Accidently, I entered Bob's Mam Tor race which was organised in his absence by the Cap'n. There was an alternative non-racing group of Pete G, Moz, Lucy, Penny and Sarah who set off before the race started so I thought this was the group to join. However, having failed to catch them up I returned to the start to be told that I'd been entered (by Tom) in the race anyway.
So, Tim H and the Cap'n set us off from Odin's Mine with the advice that left or right ascents and descents were acceptable but straight on was definitely not an option. Being left to the young lions and tigers of the club, it became very quickly apparent as they disappeared into the darkness that I was not in the right group. The majority chose the left hand side ascent which started on a narrow, twisting path near a stream before emerging at the old crumbling road. From here lights could be seen heading up the left hand edge so, ploughing on, there was an opportunity to cheer the leaders and all the others on their way down.
Some chose the full round of Mam Tor and descended on the opposite side whilst the others having sort of recce'd the route on the way up, stayed on the same side. Apart from a couple of steps and a bit of greasy grass this descent was low on the Harmerian scale of difficulty and chastisement (from the Cap'n) for these descenders was the order of the night on the post-race and run analysis.
The daytime record from a few years ago, was about 13 minutes and, in the dark, David L managed to get up and down in about 14 minutes closely followed by Neil N. The ladies were solely represented by Clare who duly took first place. The warm down after the race was a direct line over to Winnats followed by a spectacular crossing of the pass. A former club chairmen was heard to comment that it was a pleasant change to be running on soft pasture in the White Peak. Clearly, he was having some sort of hopefully, temporary aberration and it is only hoped he has by now recovered. Willy even went so far as to suggest the possibility of blackballing him from the club.
Thankfully, no such action was taken and all was forgotten afterwards in the conviviality of the pub where the routes of the three groups were compared and contrasted. There was a visit to the Mam Tor pond which involved some gnarly ground and the "early" group had managed to include a trip to Horsehill Tor. The post-racers also managed a trip to a pond of such small dimensions that Willy was not prepared to dignify it with his presence. This group managed a further trip to the Mam Tor summit which gave us a fine view of the rising full moon. Another spectacular evening despite being in the White Peak!
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2018
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