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Bowland Fell Runners News: November 2012

News: November 2012

 Good ol’ sleepy, rolling Pendle just waiting to catch out the unwary. 

A new start line so you don’t have to run across the road. The day was dull and dry, like Duncan recounting a favoured and tricky course through mid Wales. At least Kieran was kinder and shortened the course by half a minute. 

Nine or ten Orange and Greens amongst the 360 or so starters. 

I was interested in my own form seeing as I’d shed some weight but was wondering if some muscle had gone with it. Our own Richard would be contesting the top ten (9th) and intriguingly, there was a dispute over 6, 7 and 8 who Richard thinks took the wrong bearing off the Trig and missed CP 11.

Muddy conditions sapped the energy and good runners zig-zagged up the Big End as cramp meant they could hardly raise their legs. Richard and Chris both felt it badly. If you can forgive me being lyrical, I look upon Pendle as a gentle and tolerant lady with whom it is impossible to fight or hold a grudge. Her gentle slopes, bear with me here, neither too steep nor easy. And just don’t take her for granted.

I try to ease my way around. Kieran, the RO, over the past few years has added five minutes to the course to prevent erosion getting worse in certain fragile areas. The new route on Mearley Moor was supposed to go along the wall and dogleg up the walker’s path although it’s not flagged. When I get to the gate I’m really surprised to see that there is already a very clearly defined, new path cutting a diagonal swathe across the moor. Erosion by trying to avoid erosion. In my lyrical mood I think of it solemnly as another line on her kind and gentle face. Did I follow it? Yes –:(

Richard chooses the dogleg path and doesn’t lose any ground.

 Andy Crook and The Reverend are out on the hill spectating and supporting.

Leigh, however, is trying to spoil the karma. He glides past me on Spence Moor. Surprisingly, I steal in front off Geronimo. It isn’t till climbing Mearley that, whilst rummaging in my disintegrating bumbag ,I look up to see Leigh ten yards ahead. I don’t know how he did that. It’s time to gently dig in. Across the top before the drop off to the knoll at the bottom of the Big End, yet another track has materialised. All the runners I see, and Leigh, follow the track. (Now I think of it, another track has been made on the descent to Mearley Clough CP that wasn’t there even two weeks ago.  You’ll see what I mean if you have a look).

I stick with my plan and carry straight along the top to take a long traverse down to the CP. A good move as I make up the 30 yards Leigh had taken out of me when we converge. 

Good to see Dave Tait manning the correct Knoll this time. 

Mentally prepared for this, the biggest climb, I set off with intent in Leigh’s wake. Half way up we both decline The Reverend’s boiled spuds or ‘rocket fuel’ as he calls them. 

I can sense Leigh is making a concerted effort to drop me here, he said as much after, and I believe that our race outcome depends on my response right here and now. Cresting just behind Leigh we go over the stile. The gels, I’m a convert now, easing the cramp that nibbles away at my shortening stride and allowing me to gradually pass Leigh. Feeling like I’m in a scene from Chariots of Fire, Leigh shouts ‘ go on Declan, fantastic’.  What a guy!

I can’t believe that, finally, I’ll finish in front of one of the great members of our club on an AL.

It’s a great run over the top and down to CP11, Bill Smith’s Stone. Not so the last mile on tarmac. Fear and paranoia are a great help so I feel quite sprightly. I glance around several times but there’s no-one in sight. In the end I take about 14 minutes off my best time and Leigh honourably offers no excuses.

Let this be a lesson to any young whipper-snapper; as you travel along life’s windy paths and you notice a wrinkle or two appearing on a pretty face, keep your comments to yourself.




Postscript: Yes, the stewards enquiry did reveal that places 5, 6 and 7 had indeed all missed out checkpoint 11 and returned to Barley from the summit so everyone can boost themselves up 3 places!!  Can I also stress that my facial hair growth is NOT in fact a Movember effort but is actually a "Declan fan club" effort.   Rich

Posted: Tue 20th Nov 2012

Well done to all who competed from Bowland and especially to Declan for p.b.ing and having such a fine relationship with her good lady (Pendle, that is!!). All images can be found in the gallery section and are courtesy of  Roy Pritchard. You can see them all larger if you like on his Flickr page Roy Pritchard....Lee

Posted: Tue 20th Nov 2012

A fantastic 21 Bowlanders made the start line for this superb little race - including a record 6 ladies .. short and sharp with some technical descending and finished off by a cracking pie and a pint! Can it get any better? It was wet underfoot but the earlier torrential downpours abated and with only one small squall of hailstones, it was fairly close to "pleasant". Pam and Ruth were all smiles before the race, Nick was back at his first race for a while and Steve Cox was out without his bike this time. A great run!

At the front, Carl Bell and Danny Hope were making the running and soon pulled ahead up the first hill with the chasing mob strung out behind. Mike and I were duelling it out for club honours with Mark not too far behind. At the halfway point Mike continued to apply the pressure but we continued to pick off some dropping off the pace set at the front. Stickle Pike proved decisive and the small lead gained up here was not closed down on the slippery descent and the dash down the road at the end. This makes this years Club Champs very interesting with Mike and I tied on points currently, but with Mike leading on countback in head-to-head races. Carwags, the final event, will therefore be the decider so it seems that the headtorches will need to be dusted off !!

Bowland results and latest standings are now on the Club Champs page, full results below


Posted: Wed 14th Nov 2012

Just a reminder that it's Dunnerdale on Saturday, always a popular race amongst the club and the penultimate Club Champs race this year - see you there!

Get to Broughton Mills in good time and be prepared for a walk to the village hall. Race start 12:00, £6 EOD

Posted: Mon 5th Nov 2012

Richard Davies, on a foray on Clougha Pike a couple of weeks ago, found this unexploded bomb sticking out of the ground!


For the full story see:

Posted: Mon 5th Nov 2012