Inspired by Phil’s Hathersage birthday bash, I wanted to have a look at some more races further West. My very first fell race was the Kinder Downfall above Hayfield and I’ve always had a soft spot for the Peak. So that was how I came to be racing Chunal Fell on Wednesday.
This seemingly innocuous hill packed a terrier-like bite into its meagre statistics. I saw it described on the FRA forum as mixture of Herod Farm and Wormstones races, finding the worst of both! 4 miles and 950′ of climbing with some real brutal pulls on the ascent.
A quick glance at the BBC weather site in the afternoon gave a shower at 7pm. As if by magic it started to rain at 6:50pm for the 7pm start. That and a bit of waiting around for late arrivals made for a fairly low key start, with a fairly select field of 50 entries. I lined up with my old biking mate Rich, now running for Pennine, and that’s where we stayed, having a place swapping ding-dong over the rest of the course. I got him in the end.
The changeable weather made for a stunning final descent, with tired legs all heading to the finish neatly marked by the end of a rainbow. No pot of gold for this ageing runner though — 27th out of 50 and a time of 36’30. Aiming for top half next time!
An unexpected bonus was seeing Danny Chan, ex of this parish, on the start line. Dan’s running really well at the moment and enjoying Sheffield life. Tonight wasn’t his night though as he had to pull out at the furthest point with some weird problem with his leg (nerve complaint?). With at least two physios on hand at the finish, he’s already booked in for fixing. That’ll be the one time I ever beat him I think.
Good race, well marked, friendly, good course. One to come back to.
[Thanks to Glossop Ian for the pic, more on Picasaweb]