Late news! A glorious weekend and a rich variety of hard racing organised by Bingley Harriers all based from Kettlewell, the Triple T of Tarmac, Tussocks and Trail.
Friday’s race is a brutal up hill only road race up Park Rash of approximately 2.5 miles, I struggled a bit after the 1 in 4 switch back turn at half way but was happy enough with a 2nd place, 20:33 behind the host club’s Martin Peace, 20:19.
Saturday is a long, navigational fell race over Great Whernside of approximately 10 ish miles and 3000ft. The first three or so miles take you to the finish point for the road race but this time it’s reached via the track up to Cam Head. Next is a steep climb over the shoulder of Great Whernside and down to the source of the river Nidd.
It’s then another hard climb on a compass bearing to the next checkpoint at the summit cairn of Great Whernside. This is followed by a short easier section along the ridge to the next checkpoint before the descent down to Caseker Crag.
This is where the ‘route choice’ can make the most difference, as it’s the classic, direct but harder underfoot running, or longer but more runnable option?
I opted for the direct route, although after a couple of minutes of hauling myself up and down several very damp peat groughs I was beginning to think it might not be the best choice! I finally reached the Hag Dike Gill and contoured round Dowber Gill to the final checkpoint.
From there it’s a nice grassy track for most of the way down to the finish. I was pleased come back first in 1:39:18 and with Martin finishing third it was now a fight for the overall title on the Sunday’s short fell race.
As I had struggled to keep up with Martin on Friday and the first few miles on Saturday I wasn’t particularly confident of beating him on a 1.5 mile steep fell race. With the addition of several juniors and Caron, the field was a little bigger for Sunday. After the initial charge up the first field the juniors started to flag a bit & the two ‘oldies’ moved up to the front again. My legs were feeling surprisingly fresh & I moved away from Martin just after the top and stayed clear to the finish in a time of 14:43 to win the limited edition TTT vest & lots of alcohol from the 3 races. Caron ran well to finish in a time of 21:59 and it was good to see two under 14 yr olds finishing 3rd and 4th.
Oh… and it was a bit warm too! Full results on Bingley’s www here