Race Report – Rivingon Pike Fell Race
The thronging crowds peered anxiously down the hill, as the ominous rumbling sound gradually grew louder and louder,until it was so thunderous that the ground began to shake. Such a sound has not been heard since the dreaded hordes of Visgoths sacked Rome in 476 AD and is unlikely to be heard again until the Martian War Machine comes from hiding and decimates the World. Actually, on second thoughts though the noise wasn’t ominous . . . it was the sound of . . . fun!?
Suddenly the crowds beheld the awe-inspiring sight of 371 athletes sweeping majestically across the slopes towards the summit of Rivington Pike. One of them smiled, one of them shouted “Don’t film this shit”, all of them couldn’t believe that they’d given up a bank holiday afternoon for this. That’s right, it was the 125th running of the country’s oldest fell race, and by jingo it was a good one.
16 well-toned A&T athletes nervously toed the start line opposite Lever Park gates for a road-based sprint start towards Rivington school, before veering off to the right and the start of the climb proper. From here it’s only 1 mile to the pike, but the route gradually becomes steeper and steeper up runnable paths, until you reach the last 100 yards, where most runners are reduced to hands-on-knees walking. Then, rounding the pike tower there’s momentary bliss as the ground levels out, and then BANG! it’s a hectic downhill sprint, back the way you came, to the finish. You need to be careful not to land on your arse (Bacon Mon), but it was all worth it for a pint in the pub and one of Kay’s brownies.
Thanks also to the A&T support on the route, some great photos from Terry online, plus I saw Jo & Mark, Gary, Barry, Stacey and Cath B, apologies if I missed anyone, I was mostly concentrating on not falling over!
Individual results are below, with some amazing performances, and the A&T champs are updated on the website, but it’s also worth mentioning the great results from a team perspective:
Men 6th team from 16
Men (Vets) 5th team from 17
Women 8th team from 13
Women (Vets) 7th team from 8
27 Tim Campbell V40 3 20:44
76 Carl Murray 23:14
97 David Sloan 23:40
113 Brendan Loughrey V50 17 24:22
177 Anthony Hart V45 20 26:39
192 Claire Matchwick L 26 27:17
210 Paul Basnett V45 23 28:05
248 Paul Daniel V40 31 29:43
257 Derek Coop V55 24 30:03
288 Ian Hamilton V65 8 31:26
298 Rachel Haslam L 53 32:07
319 Clare Unsworth L40 11 33:57
328 Tracy Loughrey L45 11 34:19
330 Kay Campbell L40 12 34:35
341 Robert Foster V50 39 35:56
350 Tracy Waterfall L40 16 36:40
Next on the calendar is the Cake Race in Diggle, Saddleworthon Sat 29th Apr. Free entry if you bring a cake! More on that in the next couple of weeks.