Race report from Matt Podd
This is a BM 9 mile Fell race with 1300ft of ascent, held near Littleborough at the bottom of the big hill on the M62. My mentor Dave suggested we enter this and so off we set on Sunday morning into the snow and gales. The race started and finished at a Rugby club which was warm with food and drink available. Good job as outside it was snowing and blowing a gale. Bravely we ventured outdoors, hung round for a bit and then we were off into the storm like a pack of hunting dogs. A fairly gentle ascent on fast tracks, under and then back over the M62 led to a long roller coaster stretch heading north into the wind, which was nice as the snow was being blasted at you. Then came the big climb onto Blackstone edge and we ran south down the pennine way. I thought of Sarah Fuller going north on here recently, as I pulled my balaclava on and put up my hood – it was a bit chilly and breezy. Good fun running lead to the Iconic bridge over the motorway and we left the PW to run down the Windy hill ridge on a fair but muddy track. Higher up there was a fair amount of snow and the bog was frozen, but at lower altitudes it was the viscous liquid we love. Suddenly we emerged out of the mist and there was the finish. I had a good race (didn’t fall over or go in deeper then knee!) and finished near the middle of the field. Strangely enjoyable and satisfying to brave the elements and race in foul conditions.
Tom Adams 58.36 and Rachel Jones (V45!) won; I was 112/205 in 1.26.48
Full results here