Sunday, 2 September 2012

Shelf Moor Fell Race 2012

I haven't been out running properly in quite a while. What with being down in London, being knackered and having a few niggles when I got back to Glossop and generally not having the greatest of motivation, I just haven't really been out.

Look way too relaxed.
As a matter of fact, I tried running up pretty much half of the ascent of the Shelf Moor fell race last week, and was a bit concerned when I ran out of puff quite low down and had to resort to walking.
In the spirit of amusement in the face of adversity I looked out of the window this morning at what was basically an all enveloping cloud of clag sitting on top of Bleaklow and thought, yeah, I'll just have a bit of a jog around it.

(as preparation, I have to mention I was out on a magical mystery tour on a road bike yesterday, more notable for its rather exciting deviations onto bridleways, across fields and over barbed wire fences rather than the distance we covered. Maybe it was that which woke my legs up - the moral of the story is if you are out on a road bike with someone and they mention that just up ahead the road on google maps runs out, but that it'll probably be fine, be prepared for barbed wire).

My real motivation for running this race was to check that my legs still worked, didn't fall off, and generally that things worked before next weekend... Its the 1st anniversary of the "triple dipper". Getting a quick jog up and down the moor should be enough to let me know how things are going.
There was a relatively strong field out for the race, which is always good to see, even though this weekend has some other very good races on, so I decided to just start at the back and work my way through the field.

Charlie set the race off in fine style, with a, "Right then. Go" which seemed to surprise a couple of people. The front guys raced off, and I wove my way through the field from pretty much the back.

Letting the legs go down Lightside
As ever, the hill up to James's Thorn was horrible, and I walked a lot more than I wanted to, the clag on the top was thick enough to cut, and the peat was very peaty. Shame the race route didn't quite take the trig point into account, it curved just short of it, probably for safety as the rocks were very dodgy underfoot. I decided to go around the trig anyway.
The run back across the moor was just fantastic. Bog, peat, groughs, fog, just about able to see where you were going. The flagging of the course was pretty much perfect, and the way to go was very clear indeed.
Coming off the top of Lightside, the fog cleared and there were a good few people cheering us on, so I let my legs go a bit on the descent.

Finished in 20th place in about 56 mins, which I was quite happy with.
Some of the guys from Glossop excelled themselves, Mark Ollerenshaw, Tom Jackson and young Rory all in the top 10.
Well done to all who took part, and thanks muchly to all the marshals who stood around in not the most pleasant of conditions to help speed us on our way, and thanks to Gordon and the Swans for the pictures.

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