UKA FELL RELAYS
Pendle, Lancashire was the venue for this year’s National fell Championships. Due to the changes in the rules, the club was restricted in the number of teams which could be entered resulting in just a men’s team being put forward to run. Sadly this meant that a few people were unable to compete and it is hoped that the FRA decided on a better venue for next year’s event which can accommodate as many teams as possible. It is important that Sale encourages as many people to compete in the fells, to demonstrate that the club is multi formatted, and it doesn’t just focus on the bog standard format of track, road and cross country.
The relay event is a combination of 4 legs. The first and last legs are single runner and the second and third are paired legs. The third is a navigation leg, and the rest are all marked.
Chris Donnelly got the team off to a flyer, hammering up Pendle hill to bring the team home in 25th place (and in front of some big teams- including Pennine!). Chris passed over to Richard Brown and Carl Barber for leg 2. I don’t know what happened to Carl on the leg, however Richard came back fresh and Carl returned looking like he had just ran a double marathon (perhaps a Pendle Witch had put a spell on him). They finished in 51st position.
Onto leg 3. Big things had been said about James Walsh and his navigation skills and he didn’t disappoint. Both James and Andrew Carlin dragged the team back into the top 40, with the performance of the day- the pairing finished 27th fastest on the day. Could we hold onto a top 40 finish? Well, that was down to Mike Ashby. We were tempted to scatter a few Cheese and Onion pies across the top of Pendle hill to entice him up to the top of the hill quicker, however the local bakery couldn’t meet our needs. Instead it was down to self belief and fitness and he did the team proud. The team finished 44th overall, slightly down on last year’s results however we were never going to really set the fell world a-light coming from one of the flattest parts of the north west.
Whilst we all tucked into our post race meal of Chilli and bread, we reflected on a job well done. No one got lost, no check points were missed and everyone had fun. See you again next year.
Posted 18/10/2015 18:31