It was a gloomy, muggy, clarty, slippy and wet day at Dufton yesterday for my first High Cup Nick fell race. A far cry from the previous weekend up at Wooler for Glen McWilliams' splendid Border trail race where the weather was amazing. It is, of course, usually grim weather for Glen's races so I'm not sure how he managed that!
I've heard some great reviews of the High Cup Nick race saying it is quick with stunning views. Unfortunately with the low cloud I wouldn't be able to appreciate that but looked forward to the route. There were four NFR's and a strong contingent from North Shields Poly with this race being in their championship series.
The start was ridiculously fast, hindered more-so by my mid-pack positioning, but I made my way through. The first few miles were easy going but then there was a long boggy, tussocky section which I found heavy going. Then we were climbing High Cup Nick. The rocks were very slippery and my x-talons were useless! Once on top the visibility was poor and I was on my own but luckily I could spot the race markers and followed the route down. The descent all the way to the finish was long a quick. I had North Shields Poly's Will Robson in my sights but he wasn't to be caught.
Will R finished in a great 16th place. I came home in 19th (70 mins). Fellow NFR and car passenger Chris Winter finished in 84th (81mins), Colin Archer from Morpeth Harriers was 54th in (77 mins). Also in attendance was Jason Taylor making his race comeback plus one other NFR. Results are not out yet so I do not know where they finished.
Tom Addison won the race in 61 minutes with the ladies winner Victoria Wilkinson in 11th overall coming in just under 67 minutes.
The soup and roll at the end was tremendous, accompanied by some homemade flapjack.
A grand day out and one to do again. Hopefully next time I'll get to appreciate the views myself.