A tough 10 mile fell race with 1,500ft ascent starting from Diggle, Oldham with 29 Red Rose Road Runners entered.
It’s an interesting moorland course with as much cake as you like to eat at the end. What’s not to like? All Runners are invited to bring a cake which will be entered into the cake contest. The prizes for best tasting and best decorated were won by Jenny Fairclough and Aimee Midgley. Well done ladies.
The weather was not looking attractive and I was convinced it would rain from start to finish but somehow we were extremely lucky except for a hail shower with a brutal wind chill during the last couple of miles.
Registration and a full kit check was carried out. Absolutely necessary, given the strange weather we have had lately. Waterproofs, (top and bottom), hat, gloves, map, whistle, compass and emergency food. I also carried water. No kit, no run! FRA kit rules are for runner’s safety, are at the discretion of the race organiser and maybe relaxed in fair weather.
The course takes in open moorland scenery, industrial heritage, and farmland. It is mainly on flagged paths, tracks and trails with the challenge of going over the Pennines and back.
The first mile or so was up hill onto the moors via the boat lane path which was built to take the horses from the canal barges over the hills. Up on the Moors, over the flagged path to Brun Clough Reservoir. The flagstones were very slippy due to recent snow and hail and I needed total concentration to stay upright after slipping a few times.
Following the Pennine Way until the route splits the reservoirs at Wessenden Head where a marshal was holding a rope for everyone to cross the reservoir. I wimped out and went a bit further up to cross under the waterfall where it was a little shallower then followed the Kirklees Way down towards Marsden where I gained a bit of time on the downhill.
I then met a long flight of stone steps down the side of the dam and another flight of stone steps up the other side! That was tough, legs were starting to feel heavy now.
Another climb and back up onto the Moors against the wind. The hail shower started so with a mile and a half to go, it was head down and get on with it on the long downhill run into the finish.
The support at the finish line was amazing again and a lovely surprise to see Mary Conway and Mo Laney, I really didn’t expect to see them. Thanks also to Gary and Helen Orson who must have been freezing.
229 runners finished the race. I completed in 1hr 53mins and was 3rd F45.
Big thanks to the committee for putting this race on the calendar. It was a great choice and another fantastic Red Rose Road Runners day out.
Well done everyone!
Finally, a reminder of Pita’s blog ‘Feet in the clouds’