A post from new second-claimer Dave Middlemass reposted from his blog here.

I just want to say a big thanks here to everyone at North Leeds Fell Runners, who’ve all been so welcoming at the Tuesday night training sessions I’ve tagged along with this year. I’m pleased to say that (finally) I’ve joined NLFR 2nd claim and look forward to being involved in the club.

I’ve been a 1st claim member of neighbouring club Valley Striders for 8 years now. Valley has a fair sprinkling of fellrunners in its ranks, with the trend amongst members being towards increasingly challenging and exotic fellrunning adventures. There is less though in the way of regular training sessions or meet-ups at local races, so that’s why it’s been nice to try things out with NLFR, where this is more established. Many thanks guys for the warm and relaxed welcome to the club.

As that suggests, I do quite like a local race and it’s been nice to meet some fellow, er, enthusiasts from NLFR at races this summer – Jack Bloor, Coiners, Crow Hill, King’s Challenge, Burnsall and (yesterday) Malham Show included. Just to mention I’m potentially available to offer lifts to races if it’s not too far out of my way (I live in Bradford). Eg last week I gave Jonny a lift to Burnsall from Ilkley train station; in return he paid for the parking, let me beat him in the race by 4 seconds and didn’t mind when I dropped his skyer in the egg-throwing competition – a fair deal all round.

Elsewhere on my blog are write-ups of various races I’ve done and I often like giving good ones a plug. While many were off at the champs race at Sedbergh last weekend, I tried the lower-key Crowden Horseshoe for the first time. I had it in my head this would be a proper Dark Peak bog trot so wouldn’t be too harsh on my legs, still sore from Burnsall the day before. I also wanted to escape the moral dilemma, on the morning of the World Cup final, of having drawn Spain in a sweepstake.

Turned out I reckoned wrong on both counts! The 11am start at Crowden campsite coincided with kick-off in the footy, which was broadcast loud and clear to us over the radio. Once underway, the race route was surprisingly technical, calling for much more twinkled-toed rock avoidance than anticipated. Good job conditions were fine and the long descent back from Black Hill so scenic, helped keep my mind off the aching legs. Went straight from the finish to the river and sat in it for some time, nature’s own ice-bath treatment. Came back to a slightly downbeat campsite, Spain having won the final and I was now, awkwardly, £50 richer. After wrestling with it on the drive home, I donated my winnings to Mountain Rescue. Happy to have done that, after all I might have needed them if that race had been much longer!

Hope to see you on the fells soon.