Sunday 30 July 2017

Turnslack fell race report 

humdinger [huhm-ding-er]: noun (informal) “a remarkable or outstanding person or thing of its kind”

Before the Turnslack fell race I was reliably informed that it was a “humdinger”, or at least Claire overheard someone say this in the queue for the toilet, but however unorthodox our source of information, they were absolutely right.  2,000 ft of climb in 8 miles meant that this was almost the same as doing the previous two champs fell races back-to-back!  And humdinger was just one word used to describe this race, with many other, more colourful, adjectives being used after people had experienced it, in fact I was quite shocked at how many of these words Kerry knew! 

The race started below the church used for registration and went straight into a long climb up a road, which turned into a track and then turned into a narrow trod on the moors.  As well as the constantly undulating course, a feature of this race was the off-road sections across rough and boggy moorland, where footing was treacherous for the incautious.  During one such crossing, the presence of what looked like a recently surfaced and perfectly polished white human thigh bone lying on the top of the bog gave me additional pause for thought.  However, there was also beauty amongst the ruggedness of the fells and a couple of times we crossed grounds that were carpeted with white dots in every direction, as if the fields had been speckled by stars.  Bog cotton, never was an uglier name given to such loveliness.

The end of the race was also memorable for 2 reasons, the first being the actual finish, which skirted the high wall around the graveyard and relied on you spotting a sharp and narrow right-angle turn up the steps to an unusually situated finish line, right at the church door.  The second was post-finish, with the after-race drinks being served in cleaned-out Pot Noodle pots, classy stuff and only at fell races, you don’t get that kind of thing at the London Marathon!

Well done to everyone who took part, it was a good test of legs and character.  I’ll post a link to the results when I find one!  In the meantime, the latest fell champs have been updated on the website.  

The next race is another step up again and not to be taken lightly at Sedburgh Hills on 20th Aug 11:00, AL 14M 6004ft.  

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