Sunday, 4 October 2015

Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay 2015

Pre race GDH (no rory)
Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay - from now on to be known as the Hodgson Brothers Mountain relay was a decent day out for Glossopdale this year.

Caity and I had a bit of a dream last year of being able to put together a Mixed team for this fantastic event, it might even lead to us being in the mix of the top 5 or so of the Mixed teams on a pretty decent race with some excellent competition.
Jill and Kirsty, are, to be honest, our tarmac specialists, and although they have both run fell races, are much happier thrashing around something flat and solid underfoot. Caity and I spent a good amount of time bringing them around to the idea that the First leg of the relays would be an excellent fit for them (it being the shortest, and with the least amount of ascent). They played along, and came out to run for us. The morning was a little misty, but nothing like it had been for the past couple of years- and they were in the mix right from the beginning, apparently trading places with Pennine Mixed team, eventually coming in 2 mins behind them or so, in 2nd Mixed team, and 37th overall.
Their road speed had not deserted them, and they flew the flag high!

Jill and Kirsty - the Road Crew
Al and Chris took over for leg 2, and hammered off up the hill. Chris is an excellent climber and Al is a fearless descender. I was hoping that together they would even out and bring in a good time. They are both used to the fells, Chris being perhaps the more experienced racer, though Al is certainly the more
Al and Chris - about to warm up to get to leg 2 start
experienced long distance challenger. They made great time over the tops, gaining 10 places overall, to drop
into Kirkstone pass in 27th place. Caity and Zoe were ready to take up the mantle, but were again, after an excellent leg from Pennine, still about 3 mins behind the 1st mixed pair.
Zoe getting some pre-race shut eye

Post nap - ready to race
Change over
Off up t'hill
Off they shot up Red Screes, and I scarpered down to Sykeside to wait for them to come in. Rory was there as well, having come up from University to make up the team, and had drawn the short straw to run on the longest leg with me. Pennine came in a few minutes before - and off went Si Caldrick and Nic Barber... yup, the Pennine Mixed was pretty back loaded, and there was no way we were going to catch them on the final leg.
Caity and Zoe - post leg 3

Not long after, Caity and Zoe came storming into the 3/4 change, having gained a minute on the now absent Pennine mixed, and Rory and I shot off along the flat to the hill. The long slog, was indeed long, and a slog, I led on the way up, and Rory was working hard to keep up. We topped out with Holmfirth just ahead of us - having overtaken on the climb. We worked hard and got back time on the short descent, but were pretty much in a pack of 3 teams, and it wasn't until we dropped down Cofa Pike that we managed to shake Holmfirth.

Another team- Eden, I think it was, were a constant with us all the way across and along the tops, we managed to keep with them until St. Sunday, but they steadily pulled away on the descent. We dropped well, but on the final part of the descent, footsteps behind us heralded the approach of Borrowdale. My heart sank. I was pretty sure they were the 3rd Mixed pair, and we were now, at the post, going to be pipped into 4th. We kept with them to the final checkpoint, and we were all still together... to be honest, I was surprised that they weren't going any faster. There was no way I was going to let them beat me down to the gate- even if I had to wait for Rory, so I threw myself down the hill, and easily got to the gate ahead of them.... but then had to stop to wait for Rory for a short while. Not a problem, but there was no point in me rushing ahead without him - we are, afterall, a team.
Rory and I heading into the finish

Borrowdale were far gone as we trotted down to the road, looked behind and saw there was no-one behind us. We chatted as we came into the final field, and I passed the dibber to him for the final checkpoint. I heard out of the field that it was indeed the Borrowdale mixed team - and that they had come in in 2nd place... so we were 3rd.
3rd Mixed team. Better than we could have possibly hoped.

This is what you do with emergency food

Rory modelling his prize.

As one of the Captains of  Glossopdale (Caity being my opposite number), I have to say that I'm properly impressed and chuffed with the guys and girls today. I'm not entirely sure if this is entirely true, but I'm fairly sure this is the first time GDH have won a prize in this relay. (its certainly the first time in history I can find).
Very proud.
The team (minus Kirsty.... ah, we just can't get EVERYONE together even on a relay!)

1 comment:

  1. Tim, good write up... yes, it was Eden Runners who you were racing on leg 4, namely my son Noah and myself. We enjoyed the battle: it was a long hard leg and you certainly pushed us along.

    Well done to your team on the 3rd place. Our team was a bit of a mixture of rising stars (ie 16 and 18 year olds) and old crocks but we were happy with our result. What a great day out!