Five club members travelled to the south coast for the Hastings Half-Marathon. Hayley Newman was the first to cross the line in 224th place in1:38:01. Raymond Ramsay finished a couple of minutes later in 1:40:09. Maria Macdonald finished with 2:09:06 and Angela and Paul Ford crossed the line together in 2:09:44.
Liverpool 10 Miler
A ninth place finish for Clinton Lowe in 1:03:24.
Bromley Veterans AC Open 5 Mile, Sparrows Den
Club members picked up a couple of age group prizes at the Bromley Veterans AC Open 5 mile at Sparrows Den, West Wickham. Susan Dixon was first W55 in 24th overall in 41:57. Graham Maynard secured M60 third in 11th overall with 40:04.