Summer Series Race 10 was "Hobson's Choice" although there seemed to be lot's of choice! Josh admitted unashamedly to following Neil Northrop and they came in joint 1st. 21 runners took part which is a very good turnout. It was quite a long route with not too much bracken but lots of midges! A few bonuses rewarded which are now changing positions throughout the overall league table.
Welcome to two newcomers - Dave Pickering and Paul Fryers, and the Return of Jim Orrell (and his multicoloured stripy running top!)
Hobson's Choice, 1st August 2016; a view from the back
Thomas Hobson, a 17th century horse dealer from Cambridge (probably not the home of fell running), gave his name to the "take it or leave it" choice. Whether he was in any way connected with the person who gave their name to Hobson Moss, is open to question. As it turned out, there was little choice but to cross Hobson Moss Dike on the way to the first check point of Flinthill Spring. Tom W managed to find an easy crossing of this stream but a couple of us had the pleasure of a well brackened rock garden of a crossing topped off with some slippery underwater boulders. At least, having crossed the Dike, there was a great sense of satisfaction to boost us on our way to the Spring.
No one could say that there was no variety on Nicky's splendid course as we were all tempted by the closeness of Dukes Road to the Spring. A short bit of vegetation bashing brought us to the newly laid yellow track which seemed to stretch into the very far distance. At least we had already been conditioned to track running on the climb from the start at the gas station to almost the top of Emlin. This provided little comfort on the long gradual climb up the Dukes Road to the fence corner (marked on Nicky's course map) near Bruston Croft Ridge. I was soon to regret the feeling that I would prefer warting across the heather to sprinting along the Dukes Road as I left it to head for the pond (CP 2). Photos of each of the checkpoints had been considerately included in the web site so the only pond in that area marked on the map, looked fairly obvious. In a flattish and heathery region of the Ridge, even though only from slightly above it, the pond was only seen from about 50 yards away. A bit of "adjustment" was needed to reach the pond just as Barry N was asking whether it had been found; he was 70 yards away. There was much relief to reach the pond and to see in the distance the two rises the right hand one of which had the next check point of New Cross (remains of). It seemed a long way there across mixed terrain and up and down a few tributaries to the Hobson Moss Dike. In the rather now diminishing grey light of the damp evening, I was convinced that I was catching another runner wearing green. Getting yet closer, this mirage like figure turned out to be one of the occasional lone pine trees scattered over the Dark Peak. There were quite a number of vegetation clear patches to help reach New Cross which is well highlighted by the white of a few bird droppings.
Direct, due east, across the shorter crossing of the moor to the cabins or along the ridge to the track for the shooting butts, was the choice. Retrospectively, I suspect that the shooting butt track is the quicker as there was sufficient deep heather and some tussocks on the direct route to slow the pace. At the cabins, the Safety Officer, Mark H, appeared out of the gloom asking if Clive L had been seen, "Not for a while" was the reply. Mark, himself had been delayed by a niggling Achilles tendon. We carried on to the track to the finish at the gas station where there was no one to be seen out of their cars; the warm damp conditions had brought out a frenzy of midges! Keith H and Nicky were thoroughly wrapped up and inside the car risking only a brief window opening to sort out times. Mark and Barry followed shortly after but there was no sign of Clive so Mark very nobly set off in the fiercest of midge storms, up the track to, in time, meet Clive who was in fine spirit.
Another adventure of a race, so again many thanks to Nicky for organising and setting the Summer Series courses.
|1||Neil Northrop||00:48:57||Dark Peak||M|
|1||Josh Williams||00:48:57||Dark Peak||M|
|3||Ralph Skrimshire||00:50:48||Dark Peak||M|
|4||Tim Rutter||00:56:50||Dark Peak||M|
|5||Kristian Groom||00:56:52||Dark Peak||M|
|6||Nicky Spinks||00:58:50||Dark Peak||WV45|
|7||Richard Hunt||01:00:54||Dark Peak||MV40|
|8||Keith Holmes||01:01:37||Dark Peak||MV60|
|9||Ian Winterburn||01:01:42||Dark Peak||MV50|
|10||Tim Hawley||01:05:25||Dark Peak||MV55|
|11||Clare Oliffe||01:05:42||Dark Peak||W|
|13||Tom Westgate||01:14:17||Dark Peak||MV55|
|15||Steve Wathall||01:16:20||Dark Peak||MV55|
|17||Mark Harvey||01:16:20||Dark Peak||MV55|
|18||Graham Berry||01:23:10||Dark Peak||MV70|
|19||Barry Needle||01:23:53||Dark Peak||MV70|
|20||Clive Last||01:38:00||Dark Peak||MV65|
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