Report from the hon. handicapper.
After talking to David Fox at the last handicap, who has a 100% attendance record for the race. I thought I’d give the Great Whernside (4 miles/1558ft) race a go, as I’d already visited the summit cairn a few times doing the Saturday race at the Wharfedale TTT.
The race starts through steep but runable fields at the back of Kettlewell following the path up to Hag Dyke Scout Hostel. I’ve never forgotten walking up the hill through the snow to stay there and been frozen for most of the weekend.
From there the path gets a little boggier before a final rocky climb to the summit cairn. Looking at the race route, I had assumed the return would follow the same path back down, but fell runners like taking the shortest possible route, so no, the descent was across a more tussocky route back to Hag Dyke before re-joining the path through the farm fields back to the finish.
A certain master fell runner called Mr Holmes showed a couple of youngster a clean pair of heels winning for the umpteenth time in 31:49. Newly crowned British Fell champion Victoria Wilkinson was first woman back, breaking the record by a couple of minutes. I was 20th, 36:48 and David Fox was 87th in 48:36.