Thursday 29 June 2017

Eddie's Revenge Fell Race report - Phil Riley

Who the F!@K is Eddie??

Apparently, Eddie Miln formerly of Middleton Harriers, setup the race and then promptly moved a safe distance away to the sanctuary of Blackpool! Thanks Eddie, hope you're enjoying the beach while we all tackle your Big One!!

This revenge of a race was organised by Middleton Harriers and was £5 entry or free with a homemade cake! Registration took place in the warm, dry and peaceful St Saviours C of E Church, near Shaw. Not that could be said for the weather, course and conditions awaiting us. Due to the weather, waterproof jackets were mandatory to be worn or carried...and so began the obligatory panicking among the team to make sure all had jackets (or bum bags stuffed with socks Phil Spencer!) and due faffing on whether to wear them under/over A&T vests or carried or tied around the waist etc etc etc! The start was 200m away at Shore Edge Methodist Church. Again, a religious tone that would only get more colourful at the finish line!!

132 brave lambs including 11 A&Ters (9 men and 2 ladies) listened to a short course briefing before being set off by the woof of the Mountain Rescue dog! This was my first Club Fell race and Tim had kindly given me a 'Tim Top Tip' which was to try and start near the front and get in a good position leading into a bit of a bottle neck  1/4mile from the start. Heeding the mountain goats wise words, I set off a little too 'briskly' for my own lungs and was already blowing badly before the first real climb upto the fells! At least I was on the podium at this point!

Tim, Rob and Carl had already disappeared up the hill and as I started turning purple, another of our mountain goats Simon soon passed me. The fell master dealt a disapproving shake of the head as he bounded up the rocky path. Phil Spencer then caught me as we nearly reached the top of the first lung busting climb. Even though the rain had stopped, conditions were still damp and the paths were rocky, slippy and muddy in places. I am quite a good descender but I didn't fancy any face planting this evening! As I re-passed Phil, the first descent was scuppered by Sloan's pre-race nobbling trick of telling me to tie my jacket around the waist, half zipped and tucked in! It started to come down and for the next few hundred metres looked like I was running in a kilt while trying to retrieve something from my sporran! Sloan duly flew past with all arms flailing as I grappled with my bits as we headed back Up!

The slippery Sloan wasn't too far in front as the race saw us summit Crompton Moor where we were then hit with head winds as we picked our way back across the fell and onto a very steep and narrow descent. This was pretty treacherous trying to come down at speed. With the added obstacle at the bottom of three posts strategically positioned in the middle of the narrow path (probably left there by our friend Eddie), just to finish anyone off who's legs hadn't already been felled!!  (did you see what I did there!?)

No one else had caught me so I was looking good even if I wasn't feeling it. One more 'lump' followed as I checked around for any blue vests hunting me down, before another short sharp rocky descent close to the finish. A quick hurdle over some wooden path traps and across the finish line!  1000ft of climb in 3.7miles and some scars to show for it! Notably a pulled Tricep! Of all things to pull...a tricep in a fell race! Maybe I should try using the legs!

In the finish area, Tiger Tim was looking pretty pleased with himself after bagging 3rd place overall and Rob with a fantastic top ten. As we waited for all the A&T athletes to finish, the air turned more and more blue with everyone's descriptions of the 'undulating' course! We had a good chuckle at Anthony who was pipped on the final corner by Kieran. Anthony apparently wasn't aware of where the finish was! 'Strategically' holding something back for a fast finish!! Good work. Better luck next time...

We headed down and back to the Church to warm up with a brew and a cake before the award presentation. And as I told Dave's supporting mother about her son...Tim, despite earlier insisting on wanting a quick getaway, waited patiently for his box of maltesers!  We hope Kay enjoyed eating them!

Well done to all and great effort. It was a good honest race and I personally loved my first Club Fell race and will be back for time with more legs and less wardrobe malfunction!

A&T Results:

Tim Campbell 26.55

Rob Johnson 28.47

Simon Ford 31.16

Carl Murray 31.23

Dave Sloan 32.14

Phil Riley 33.10

Kieran Lomas 35.02

Anthony Hart 35.07

Phil Spencer-Gray 35.23

Clare Matchwick 39.12

Kerry Lomas 47.30

If you're on Strava check out the Flyby:

Official results here:

Next Fell race is next week:    6th July 7.30pm, Bull Hill, Bury (BS) 5.5miles, 1099ft

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