Sunday, 16 April 2017

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 WorldActually, 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.

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