Saturday 8 July 2017

Bull Hill fell race report 

In my opinion this is one of the best local fell races, since in one small race it manages to combine most of the key elements of fell running, including its own mini-fell, bottomless bogs, rocky & uneven surfaces, some good descents and plenty of great views.  So if you’re not sure whether fell running is for you, you’ll have a pretty good idea after doing this one!  

7 A&T runners made the 1 mile trek to the start line, to set off up an initially deceptively flat road, which soon banked upwards and around a couple of bends, onto the moors.  At this point it levelled off and we followed a narrow trod across the moorland.  Though with Dave’s (evil) Monday track session still in my legs I was blowing by this point and was glad that I had no opportunity for overtaking.  Luckily there was then some brief relief with an easy downhill down a path, before we got to the waterfall and the mini-fell, which is a shock to the system and proper hand-on-knees stuff.

Plenty of undulations then followed, until we passed the monument to the Pilgrim’s Cross at the top of the hill.  You’d expect it to be all downhill from there, but no, they continue to knock the stuffing out of you with false promises of downhills, each followed by another rise, interspersed with boggy ground.  Eventually you end up on a tricky narrow path which contours the final descent, eventually ending in a stream to ford and marshalls telling you that you’re nearly there (liars!).  A sign showing “400m to go” is for some reason placed what seems like about a mile away, and this is followed by a “200m to go” which somehow feels even further from the finish than the 400m.  However, this is all explained by Einstein’s slightly less well known Special Theory of Fellativity, which explains how the inclusion of mud and a hill in the last 200m of a fell race distorts space-time, causing time to slow and distances to increase.  At least it must be something like that.  One women summed it all up nicely, as she finally spotted the finish and decided to walk the last 50 yards, “F*ck it!” she stated emphatically.  I couldn’t agree more.

Anyway, we were all safely home and performance of the day must surely go to Kerry, who knocked an amazing 11 minutes off her time from last year.  Well done Kerry and everyone else who took part.

The race results can be found on John Schofield and the fell champs have been updated on the A&T website.  The Run the Moors chaps have also been very efficient and have updated their champs too.

Next race is Turnslack on Sat 29th July somewhere near Littleborough.  Details can be found on our website.

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