Report from Matt Podd:
Well another year passes and here we are in a car heading for Calderdale with the English V70, women’s V50 and a contender for this years V65 Fell champions. Unsurprisingly the rest of Otley AC were either too hungover, in some cross country race or put off by my last years report. The weather didn’t disappoint and we drove over (and raced) in rain and a stiff wind, slightly warmer than last year, but not a race for non swimmers.
Same course as last year, but this time with very thick clag – at points you could just about see … nothing. Same climb up onto the moor and then a bit of runnable track passing the flying saucer (big aircraft directional radar thing). The fun now really kicks in for a two mile bogfest to Hoofstones trig point – white so it shows up nicely in clag. Luckily there is a fence to follow for this. After this the run to the next checkpoint goes off piste across featureless, trackless moor. I was following and chasing down a big group so sensibly didn’t get my compass out, banking on the fact that someone knew where they were going or had one of them newfangled GPS thingies. How wrong can you be! As I caught them up I inquired if this was the blind leading the blind, and yes it bloody was!! Lost on the moor we struggled on until a brief glimpse showed us that we had gone about a mile too far right.Only amusement was that the rest of the race had followed like sheep, quite a few never found the last checkpoint and so were disqualified, but I’m fairly sure all eventually got back. About turn and eventually we found a fence which we handrailed in to the last checkpoint. Never have I been so glad to see the faint yellow glow of the marshall’s reflective jacket appear out of the mist. So down the descent passing an irate farmer who ensured we ran down a knee deep trench – “not on my bloody land”. and into the finish with no one visible in front or behind. Great day out – where were you all. Strangely I felt really strong and got my best Fell result ever – If only we hadn’t got lost…
Winners were: Mark O’Connor – 1.19 (with fell legend Darren Fishwick in second), and 6th place Annie Roberts – 1.21. I was 33rd in 1.37 with 62 taking part
My Arse Copyright – Jim Royal!