NLFR entered a mixed team this year with high hopes of a strong placing in that category. CWR is one of the most competitive relays in the UK and with 102 teams entered we came a very creditable 43rd and fifth mixed team overall.
It was a good day for running with sunshine and little wind. Matt and Phil led us off and had a storming first leg completing their 10.5 mile run in just 65 mins and fourth overall, less than 2 minutes behind the leaders. No pressure then on Leg 2 runners…Well we held on as best we could and with Leanne getting stronger as the leg went on we arrived at the changeover with half an hour to spare before the mass start and only one mixed pair ahead of us.
Hilary and Ann took a break from posing for photos long enough to power through leg 3 and hand over the baton to our long distance specialists Mike and Katie who clawed back a place before re-running the leg back to their car for a sharp 20 miler. Leg 5 saw Richard and Tim finish strongly as the 27th fastest pair before the baton went to our tarmac specialists Kate and Sharon for the largely urban final leg, leading us in ten places better than last year.
I went with Leanne and Dave McGuire of Wharfedale back to the Rugby Club race HQ and enjoyed a perfect pint of Wainrights and pie and peas before watching the Wharfedale men cruise in for a deserved victory, with Barlick FR second and Calder third. As ever a great day out with good company, fantastic atmosphere and well organised by Halifax Harriers.
** Alan is now doing his attempt Saturday 21 st May starting 23.00, you will be able to follow his progress using the below link**
Weather dependent Alan Hirons will be attempting to complete the Bob Graham this Friday (20th) starting at 11 pm, with a number of people from the club supporting him along the way. Alan has trained incredibly hard for this attempt with numerous long days out in the Lakes throughout winter so fingers crossed that the conditions are good for him and he can get himself round in a time that is reflective of all the work he has put in. You can follow his progress using the following link.
On Tuesday 3 May NLFR will be holding an open introductory orienteering session in Adel Woods under the guidance of one of our AIRE members RIchard Foster. All welcome.
On its own orienteering is a lot of fun, but also the skills gained in running and navigating a course with a map in your hand, transfer to fell running. So whether you need to learn some map skills, brush up generally, or just have a good evening competing in Adel woods, this is for you. My Black Combe navigation debacle passports me to the front of the queue for this.
Richard has insurance, all the permissions from the Council and will be setting out the controls on the Tuesday afternoon. The plan is to have a basic intro session for those new to orienteering as well as something to test those who know (think they know) what they are doing, followed by a 40 minute score event with a mix of hard and easier controls and prizes at the end.
No special kit is needed, aside from running gear. A compass might be useful, but not essential and it may be worth putting in a head torch, although we hope to finish before it gets dark. The plan is to meet at Adel War Memorial car park at about 6.45 and at 7pm jog down to Stairfoot Lane car park to get started by 7.15. Prizes and a drink after in the AWMA bar.
All welcome, whether NLFR members or not, just come along for a good evening. We will be asking for a contribution of £1 to cover the costs of having the maps printed. So that we have a rough idea of how many to print, if you know you are definitely coming please let Richard know by emailing him on email@example.com, or reply to this post, by Tuesday 26 April. We will print plenty of spares as well, so that we can cater for those who just turn up on the day.
It should be a good leg stretch after the 3 Peaks..
If you enjoy the event there will be a further orienteering event Richard is organising for AIRE the following evening (wed 4th May) around Adel village and a free one on the 11 May in Hawksworth Woods to celebrate World Orienteering Day.
The Dark Mountains is a relatively new event having only started in 2013 and essentially combines the two days of a traditional mountain marathon such as The OMM into one continuous overnight event. This year it was held in the Howgills and Kevin Drew and myself thought this would be a good sharpener of our navigating skills in preparation for this years mountain marathons. However driving up that Saturday in the dark, cold January night the scale of the task ahead started to loom over us and its fair to say that as we sat in the working mens club in Tebay waiting for our start time we were more than a bit nervous, especially considering that neither of us a particularly brilliant navigators and have done next to no night navigating before. Given this our tactic was to forget about a high placing and be extra diligent with our map reading, and it seemed to work well, as we found all 13 of the checkpoints with relatively few mistakes, and the 8 hours and 20+ miles of running seemed to fly by (minus a few sleep deprived lows…). The event itself was brilliantly organised and the course we did (C) was a very well thought out with just the right level of difficulty for someone doing this event for the first time. The terrain and the weather were also relatively kind on us, with the Howgills being largely, grassy, runnable terrain, albeit with some very steep sided slopes thrown in and the weather on the night been relatively calm, dry and visible, with mist confined to hills above 400m.
We ended up winning our class by over an hour and a half which was quite a surprise and was probably testament to our extra diligence with the map and compass (an altimeter also proved a very handy piece of kit). Certainly an event I’d recommend to anyone who likes this kind of thing and one that will be a regular in my running diary from now on. Full results can be found here –
As far as Scottish Hill Racing goes the Carnethy 5 is the blue ribbon event of the year, run in the Pentland hills just south of Edinbugh it contains 2,500ft of climb in just under 6 miles and annually attracts a very high standard of runner from around the country. This year it was no different, with current english fell running champion Tom Addison not even able to make the top 5, trailing the winner Andrew Douglas by 3 minutes. The course itself is a tough one, which is reflected in the winning times (Gavin Bland holds the record at 46 minutes, which no one has got near in 16 years) and contains next to no flat running. Terrain wise it reminded me a lot of the howgills, in respect to the very steep sided, grassy slopes, however where they differ is with the thick and coarse heather spattered around them which makes running both up and down these hills very difficult. The last descent in particular is treacherously steep and alternates between shale and slippery/trippy heather. I saw more than a few people take a nasty tumble down here and there were a fair few bloodied knees at the finish line.
Personally the race was a bit of a disaster, as my legs seized up half way up the first climb, making the subsequent 4 climbs somewhat unpleasant. In hindsight 1 week was probably not enough recovery for me after a hard run at Rombalds Stride the previous weekend. Ex-Abbey Sam Alexander had a good race though finishing in 40th place, which given the standard of the field was a great result. Full results here (you’ll need to scroll down for a while to find my name….)