I’ve not run a fell race since June, due to focussing on the Dublin Marathon. So it was great to get back out on the moors. I drove over with Jenny Cooper and a friend from Pudsey Pacers. The forecast wasn’t great and on arrival the sheet ice on the car park gave an indication of what the course would be like.
Because of the ice, the route had been changed to a 4.2 out and back around the Stoop stone. I was a bit disappointed with this but it gave an opportunity to watch the leaders coming back down the hill as I was going up. The conditions made for tough running especially on the track from the road which was sheet ice the whole way and made runners stick to the verge, this spread the field out quite a bit as passing was virtually impossible.
My complete lack of hill training showed and it was slow progress up the hill. I was pleased though with my downhill form and I got up a decent pace and managed to stay upright. From the Stoop I gained 6 places and only lost 1 in the final 100m so was pretty pleased with that.
I got round in 53.02 which was reasonable. So the end of an era looms with the final ever Woodentops fell race taking place on 31 December, with the Auld Lang Syne. I’m looking forward to this and it looks like there will be a huge turnout from NLFR so it will be great to meet more club members. — Andrew Byrom