Richard Hakes’s birthday was once again a convenient pretext for a revival of this celebrated minor classic. Thirteen participants assembled at the Cobden View Hotel, Croookes, to enjoy visits to some major landmarks of the Sheffield landscape (Shirecliffe, Wincobank Hill, Wardsend cemetery in Hillsborough and the Bole Hills) which also happen to figure prominently in memories of my own formative years and then of residence in Crookes since 1980. Ebenezer Elliott, the 19th-century ‘corn-law rhymer’ wrote of Wincobank Hill as ‘king of the valley of my youth and prime’: need I say more?
Rob Little, without any previous knowledge of the course’s intricacies, did exceedingly well to knock over 4 minutes off Phil Winskill’s 2006 record. And Tim Tett, fresh back from triumphs in the World Masters orienteering event, also showed his class by dipping under the old record set by a top athlete some 15 years his junior. The rest of the field went round at more of a Sunday-morning pace but still exhilarated by the competition and the challenges of the course. The animated post-race discussion about route choices, lapses of concentration, private adventures and walk-abouts in unfamiliar terrain again rivalled that to be heard at the end of the most demanding big fell races and mountain trials.
Rob went home clutching the historic engraved winner’s tankard and literally garlanded with about half a stone of best spicy sausage generously provided by our main sponsor Ron Hayman, Crookes’s premier butcher, friend of the people and long-standing publicist of our race. Thanks again go to him for his continuing support. We’re also very grateful to Laura and her staff at the Cobden View for providing a most hospitable venue, excellent beer and a delicious chilli. Sue Buckle graced the start with her presence and ceremonially set the stop-watch running. Di Hakes turned up with a birthday cake, which occasioned another rendition of Happy Birthday to Richard. And John Beardshaw, man-about-Crookes extraordinaire, arrived too late to make a big speech at the award ceremony, but it was nice to see him there anyway.
Future runnings of the Great Urban Fell race can (and hopefully will) be convened by any one of the following individuals: Rob Little as current champion, Richard Hakes for his birthday celebration, and the undersigned ‘organizer’.
|1||Rob Little||01:07:34||Dark Peak||M||1st novice|
|2||Tim Tett||01:11:38||Dark Peak||MV50||1st V50|
|4||Mick Cochrane||01:26:55||Dark Peak||MV60||1st V60|
|5||Paul Elliott||01:30:25||Dark Peak||M|
|6||David Holmes||01:32:38||Dark Peak||MV50|
|7||Willy Kitchen||01:37:06||Dark Peak||MV40||1st V40|
|8||Alan Yates||01:40:55||Dark Peak||MV65||1st V65: had to be mentioned|
|9||Chris Barber||01:41:05||Dark Peak||MV55|
|10||Richard Hakes||01:42:06||Dark Peak||MV50|
|11||Paul Sanderson||01:46:47||Dark Peak||MV45|
|11||Tom Westgate||01:46:47||Dark Peak||MV45|
|13||John Gunnee||01:53:00||Dark Peak||MV45|
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