Eskdale Elevation; 13 miles/4471 feet; AL; Saturday 6th May 2017
Race Results and Report
The contrast between the first and the second Eskdale Elevations couldn’t have been more marked – last year a race day of continuous rain, mist and wind following nearly two weeks of wet weather produced fairly awful conditions for running and everyone returned cold, wet and muddy, some of them after having wandered off route in the gloom.
This year the race day was one of sparkling sunshine with a light breeze after a week of fine weather, most of the boggy bits had dried out and consequently a good time was had by all.
As a measure of how the conditions can affect a race, the first ten men were all inside Rhys Findlay-Robinson’s time from last year, with John Helme speeding round to take twenty-two minutes off it and come home first in 2.00.57 – quite clearly a sub-two-hour time is possible given the man and the weather.
It was a similar story for the ladies, with the first five runners inside last year’s time of 3.21.43 and Sue Richmond taking the honours with a superb run to clock 2.54.01.
A particular mention must go to Joe Blackett, who had clearly overcome the trauma of his attempted leg amputation on Whin Rigg last year and returned to the fray in full combative mode, being rewarded with fourth place and first MV50 – well done Joe and who knows what you may achieve next year !!
CFR arrived in force and were duly rewarded with both team prizes but the mass CFR meeting at the finish revealed some huge differences in route preferences, especially off Scafell, an issue much debated by various finishers, some of whom actually turned round at the summit, ran back down the ascent route all the way to Burnmoor Tarn and then contoured across to the last checkpoint at Eel Tarn. It would seem from the many route lines taken off Scafell that success on this section has a considerable bearing on the race outcomes !!
Both the weather and the Brook House beer were notable factors in a most pleasant post-race atmosphere and Prizegiving and I think it’s fair to say that everyone enjoyed themselves.
Many, many thanks must go to the hard-working and efficient marshals/officials team, who were more than satisfied at not having to endure last year’s hours of soaking rain; also thanks to Tony Steel and Tom Postlethwaite for the generous use of their land; to Martyn at the campsite for his support and to Gareth and Lesley at Brook House for allowing us the use of their pub for kitcheck, registration and prizegiving.
Without the invaluable assistance of all of them the race simply couldn’t go ahead and it is very much appreciated.
If the filming endeavours of the Sheffield Hallam University team, complete with drone, bear fruit then I’ll try to put a link on the race website and see what Brett can do with the FRA one.
Looking forward to seeing you all again next year, especially if we get a repeat of this year’s weather.
|2||John Heneghan||M||Pudsey & Bramley||2.03.50|
|4||Joe Blackett||MV50||Dark Peak||2.14.38|
|11||Martin Perry||M||Esk Valley||2.23.02|
|15||Dave Lund||M||Dark Peak||2.25.14|
|19||John Millen||MV40||Black Combe||2.32.41|
|20||Tony Heron||MV40||Dark Peak||2.33.57|
|29||Ashley Kay||MV50||Dark Peak||2.41.01|
|36||Phil Clayton||MV50||Black Combe||2.54.31|
|40||William Ross||MV40||Black Combe||3.01.30|
|42||Nick Sebley||MV50||Black Combe||3.06.35|
|48||Andy Ross||MV50||Northern Fells||3.15.50|
|49||Andrew Ritchings||MV50||Great Badowridge||3.16.35|
|53||Lynn Murray||FV40||Black Combe||3.18.52|
|55||Tim Thon||MV50||Keighley & Craven||3.25.26|
|63||Susan Ross||FV40||Black Combe||3.35.56|
|66||Christine Bowen||FV50||Goyt Valley||3.58.48|
|MV50||Joe Blackett||Dark Peak||2.14.38|
|Team||CFR||Mario Yeomans (6); Phil Archer (9); Paul Johnson (10)||25 pts|
|F.Team||CFR||Jennie Chatterley (52); Mel Bradley (62): Anna Blackburn (67)||181 pts|
Eskdale Elevation; 13 miles/4471 feet; AL; Saturday 2nd April 2016
Race Results and Report
After three days of awful weather the inaugural Eskdale Elevation took place in constant rain and mist and involved a relatively small but thoroughly competent field of 43 runners – I suspect that with better weather this might have been a somewhat larger field but the race proved to be very competitive and needed not just speed but sound route choice and navigational accuracy. There were plenty of alternative choices utilised, some better than others, but Rhys Findlay-Robinson, despite having a rapidly disintegrating map from Scafell onwards, clearly made some good decisions and came home a clear winner from Richard McGrath , with Muir Morton taking a very clever line off Scafell which gained him five places and put him in third place.
The Ladies’ race was very close indeed, with the Keswick pair of Catherine Evans and Jo Gillyon crossing the line together to claim joint first place a mere four seconds in front of Sue Richmond in third.
As far as the Vets’ categories were concerned all four of the male places were, to my intense delight, taken by Pennine runners, as was the Men’s Team, so unashamedly biased congratulations to Muir, Ian, Dave Bowen, Roger and Dave Ward.
For the Ladies, Jo Gillyon claimed the FV40 as well as joint first place; Kathleen Aubrey got the FV50 and the irrepressible Wendy Dodds got the FV60, while Helm Hill won the Ladies’ Team.
Joe Blackett somehow managed to take a fall on the way up to the first checkpoint damaged his leg to the extent that he gave the first Elevation the dubious distinction of having to call on the Mountain Rescue Service but it was almost worth it to see him at A&E in the delightfully vivid sea-green paper pyjamas thoughtfully provided by Whitehaven Hospital !! He insisted on driving himself back to the north-east on Sunday morning, probably with a trail of blood seeping out of his car. Unfortunately his mishap also caused Rick Houghton, who stopped to assist him, to get so cold that he felt it wisest to retire. A veil of mystery and discretion will be drawn over what happened to Tim and Phil but apparently the Woolpack featured significantly.
I must give heartfelt thanks to all my friends, clubmates and family who served valiantly in their various capacities as marshals and officials – Scafell summit for nearly seven hours in the rain is just one example. Without them the race simply couldn’t have gone ahead, as similarly it couldn’t without the support and good offices of the local farmers, the Brook House Inn, Eskdale Campsite and the National Trust – all were amazingly positive and helpful and I’m most grateful to them.
Everyone who competed and officiated seemed to enjoy themselves and there were many complimentary comments about the route, so there’s every possibility that it will be repeated next year and, hopefully, for some time after that.
|1||Rhys Findlay-Robinson||M||Dark Peak||2.22.58|
|6||Adam Perry||M||Helm Hill||2.35.46|
|8||John Heneghan||M||Pudsey & Bramley||2.36.58|
|10||Adam Oliver||M||Helm Hill||3.05.26|
|17||Roger Sillito||M||Northumberland FR||3.19.54|
|18 =||Catherine Evans||F||Keswick||3.21.43|
|18 =||Jo Gillyon||FV40||Keswick||3.21.43|
|23||Stephen Baker||MV40||Helm Hill||3.23.42|
|24||Kathleen Aubrey||FV50||Helm Hill||3.24.19|
|30||Edwin Sheraton||MV50||Southport Waterloo||3.49.07|
|33 =||Marie Robson||FV40||Helm Hill||4.19.30|
|33 =||Rachel Slattery||FV40||Helm Hill||4.19.30|
|37||Lindsay Harrod||FV40||Helm Hill||5.09.33|
|Dnf||Joe Blackett||MV50||Dark Peak|
|FV50||Kathleen Aubrey||Helm Hill||3.24.1|
|Team||Pennine||Muir Morton; Dave Ward; Ian Warhurst||22 pts.|
|F.Team||Helm Hill||Kathleen Aubrey; Marie Robinson; Rachel Slattery||90 pts.|