Wray fell race

Posted by Sam Harrison on June 1, 2014 at 10:54.

 Fell running

bowland caton moor fell race wray

I'm slowly catching up with blog posts! This one is from the Wray fell race on the bank holiday Monday 5th May.

I’d forgotten that Coniston was an English champs race and hence when I came to put my entry in a couple of months before race day I was unpleasantly surprised to find it full already. So out came the calendar to search for a suitable substitute, and to my this-time-pleasant surprise, I spotted the Wray fell race was taking place on the bank holiday Monday. Perfect!

Wray was a busy place on race day: It coincides with their annual fair and scarecrow festival, which coupled with a good weather forecast had attracted people in their thousands. All this meant that the start line 5 minutes before the start was a scene of chaos, with a mix of racers and non-racers milling around whilst cars tried to squeeze through. Somehow, and as if by magic, by 11.30am we’d organised ourselves into something that resembled a starting line with hopefully not too many innocent non-racers caught in the field.

I found myself at the front and glancing around spotted fast lads Steve Swarbrick and Mark Chippendale from Bowland close by. Hmm, maybe I should work my way back a bit? Too late, we’re off! After negotiating the first obstacle, an inconveniently parked ice cream van, I settled down to around 10th position. Mark and Steve were making impressive time up front, who along with Adam Peers from Bramhope Deers AC lead the way up the road, over a few fields, up a track and out onto the open moor.

About a mile into the race, just as the route leaves the road.


The route is excruciatingly runnable; there’s no hiding by walking up steep climbs or coasting down descents. I was starting to regret the fast pace I’d set off at as my legs burned trying to cling onto my position. Somehow I was still in 10th place when I reached the summit. Steve, Adam and Mark (in that order) had flown past in the opposite direction moments before.
 
On the boggy section approaching the summit. Photo © Mick Kenyon, www.racingsnakes.com.


I said it was boggy! Photo © Mick Kenyon, www.racingsnakes.com.


Any notion that the descent would be easier than the ascent were thrown straight out of the window as I bounded my way full-pelt across the moor, trying to keep up. After what seemed like an eternity, but what was in reality 48 minutes and 16 seconds, I arrived at the finish to hear the good news that Steve and Mark had secured 1st and 3rd place (respectfully) for Bowland, with me still in 10th. What an excellent day! Full results are up here.
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