MUD, SWEAT AND THE EDALE SKYLINE
Sale Harriers sometimes visit the fells, but there are fell races and there are ‘fell’ races and the Don Morrison Memorial Edale Skyline race is definitely one of the latter. Even with perfect weather (a treat for this edition that has been famously absent in previous runnings) this is a beast! Officially 21.5 miles (heavily dependent on your navigating ability) and containing 4500ft of climb the route takes in the ridges around Edale including the famous peaks of Loose Hill, Mam Tor and Grindslow Knoll to name just a few. There were real fell legends here too, with Nicky Spinks (holder of the women’s Bob Graham round record) lining up at the start. And so, this is where a couple of Sale Harriers found themselves on Sunday 13th March staring into a blue sky at the peaks above, and then the race began!
In the words of Chris Donnelly "a beautiful day, nice scenery (on the odd occasion I looked up) and a testing race on challenging terrain. Underestimated massively how tricky the conditions would make the last section from Brown Knoll to Grindslow. Hard going though no thigh deep mud incidents this time."
While Chris was apparently avoiding all thigh deep mud, Andy Carlin was finding it everywhere and wearing large smears of it on his face. At one point, after tripping over a rock, he ended up buried in a snow drift. The melting snow on the peaks made the some of the paths into rivers and the rivers in to white water making for some big jumps around the ridges.
So finally it ended, with Chris Donnelly finishing in an amazing 14th place in 3:18:15 and Andy Carlin coming 34th in a hard earned 3:40:31. Both have now qualified for the event for the next 5 years so that might be enough time to recover. And in the final words of Chris Donnelly ‘it beats a flat 10k road race anyway!’
Posted 14/03/2016 19:54