With such a busy previous weekend - the Club BG, Tebay English Championship Race and then The Great Lakes this was always going to be a quiet race - a shame as a good, fast, scenic course! Add to that temperatures at an all time year high and things were always going to be interesting! At 6.40p.m. there was only Jim Paxman and myself, should we agree to go round together and share the win or would he be tired after doing the BG weekend and Tebay so I could gain an advantage? Shortly after that we were joined by Steve Wathall so a 3 way share was debated - but Steve did Tebay and The Great Lakes and he has a bad knee! Shame he has a worse memory i.e.when he starts racing he forgets he's got a bad knee!
Even when Tim Hawley and Tom Westgate joined us the conversation was about a social run and points shared. However. such thoughts were quickly grounded when Peter Davies, Roger Woods and Martyn Jones appeared. The evening was completed when Tim Priest and at the last minute Willy appeared so that was 10 in all.
So we set off, prior to that Jim had been bragging about this being "his stamping ground" - confidence? Tactics to demoralise the opposition? False bravado?
So we set of with Peter immediately in the lead but going left followed by Jim - the wrong direction!!!!!
Jim's brag proved right, a better path with less bracken, albeit they had to double back, first to the stone circle. We then divided into 3 routes to CP2 - direct past the stone pillar, part path and then off piste, the direct or path all the way - Jim took the latter and got it right again! There has been a request for a "Steward's enquiry" from Tom who feels several competitors missed CP2; unfortunately it did not affect me and NO CCTV so rejected, but it will rest on some peoples consciences for a while! That is assuming Tom's claim are right?
CP3 the quarry - its a BIG hole but always proves a challenge - Tim Priest is still looking for it!
Ironically the second stone circle proved little problem although Martyn did get rather dis-orientated.
People, well all except Peter (who was well in the lead) have realised the direct route to High Neb Trig is "not on"! We were all together and catching Peter albeit being 1Km behind! From High Neb there was a route change from previous races and this appeared to create confusion. Do you follow the edge? When do you leave it? I was determined to include the Sheep Fold as I remember Dave Tait when he was a Yorkshire resident including it in a New Years Race and I think I never found it! Well, once again it seemed to sort people out - some went direct, others in the wrong direction, maybe because it was new? After that lots of decisions Carpark and back? Direct? Even with Charmian stood there people chose various alternatives!!!
It was meant to be a easy and fast course - everything was runnable but in the end, in true summer series tradition, proved a navigational and decision making challenge! A great course, but I am bias! Thanks to Simon Dixon who really came up with the course and Dave Tait for the inspiration re the very large sheepfold. In true tradition people were left talking about the best options and discussion was ripe!
The field was close all the way, with the exception of Peter. When I finished I could not understand why the clipboard was still on my car then Peter appeared from the car park, I assumed changed - but no "the wrong valley"! A good night!!!! But we must not run it any later as it would then be: Bracken 1 : DPFR 0
|1||Keith Holmes||01:04:37||Dark Peak||M60|
|2||Peter Davies||01:05:14||Dark Peak||MSEN|
|3||Martyn Jones||01:05:46||Dark Peak||M45|
|4||Tim Hawley||01:06:29||Dark Peak||M55|
|5||Roger Woods||01:08:11||Dark Peak||M50|
|6||Jim Paxman||01:10:57||Dark Peak||M55|
|7||Tom Westgate||01:21:13||Dark Peak||M55|
|8||Steve Wathall||01:21:24||Dark Peak||M55|
|9||Willy Kitchen||01:22:10||Dark Peak||M50|