Todmorden has a newly refurbished cricket club, so holding Flower Scar fell race (AM 8.3 miles 2,165ft ascent) as their first event made for plenty of warning signs and tiptoeing around race hq.
After a swift kit check and sign in, I’d paid my fiver and was on the start line with two other black and whites. The start of the race is a dash through the park until you reach the woods where the single file ascent starts on paths (with boggy patches).
Woodland quickly becomes farm tracks and fields (with boggy patches) and then it’s up in to the moors for the nav element of the race.
I had a clear idea of route choice before the race, but with poor visibility up top, pack mentality took over and a game of follow the leader ensued.
The spongy moorland quickly became deep bog (with boggy patches) and it stopped me in my tracks more than once. Looking back at our line choice, we were heading straight for the out of bounds shooting range and skirted around it, more by luck than anyhing else.
By CP3 racers were arriving from all directions with some looking like they’d climbed over the trenches and ran more than a few extra miles.
With the nav over it felt like the racing started again with a series of sharp climbs before we hit woodland. Single file through boggy tree tunnels and snow covered clearings led us back to farm tracks and great views over Todmorden.
After a final uphill push, it is all downhill to the finish on this one. Back through the same woodland and in to the park for a fast flat finish.
The winner was Will Neill (Mercia) 1hr 11m 19s
Two Otley AC finishers on the day:
Gary Johnson 11th 1hr 18m 47s
Don Buffham 181st 2hr 27m 24s.
Full results and photos here