Report from Tom Lynch:
I decided to have a go at the BOFRA championship this year, and so headed to the first champs race at Sedbergh. Taking advantage of a lift to such a distant short race, Steve Robinson and Colin Best joined me. Sedbergh feels really tucked away in a corner of the Dales – unless you come from the M6 – which we didn’t. It feels like a slightly unusual place, dominated by the buildings and tweed jacketed hordes of children of the sports mad school in the centre, we lost count of the number of tennis courts and other sports pitches. The weather was perfect for a race, and we took advantage of this to have a recce of the course and then lounge around in the show field (minus the show this year), we had mistakenly turned up about 2.5 hrs early for the race, forgetting to account for the series of junior races.
The race is a typical BOFRA race, a short steep slog up a hill (3.5 km/2.2 miles and 350 m/1150 feet ascent) and a giddy descent, mostly viewable with binoculars from the show field, we watched the junior races, and tried to get a sense of the challenge facing us. The race is pretty unrelenting, a climb from the very start up a track, across a field, more tracks and then the open fell, there is a brief flatish contour, before a very steep climb up the face of Winder, and then a very steep descent back down almost immediately. I felt more or less OK on the climb, but there were so many false summits, including an extra 100m above the U17 turning point, which looked like as a good as the top to us from the show field. My descent started off a little cagey, without having had much practice this year, but I got into it a bit more on the lower slopes, my target on the way down was to try and not lose too much on Darren Fishwick who is recognisable from his ubiquity at most fell races, and is always well ahead of me, although I fairly quickly lost sight of him. I had a good run in on the track back, and just managed to pip 1st female Kirsty Hall (Wharfedale Harriers) in the show field to get 20th place in 23.23. The race was won by Ben Mounsey (Calder Valley) in 19.48. Steve and Colin both had good runs, and I think enjoyed it, Steve came in 41st in 27.53, and Colin in 65th in 32.21. Full results.