Following hot on the heels of the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay our Ladies and Mens teams (of 6) gathered in the village of Barley for the British Fell Relay Championship hosted by Clayton –Le-Moors Harriers on and around Pendle Hill. A spell of settled dry weather held for the day and meant conditions underfoot were good. Out on the event field and the fell tops a cool breeze kept everyone wrapped up if they were not running. The event followed the usual format with Sport Ident checkpoints and tracking on the day :
Leg 1 / Solo / 4.5m/ flagged & marshalled / 16+ allowed to run
Leg 2 / Pairs / 9m/ published route / recces allowed
Leg 3 / Pairs / 7.5m / navigation leg / map only available after running 800m
Leg 4 / Solo / 4.5m / published route / recces allowed
There were 147 teams on the day – M Open – 70, MV40 – 32, F Open – 34, FV40 – 11.
On Leg 1 it was great to welcome two junior runners Vicky & Mathew Merrick aged 16 to the teams, and on Legs 2 & 3 Shona Stone, Becky Weight and Mandy Clarke as new runners in this event
For the Ladies Vicky made a strong start on Leg 1 finishing in 20th (of 45 ladies teams) despite a sore back from a football fall a few weeks earlier. Lesley Watson & Shona Stone, having both done recces, made good pace on Leg 2 finishing 18th on their leg. Becky Weight & Mandy Clarke made some good navigating choices and finished 16th on Leg 3. Victoria Wilkinson was fastest lady on Leg 4 (by nearly 4 minutes) and 13th overall, bringing us in 7th of 45 Ladies (including FV40) teams and 84th team overall in a time of 4.46.57 against the winning ladies time (Ambleside) of 4.11.06. Thanks to Denise Wright & Ellie Kitchen for being reserves and staying available right up to the last minute.
Vicky, Victoria, Shona, Lesley, Mandy & Becky
For the Men Matthew had a great run finishing 15th (of 102 mens teams). Rob Jebb & Ian Holmes were second on the long Leg 2 finishing only 33 seconds behind the fastest team (Keswick). Rob bravely admitted that he dropped his dibber at one point reckoning he lost a minute or so going back to find it. Andy Brown & Andy Jebb were 7th on Leg 3, with Andy Peace 15th on Leg 4 bringing the team in at 8th place overall in 3.35.04 less than 6 minutes off the winning time of 3.29.19 by Calder valley.
Rob, Ian, Andy P, Andy J, Andy B, Matthew
Thanks to Barbara Carney and John Merrick for extra pictures and all our friends & family supporters on the day. Becky Weight