Coiners Fell Race Report
It was an offer too good to refuse - enter a fell race and get a free fake tan! Of course, we didn’t know about the free fake tan until after the race, and given that the temperature was in the high 20s, our thoughts before the start were more on factor 50 sun cream and whether or not to take a water bottle.
After a brief briefing, we started the race with a note that the course had “really dried off” and a vague warning of a style after half a mile still in memory, but almost forgotten. Until half a mile in. A race record 197 entrants formed an orderly British queue to get over the style and onto the first climb of the race through a thankfully shaded wood. However, that was the last relief from the sun for a while as we gradually continued to rise towards Stoodley Pike, which loomed in the distance at roughly the halfway point of the course. Having looked at the map before we started, I could see that after rounding the Pike it was a series of gradual downhills to look forward to, and the run off the Pike set that trend as expected, with a long descent towards the woods. With all the climb in the first 3 miles, I would never have guessed that this would mark the start of the hardest part of the race, with the first of the self-tanning salons, aka bogs, at the bottom of the hill. The bogs seemed to get progressively more difficult, draining and deep, but were cleverly designed so that you got an all-over tan spread evenly over your legs. God only knows what that course is like when it hasn’t dried off!
The finish seemed to take an age to appear, with bog after tanning salon after bog and the last 100 yards seemed intended to completely finish off what last bit of legs you may still have, with a sharp descent into the start/finish field, with a rapidly emptying water station after an extremely hot race.
We all inspected our yellowy-orange legs after we’d finished and were pleased with the results, although after scrubbing mine for a good ten minutes in the bath when I got home, I emerged with my skin still stained, but looking surprisingly healthy! Now I know what to do before this year’s Christmas party 😊
Well done to all who took part, it was a toughie in that heat, and in particular Joan Cooke and Nick Goaley for completing their first fell races. Also a special mention for Rachel and Kay for supplying us with lovely cakes!
The fell champs are uploaded to the A&T website and the race results can be found at the link below:Next race is Saddleworth on 27th May.
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