Tuesday 4 October 2011

Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay

Last year Eden Runners secured their highest ever finish in this event and this year the team were all keen to try and improve again.
With the team picked two months before, we all had time to recce the course, but none of us were expecting the organisers to reverse the route two weeks prior , cue some last minute recceing.

Another problem we had was that we had no one to drive us in between checkpoints. Somehow the day before we mastered a rough plan that would involve my car and Alex's. All sorted.

The weather leading up to it was warm and clear  but typically on the day it was wet and claggy on the tops- perfect for all the local clubs.

I met Alex at the start line half an hour before the race with the news his car was stuck half way up Kirkstone Pass with a flat tyre...... Panic stations.
A new plan was made that involved a lot of rushing about at checkpoints but by the time leg 3 was under way we had managed to get Alex's tyre changed and we were back on track.... phew. 

Our team consisted of six V40s and two senior men.Not the strongest team Eden could of put out but a strong one nevertheless.

On leg 1 we had a veteran of many a relay, Anth Labram, and Alex Davies, running his first but hopefully not his last fell relay.They got us the good solid start we wanted coming into the changeover in 19th position after running a fast leg.

Leg 2 was my leg along with Steve Bennett. The climb up to high street went on and on and we got passed a couple of times despite us running hard. Once up on the tops the wind was in our faces and the visibility was poor. A decision was made to go straight up to the Beacon rather then contour around it. On the path descending into Threshthwaite Cove we were joined by a few other teams who appeared and then disappeared again.
We climbed well and got to the tarn bang on a previously recced line. A lot of teams had lost a lot of time looking for the tarn and then checkpoint. It was all down hill now and apart from me leading Steve over a wall and then back over we descended well. I had to try really hard to keep up with Steve and at times I was hanging on!!!

Amazingly we handed over to Sam Ware and Andy Thompson ( the young 'uns)  having gained a place!!

These two fella's had an absolute storming run. It might be only 4.5 mile but route choice and nav are critical for a fast time. There never put a foot wrong and by the time they passed over to Derek Hurton and Dave Sargent we were in 11th position. Sam and Andy were 10th fastest on their leg. Brilliant.

Dave and Derek were the perfect 2 to bring the team home. Both fast and very experienced. Conditions had not improved on the tops and apart from a slight wander on Fairfield, all was going well......
... until Derek's sole came off his shoe!!!!
Dave described it best  " It sounded like someone was clapping me all the way down St Sundays, such as the noise it made". ha ha ha.
They came into the finish in a magnificent 15th position and apart from been annoyed for a minute or two, they were full of smiles and laughter again. A fantastic effort by all (especially Derek and his flip flops) 

A great day and great result for our small club . Roll on next year.

Borrowdale won.......again!

Anth and Alex
other teams were trying to intimidate  us

Derek with flip flop in hand. Enjoyment on their faces echoed all around.

 Sam Ware let slip bout this on curry night after the relays

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