And the winner was…
Many thanks to Richard and his team for putting on such a good day at Bradwell for us, and all the other runners as well of course. It was a hot day, and some of us were a bit slower than we’d hoped to have been, myself included. The race was won by Ken Sutor in 5:21:15, with Es Tresidder second in 5:33:28, and Stephen Shanks just behind him in 5:33:57. First woman home was Caitlin Rice in 6:22:58, second Mary Gillie in 6:30:53, and third, no happier with her run than I was with mine, was Nicky Spinks in 6:46:49. The full race results are on the race website here. The updated Runfurther leaderboard is here.
SportSunday were at the event, and you can see a few of their photos above and below. There are loads more at a higher resolution on their website here. Please don’t copy them without permission from SportSunday – they’ve a business to run. Nick Ham also took photos on his way round – I’ve still no idea how he manages to do that. There are a couple of his here, and you can find the rest of his photos here. He got some good ones this time, particularly of Mick Cottam having a bath mid-race. Tim Budd (zephr) finished 4th, and his blog is here. Tim’s partner Lynne Taylor ran too, running her first ultra, and her blog is here. Nigel Aston’s report is here – he had a great race and finished 18th.
With four races still to go, 21 runners have now run four counters. We were handing out Giraffe neckwear to all of those we could find at Bradwell – the others will have to catch us at one of the races for theirs, or at the prizegiving/AGM party later in the year (more details further down).
The women’s championship is looking like it could be quite close, as Mary Gillie had a good race at Bradwell, partly closing the gap on Karen Nash. Mary still needs a very good run in either the Bullock Smithy or the Hardmoors 60 to overtake Karen though, and if Karen can manage to be first woman on the Isle of Man, Mary won’t catch her anyway. Nicky Spinks has a much better chance of catching Karen: if she runs either the Bullock Smithy or the Hardmoors 60 and is first woman in either, or close to it, Karen will probably not be able to catch her. Both Mary and Nicky are planning on going for it! Karen knows she’s not as fast as Mary or Nicky, but she’s already been first woman at Calderdale and Shap, so has a lot of points.
On the men’s side, it’s starting to look like Kevin Hoult stands the best chance of beating Stewart Bellamy, although his run at Bradwell wasn’t really fast enough: he’ll need to pull a really good race out of the bag to stand a chance. I hope Martin Terry didn’t run at Bradwell on the basis I’d got my forecast right in my earlier post here, when I said he’d have to run well at Bradwell or the Isle of Man. My mistake: it was a Medium race he still needed to run to get the MV50 title in the bag, so it’ll have to be Jedburgh – my apologies Martin!
Oh, and Dick Scroop turned up for the committee meeting afterwards, complete with crutch. He still says he’s going to compete at Jedburgh…
AGM and Prizegiving Party
More details shortly, but this year’s AGM and prizegiving will be on Saturday 14th November in or near Barley, by Pendle Hill in Lancashire. It will follow the Long Tour of Pendle fell race. We should be able to provide some food this year, as well as prizes, and we’ll be in one of the local pubs. Please be there if you possibly can – we must have enough people there to have a quorate AGM, and we don’t want to be lonely either. The AGM should be short and not too boring.
The reason for bringing this up now is that the race is already open for entries, and it does fill up, so if you want to run as well as come to the Runfurther prizegiving, you should get your race entry in asap. The Full Tour of Pendle is a full-on long fell race, 27km with 1500m of climbing, and is a classic event. Full details on the race website here.
Andy’s Race Report
No blog from Karen this time, as she headed straight off on holiday from Bradwell. Instead I’ll describe my run, which won’t be much more cheerful than Karen’s would have been – we both had a slow run. No fault of the course though, it’s a well-planned course with plenty of hills and very little tarmac. My sort of race really.
It started OK, running off from the green in Bradwell and up through the quarries. A lovely sunny day, Nicky Spinks just in front, Karen Nash just behind. As usual on long climbs early in a race, people went past me, but I’m used to that. I often see a lot of them again later. Finally at the top of the hill we turned left and belted down Cavedale. Well, most people belted down the first half, but only a few of us kept it up down the wet stony bit lower down. Brain off, watch my feet, and I got past a few there, and headed across Castleton on the momentum. The next drag up, gradually at first, then steepening on the rough path up to Hollins Cross on the Mam Tor ridge. Then the great run down into Edale, technical at first, then a fast run on grass and track to the valley road. Again I was picking people off who’d passed me on the previous climb. A flat bit next across the valley, then Karen passede me, as she often does at this stage in a race, early on the stiff climb up to Kinder. I plodded up, and wasted a minute or two not getting the best line up to the Druid’s Stone control.
Then the next great downhill run back down to the Edale valley, ready for the next steep climb up Lose Hill. I’m not fast uphill, but this still felt fine, and I got to the top feeling great. Ready, in fact, for another brilliant descent, this time down to Hope. The climbs and descents are such good ones on this race, and that’s one of the key things that make it such a great race, I think. Sideways along the valley for a short way, and then it was up the next climb, most of the way up Win Hill, then round it on a narrow path through the bracken into the plantation above Ladybower Reservoir. The first time I ran this race I missed the control in here and wasted about 20 minutes looking for it. These days they mark the controls more clearly, and anyway, I know the way by now. I didn’t get my map out once all race this time.
Down the stony track to the reservoir dam, and down to the old railway line, and by now my legs were starting to feel tired. The run across the fields to Bamford was delightful as always, but I wasn’t looking forward to the next bit – the only climb in the race I really don’t like much. The steep track up Bamford Clough was closed again this year, so we had to use Joan Lane and Hurstclough Lane instead. I didn’t mind that: it’s the road section afterwards I don’t like, and the never-ending Long Causeway track that follows. By the time I got to the top my legs had had enough. For the second year running I was picking my way feebly along Stanage Edge while younger, fitter runners passed me by, running where I didn;t have the strength to run. I reached the Upper Burbage Bridge checkpoint downhearted and knackered, but at least I didn’t trip and fall full-length in the road this year.
The rest was horrible. I was running in lovely surroundings, but so wiped out I could hardly function. Down to the Toad’s Mouth seemed twice as far as usual. The stream down from there seemed to be running uphill. Then Karen passed me…again! She’d gone the wrong way, had come down with United Utilities’ water bug during the race, and still streaked by me as if I was standing still. They said at Leadmill Bridge that there were about four miles left – it felt like 10. I staggered into the finish having walked half of the last road section – I’d had no choice. 7:23:11, a few minutes faster than last year, but then I was still recovering from a stress fracture. Nearly an hour slower than 2013. Perhaps I need to do more training…