So fell running,
I never hide the fact that I’m primarily a road runner but there is something about running up and down hills that drags me back with excitement and frustration in equal measures.
A ‘fell’ for people who are not from the north of England is a hill or mountain. Fell running is the sport of running up one or several fells and then straight back down at ankle breaking speeds!
Some races are marked and have marshals, others a map and compass are needed to help you navigate various check points and most of them have a story to tell.
This weekend I took part in a little low key fell race named ‘Race you to the summitt’ The summit is the top of a fell you think…….. Wrong the summitt is the name of a pub that serves as the start of the race! (most fell races start at or near a local pub)
The story goes that two fellas was arguing one night in the Summit inn about who could run the fastest to the neighbouring Whitehouse inn. After hearing the two men argue for some time the landlord of the pub decided to make them put their money where their mouth was and set up the race.
Fast forward 51 years and it’s was my turn to trace those famous footsteps. My decision to run was a last minute one after my friend Scott mentioned it on Facebook Friday evening . At only 4 miles the race is a perfect one for just having a go without any real experience, it’s mainly on decent trails and not too hilly.
After a quick registration and handing over the grand total of £5 for my entry, we got ready for the off.
As with most fell races it was more or less straight up straight away, I held back as I have a tendency to blow up on fast uphill starts, I Settled into a steady rhythm just as we hit a farmers track and I managed to pick off a few places.
The half way point is the neighbouring pub the whitehouse and upon touching the side it was time for a fast downhill back to the start. The return leg brought an almighty headwind which at some points threatened to blow me over ( a chap ran round in an inflatable halloween costume! How I’ll never know!).
I had a battle with a chap on the final downhill and just managed to pip him to the finish, something I was happy with as I usually lose my bottle on the descents for fear of breaking one of my sparrow ankles!
After only having to wait for a couple of minutes for Scott we then took part in the best part of fell racing……… A pint and a chat with other runners in the pub!
Although I didn’t break the 30 minutes the original two lads ran 51 years, I was really impressed with this little gem and will be back next year!