Report from Matt Podd:
A bear went over the mountain to see what he could see
And all that he could see was the other side of the mountain
So he went back over the mountain.
This AM 8.7 mile race with 2200ft of ascent starts from Kettlewell. Mr Tait, myself and a couple of runners from Harrogate wandered to the race field by the campsite in Kettlewell. This race is based on one from the Wharfedale TT series that some of the club have run.
Off we went up Top Mere Road – actually a stony track and round over Park Rash to climb Great Whernside. This is were it all goes hardcore as we had to struggle a long way down into Nidderdale to a checkpoint in the middle of a trackless tussocky bog. As compensation we passed the source of the river Nidd. A marshall at this checkpoint broke her arm as they were struggling out after the runners – hope she is OK. Then we had to struggle back up Whernside, a beast of a climb. From the summit we went a long way south to another random checkpoint in the bog. The next section is the most interesting as we had to go over to Hag Dyke scout hut. The direct route takes you through ground like the first world war battlefields. I had had a chat with the vastly experience Hon Handicapper and he said stay high, which was sound advice as I passed a good few folk on this. This is a race were prior knowledge and picking good lines pays dividends. There were runners spread all over the western slopes of the hill, many deep in the bog. However we all arrived at Hag Dyke and the glorious grassy run in the the finish, where much bollocks was talked about the best lines.
This is the hardest race of the distance I’ve ever done, but very very fine. We were lucky and had sunny (if windy on top) weather, but in clag it would be well challenging.
Ted Mason won and Dave Wilby was 4th. Results to follow on FRA here and Bingley sites.
Stiff as a board today but very satisfied.