Monday, 22 September 2014

Simonside Fell race 20th September 2014

The good thing about a local show fell race is you don’t have to rush around like a mad idiot in the morning getting things sorted for an early start. The Thropton Show gates opened at 12 noon and the race started at 2:30pm. Plenty of time to fuel up and walk the dog. The
only debatable issue was whether to have lunch or a light snack. I chose the latter but ended up being ravenous by the time we gathered for the start.

The weather was muggy and moist in the morning, but began to clear on the trip over at a casual, fuel conserving speed. There was a definite autumnal feel with the falling leaves and rapidly changing colours of the trees. Beautiful. I parked up next to the show field and paid my entry fee.

I was quite tentative about running this race having a niggling hernia which I really need to get sorted out as soon as possible. Hills seem to aggravate it. Mmmm

Top organisation by Phil Green. Clear instructions were given out regarding the route and which areas were marked. We were off. We all had wet feet within the first mile having to cross the river Coquet. I was up at the front, too much responsibility on route navigation! It was a steady climb for the next two miles through fell, forest, heather and a bit of bouldering to reach the top of Simonside (ended up on a slight detour losing around 30 seconds). The descent was very technical with slippery rocks and roots to negotiate. Once through that section it was all out balls out. I was joint leader at the top and was determined to make this my race for the first time.

I retraced the route back to the Coquet and looked back to see how much of a lead I had, not a lot! I ploughed on hoping I wouldn’t lose it at this stage of the race. I reached the show field and knew I had done it, eventually my first ever Fell race win. A great reception from the spectators and a great relief.

Scott Gibson was second (flying!) and Rob Salter third (he did a Park run in the morning too). Winning lady was Karen Robertson. A special mention to Rob and Sam Hancox from Morpeth harriers. Their first fell race and did brilliantly. Sam was with me at the top of Simonside but understandably took it easy on the way down on that terrain. A bit more practice and he’ll be a fab fell runner.

A great race.  Thanks again to Phil and clan. A bit surreal getting my first win, better make the most of it.  Cheers!

Results on Phil's blog:

Proud moment - first win