Whaley Waltz 2016
Neither the threat of rain nor the prospect of finishing the race chest-high in river water deterred 23 Sale Harriers from taking part in the annual Whaley Waltz fell race. This popular event starts in Whaley Bridge as part of the Rose Queen Carnival, the 5.8 mile route climbing 900 meters to the craggy Windgather rocks on the edge of the Peaks. A colourful parade kicked off the afternoon and after watching cartwheeling gymnasts, fancy floats and a brass band the 216-strong field lined up in glorious sunshine, eager to get started.
The race begins on road but quickly takes to windy woodland trails and steep hillside ascents. Finally the runners reach the highest point to complete a horseshoe and begin the long, welcome descent back down towards the town. Chris Donnelly was first to emerge through the downpour which soaked the rest of the field as well. After reaching the notorious river jump which proceeds the final 100 metres of the race, Chris finished as overall winner in 40 minutes flat. Next up was James Walsh in 5th position, closely followed by Oliver Gaillemin, only 16 seconds behind. It was a strong showing from Sale Harriers in the top 20 with Paul Barrett (or should we say "Bennett"?!) finishing in 16th place and Mike Ashby in 18th.
Hayley Ashby was first lady and with the combined efforts of Sarah Douglas (3rd) and Anne Chinoy (6th) scooped the ladies team prize. Together with Chris' race win, Anne Chinoy's V40, Jackie Cordingly's V50 (2nd), Aidan Raftery V50 (2nd) and the mens team prize too, Sale Harriers - in the words of the race organisers - "cleaned up".
Well done to all who ran; Aidan Raftery (46.02; 23rd), Craig Bradbury (24th; 46.09), Robert Heggs (37th; 48.31), Tom McTernan (61st; 51.15), David Connelly (67th; 52.22), Frank Cordingley (71st; 52.58), Helen Armitage Sale Harriers (84th; 54.35), Anna Reeves (95th; 57.05), Helen Reagan (103rd; 57.39), Timothy Rainey (104th; 57.40), Janneke van Beijnum (110th; 57.46), Louise Robbins (115th; 58.53), Katherine Barker (129th; 61.51), Sinead Ferguson (172nd; 70.28)
Posted 26/06/2016 20:37