Report from the Hon. Handicapper:
As Pendle is an isolated hill that dominates the local area, there’s plenty of route choices for a four leg relay. The village of Barley was used as the base for the relay, the first leg starting at the northern end of the village, all of the others in a field just behind the village hall.
Another enjoyable relay day was had by all, thanks to Clayton le Moors Harriers for hosting a fantastic day, and congratulations went to Calder Valley Fell Runners winning a close contest on the final leg, comprehensive results on sportident here.
Steve Robinson set Otley off on the first leg, (7k, 450m ascent). This went up to the summit plateau twice from the northern and eastern sides, finishing with a fast downhill, across a few farm fields the changeover point, Steve ran well to finishing 86th , 46:19. Rob Hope, Pudsey & Bramley lead the way with a time of 35:25, Sarah McCormack, Ambleside, 40:00 was the fastest lady.
I set off with Sam Stell on the second leg, (15k, 630m), passing teams from the off. Our route went across the southern end of the hill, down a steep descent, over a stream, up a steep climb to a memorial cairn for 2 of the host club’s runners who died on the Kentmere Horseshoe & Mont Blanc. The next checkpoint was back down to the same stream, higher up a valley. This was followed by a long stretch across energy sapping tussocks, before a good path next to another stream valley called Ogden Clough. We then ran up to the summit cairn and followed the same descent as the first leg back to the change-over point, contining to pass teams most of the way moving the team up to 50th with a time of 1:16:53 (32nd fastest on the leg). Keswick recorded the fastest time 1:04:33, fastest ladies, Mercia 1:19:28.
Shane Ewen & Jez Stewart took the baton on the third leg, a navigational leg where the race map with checkpoints is withheld until they registered at their start. The checkpoints being placed specifically to give maximum route choice. Direct & rough terrain or longer but faster, contouring or straight up a steep climb etc.. Shane & Jez navigated well across all the checkpoints, where a mistake can lose several minutes very easily. They finished 49th fastest on the leg with a time of 1:19:08. Orienteering internationals (1 a former world junior champ.) from Ochill Hill Runners recorded a time of 58:31, a time 5 & a half minutes quicker than the 2nd fastest!. Fastest ladies were Ambleside 1:19:40, running much of the leg with Shane & Jez.
Tom Lynch was on the glory leg, (8k/400m), up the lower part of the Ogden Clough valley featured on the 2nd leg, before turning up Boar Clough, past the summit cairn, continuing on to Northern part on the summit plateau. From there on his route pretty much followed the same route as the first leg back to the finish. Tom ran well finishing 73rd fastest on the leg in 52:17 leaving us finishing in 54th out of the 147 starters. Ilkley’s Tom Adams was the fastest 39:20 & Victoria Wilkinson fastest lady in 43:37.