Two Lads Fell race
The race, from the Bridge Inn, starts with a short road and trail section before starting the long moorland climb to the two cairns that give the race its name. Supposedly in reference to two boys who were “bewildered” and presumed dead on the moor as far back as the 7th Century.
The challenge offered by the fell race is just to keep moving over the first half, climbing on well-defined trails with views looking across toward Manchester, the Cheshire Plain and on a good day the hills of North Wales. After looking down on Bolton Wanderers’ constantly name changing stadium the route turns back on itself closer to the Winter Hill Mast then on to the cairns before a welcome, runnable descent back down to the pub.
As fell races go its nice and straight forward on a benign evening like last Thursday with no boggy sections or difficult descents and the whole route is runnable - if your lungs allow.
On the night we had three RRC women; Lindsay Turner, Emma Palmer and Paula Pilling who finished 2nd lady in a very strong field of club runners from across the North West and Yorkshire. It took an incredible course record smashing performance from a Todmorden Harrier to beat Paula.
RRC men turned out in greater numbers with 11 of us enjoying the sunshine and a beer or two, both before and after the race in the Horwich Alehouse. Well done to Matt Felton, Nigel Hartley, Simon Jones, Rowan Ardill, Richard Jones, Kieran Myles, Peter Taylor, Andrew Hill, Mark Wolfenden, David Palmer and Dean Corrie.
If you haven’t tried fell racing before this would be a good one to start as it gets you up onto the fells without too much discomfort.
Knowl Hill Fell Race
This one, on the other hand was not one for the uninitiated!
Rochdale Harriers Knowl Hill Fell race is the third of a three-day series and I am in awe of anyone who finished their weekend here after days one and two.
Nine of us started the 6-mile race from Norden that has much more of a “fell running” vibe than Thursday’s race.
Climbing almost immediately on some barely recognisable trails made slightly easier by the benign conditions on the day. The only weather to contend with was the occasional strong gust of wind that would become more of a feature later in the race.
The course is well marshalled and necessarily waymarked at regular intervals and the summit of Knowl Hill soon comes into view to dampen your early enthusiasm. What they don't tell you is that to get to the titular peak you will have a number of lung-busting off-piste scrambles requiring hands on the ground just to keep moving. In fact, by the time the last of these is conquered the grass slopes of Knowl Hill come as a relief.
At the top of the hill, you drop a numbered token in a bucket just to confirm that you made it there alive before taking on the steep descent to the scenic Greenbooth Reservoirs. The other side of the reservoirs leads to the final ascent before following the walking trails down to the finish line.
RRC prize winners were Paula Pilling (2nd Lady) and there were age grade wins for Laurence Keighley and Becky Albrow.
Thanks as ever to Ben Knight for collating and uploading this week's race results.
On Sunday, 11 RRC'ers took part in the covid-delayed Edgworth 10k. Well done to Neil Wharmby, Karen Rothwell, Harriet McIntyre, Taylor Coppell, Clare Fordham, Sarah Sutcliffe, Katie Whitwell, Hayley Hogg, John Hall, Emma Stacey and Neil Rothwell who was an age grade winner and 4th overall.
Marsden 10 Mile
Jane Emanuel and Steve Marsden ran the Marsden 10 mile, a tough looking trail race over West Yorkshire moorland.
Over in Canada Andrew Giles, who, given the time difference and time of writing, could still be running was going round in circles as part of the Alberta Trail and Ultra Weekend.
Lakeland Trails Marathon Challenge
Anthony Metcalf successfully completed the Lakeland Trails Marathon Challenge which takes in a full loop of both Coniston Water and Tarn Hows.
30 runners affiliated to RRC took part in 13 different parkruns on Saturday.
At Bolton Laurence Keighley was first home in his age grade – not for the first time this weekend.
Notable parkrun tourists included Sacha Fox who despite being in the middle of an epic Cleveland Way adventure couldn’t resist a bit of Whitby parkrun. Paul Jenkins was at Tawd Valley and Andrea Sidebottom and Sandra Powers were at Roberts Park.
Great running everyone, apologies if you’ve been missed but please feel free to share your own or your friends' achievements so we can celebrate as many people as possible!