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Bowland Fell Runners News: March 2012

News: March 2012

After my initial panic with only 30 runners entered the week prior to the race, there was an influx of people in the last few days wanting an entry. Obviously not everyone wanted to run Lads Leap after all….!!! With all the access issues over recent years, I had managed to convince myself that the new shorter course of the last three years was so far removed from the original classic route, that Fiendsdale had actually fallen out of favour with the fell running community. In reality it turned out to be a fantastic day, with the feel of a low key but very enjoyable race. The entries and results very effectively handled by Steve Taylor on his laptop. My other half (Pam) put her baking skills up for public approval by asking just a quid for tea / coffee and a delicious piece of cake in aid of the Pennine and Bowland Mountain Rescue (not much of which went home..!!) and the prizes being presented next to the finish at the foot of the fell instead of keeping people waiting for ages at the pub in the village, all helped to make the day great. As for the race, 75 started on an improving day with Mark Chippendale from Bowland making the pace on his home turf. However, he went astray at checkpoint two drifting too far east and lost ground he was unable to make up. The winner in the end by one and a half minutes was Dave Nuttall of Clayton ahead of Mike Johnson of Bowland. Sarah Sarginson, currently in formidable form took the ladies prize to go along with her win at Bleasdale two weeks prior, in an excellent time of 1:10:34.

Thanks as always to members of Bowland Fell Runners for their brilliant support, the Pennine and Bowland Rescue Team for manning the checkpoints and providing cover on the day and to local landowners who allow us to run the race.
Andrew Farmer
Posted: Mon 26th Mar 2012

The Bat League is all over (including the shouting) for another year. The finale run took place on a dry and clear Thursday night, with a surprisingly chilly wind. 12 illustrious bats split into two groups for a run up the "voi normale" (normal route) on Ingleborough from Storrs Common, Ingleton.

 There was slight consternation after the run when we found the Marton Arms (our planned bolt-hole) closed but we were soon ensconsed in the Craven Heifer instead, where Martin W shed a tear as he handed over the magnificent Grand Bat Trophy (crafted by Stew F) to Pam, who won the league with a determined and committed effort right through the season, completing all 45 runs. Well done Pam!

 It has been great to see the increase in female participation in the league this year, with Pam the first ever female winner, Julia in third place, Gill in 5th and Ruth in 9th - four women in the top 10! This is a tribute to the efforts of a number of people to make the runs more accessible and to lead 'advance groups' etc.

 Overall, the league continues to grow in all sorts of ways; in popularity (another record number of participants this year), in size (45 runs is another record) and in variety (yet more Carwags challenges were added this winter). This is all good stuff, but the increased number of participants at most runs has started to put pressure on some of our low-key little parking snickets, even at Carwags where we have a whole car park to ourselves!

 The Golden Bat scheme continues to be a success and the Dark Realm challenges proved an interesting addition, though they did occasionally conflict with other bat activites and interpretation of the rules was sometimes a source of some mild consternation. The Dark Realm may be relaunched in a different form for next year, along with some other bat league refinements, after I've had all Summer to think about it. Don't worry though, I'll stick to the principle of "if it aint broke, don't fix it" as much as possible...

 All that remains for me to do is to thank all of you for your support and enthusiasm, without which the Bat League would be nothing. Honestly, some of you are so enthusiastic it's an inspiration to a gnarly old bat like me, so thanks!

The Bat League now has an 8 year history and looks well capable of reaching it's first decade. Hope I'm around to celebrate it's Jubilee ;-) 

Bat League 2011/12 (45 runs)
1st Pam Farmer 131pts
2nd Graham Lund 122pts
3rd Julia Richardson 110pts
Total of 111 scorers

Posted: Mon 26th Mar 2012

Hmmmm ... not sure what to say about this one other than there was another good turnout from the Bowland contingent, and some of them managed to navigate successfully around the entire course. The results speak for themselves and are HERE .

Personally, I was too concerned about finding the line from checkpoint 2 to 3 in the clag so I missed 2 and ended up in Ogden Clough. Rejoining the race line between 2 and 3 I then had to run against the traffic back to 2, much to the amusement of Steve Bamber and numerous others who were offering plenty of "helpful advice"!! The only ray of sunshine was getting to the finish and not finding Chris - he'd not managed to follow a bearing between 2 and 3 and had ended up in a grouse shoot somewhere near the ski slopes! Maybe we need to resurrect the "Rob Wynne" navigation award? Was John Wade the last holder? If so, he can give up his title after a clean run around this one.


Posted: Wed 14th Mar 2012

John Parminter - Black Combe                   

Saturday’s race at Black Combe was as eventful day out and certainly ranks as one of the best races in the calendar. The Bowland turnout was in double figures but events seemed to conspire against them all reaching the start line when a bloodied Oliver appeared back at the car with an unusual request – could we come and help him find his glasses? An unusual request, granted, but Chris and I duly ran back along his “warm up” to the site of the stumble and soon found them in the grass. Long sight restored we sped off to the start line, only to find a dibberless John dashing off to his car with minutes to go and Jo sporting an interesting attire of  luminous yellow braces after an elastic malfunction in her Ron Hills! John didn’t make it back in time and generously gave the entire field a head start.

The race itself started in sunshine with the steep climb up Seaness and the steady pull up onto Black Combe. Rob Jebb led from the off and shot off up the hill. For Bowland, Oliver steadily made ground through the field up the hill, followed by Mark and I in amongst the Borrowdale V40 team. The run down to White Combe stretched the field out before the steep drop to the hayrack and contour down to the beck. At this point I noticed the black clouds brewing above the Combe and sure enough, a few minutes later there was a vicious hail storm. Sheltered from the strong winds by the hill, the first few Bowlanders got stung but it was tolerable, however, back on White Combe it was apparently like being blasted by a shotgun. The fact that Leigh stopped to don full waterproofs tells you how bad it was and Sean opted to have a 10 minute lie down in a sheepfold/bothy to let the storm pass! Nick, never one to make much fuss, just put his hat on and kept going.

Back up on Black Combe, Scoffer appeared from nowhere off to the right and ran strongly up to the top whilst Oliver’s lack of hill time enabled Mark and I to gain ground. The hail stopped, the sun appeared again and it was the usual eyeballs out dash down the ridge desperately trying to stay upright. The Borrowdale team showed their superior descending skills but the Bowland boys were not too far behind in the end. As more runners arrived, it became clear that the leading 15-20 had avoided the worst of the weather as the rest displayed hundreds of welts on legs and arms from the hail … not a pretty sight!

Pie and peas in the village hall rounded off a fine race – if you’ve never done this one before, pencil it in for next year, you won’t be disappointed .... just remember the string for your glasses, don't forget your dibber, check the elastic on your pants and keep an eye on the weather.

For the full results CLICK HERE

Pos Name    Cat  Club     Time
10  Richard Mellon  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  1:14:46
14  Mark Chippendal MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  1:15:49
16  Oliver Wild  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  1:16:41
26  Chris Reade  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  1:20:25
44  David Wilson  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  1:25:53
71  Nick Hewitt  MV50  Bowland Fell Runners  1:33:00
73  Leigh Warburton MV50  Bowland Fell Runners  1:33:25
82  Jim Rhodes  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  1:36:02
100  Sean Bolland  M  Bowland Fell Runners  1:40:55
131  John Taylor  MV60  Bowland Fell Runners  1:48:35
153  Mark Irving  M  Bowland Fell Runners  1:53:14
163  Martin Walsh  MV60  Bowland Fell Runners  1:56:28
174  Jo Taylor  LV40  Bowland Fell Runners  2:06:38
Richard M

Posted: Mon 5th Mar 2012