Heron Pike – Stone Arthur Round 4 miles 2000ft (proposed Leg 4 of the British Relays): Next Tuesday 27th March
The Club champs this year contains 3 races round each of the proposed legs 1, 2 and 4 in March, April and May this year. As well as giving us some excellent courses to race round on a Tuesday, it will also help us troubleshoot, get some feedback and obtain a better estimate of winning leg times. It will also a be a good chance for a hard run out and a bit of inter club banter as runners from other Lakes clubs have been informally invited to join us.
Leg 4 of the relay is the first one up, next Tuesday 27th March, setting off from the fields south of the Traveller’s Rest pub on the A591. It visits Alcock Tarn (south end), Heron Pike and Stone Arthur (see map). We estimate the men’s winning time to be around 40-45 mins. This leg will be fully flagged and suitable for 16 year olds at the relay in October and at the informal ‘race’ next Tuesday. It will start promptly at 6.45pm. There is no need to register at all, but please don’t be late.
We really need anyone from the club who is willing to take times at the end, or even better, stand on one of the summits checking if the radios work. Let Dan know if you can help.
Please note that runners will be totally responsible for themselves on the evening. This is not a proper race, there will be no entry fee, numbers, prizes or marshals. There will be published times for all runners. You may be asked to carry FRA kit to keep things fair and safe, so come prepared. Add a head torch to your kit if you expect to be out for more than an hour.
Spread the word and hopefully see as many Amblesiders there as possible.
The dates for the other 2 leg races are:
Leg 1 – Seat Sandal (45/50 mins) – Tuesday 24th April 6.45pm
Leg 2 – Great Rigg – Fairfield – Cofa – Grisedale Tarn (70 mins) – Tuesday 22nd May 6.45pm
This roving reporter donned his flatcap, put pipe in pocket and caught the 6.15 steam locomotive out of Kendal to report on the goings-on at the first English Champs race for 2018. His remit was to get sound-bytes, recorded in black and white and – like all good tabloid reports of the age – factual or fallacious. It just didn’t matter…
First let’s report on the no-shows, of whom there were three: Sarah McCormack had been unwell in the lead-up to the race. A shame, given she’d put in the leg-work and had a reccie. DNS accepted. Gary Greenhow had been showing showing great form (High Cup Nick) and commitment (Carnethy), so there was nothing to be done: “Got a corn on my foot, the toe nail is coming off on the other foot, and now my knee’s gone lame from running like a duck to keep it all together.” DNS accepted. Jacob “Beast from the East” Snochowski decided to move house…
And now we can report on the DNF-ers, because – as S-Club 7 sang – there ain’t no DNF Club like the Ambleside DNF Club…
Jonny “Jenny” Malley had been out for a week with a bug, and hadn’t got over it. Broke down around Mam Tor, and finally collapsed around Win Hill.
Chairman Abdelnoor was disappointed to let the men’s team down, but hadn’t done the long training post-injury, and his little legs ran out of steam some time after Lose Hill… Choo! Choo!
And now, it gives me great pleasure to move onto the glory boys and girl, singular.
Staking a claim to be touted as the Club’s current #1 (see form guide from Fantasy Fell Running) Pete Bray (20th, 2.54) was certainly pleased with his result. Another of the Ambleside “Young Bunch” and coming through the race field Mike “Exocet” Barron (44th, 3.06) went past Messrs Malley, Tierney, Abdelnoor and Wright like they were standing still. “I was on flipping fire by the end of the race,” said Mike, “but I started slow and just couldn’t get going.” Captain Jack “Sparrowlegs” Wright hung on for 50th place (3.07). Despite looking fresh as he came off the penultimate climb of Win Hill, he admitted he was going backwards towards the end of the race.
Paul Tierney (55th, 3.09) wasn’t sure whether he was at the right event. “Call that a fell race? What were the 3 miles of flagstones doing in the middle of the race? I know a few Irish fellas that can’t lay paving that good. If I wanted a trail race…” Team-work was exhibited though with Abdelnoor pace-setting Paul through a mid-section low (before he was dropped), then Paul and Mike Barron working together towards the end of the race. And so it came to the Club’s final open-team counter, Fred Deegan (74th, 3.15); at the time of this reporter’s encounter on the fells with him on Win Hill, he was racing bare-chested (Swoon!). The explanation for this became apparent at the end: he’d left the house in a rush that morning (What? Jon?) and mistakenly grabbed the Club vest of his teenager daughter!
Neil Talbott (80th, 3.18) had a tough day at the office. “I shouldn’t really have started,” he admitted at the finish. Niggling injuries and doubts. But, if anyone knows how to suffer for a cause, it’s Neil. Chapeau!
Jon Rylance (96th, 3.22) ran a fine performance despite not training for the distance, and hit his sub 3.30 target. Despite concerns of an expanding waistline (up from 32” to a 34”) Dan Golding (116th, 3.28) ran a solid V40 performance. Although it’s being said in hushed tones that he’s not too happy at being beaten by Gary Thorpe. Some described it as ‘a low point in his fell-racing career’.
Rich Stevens (128th, 3.31) “enjoyed the pleasure of running in the company of Jons Rylance and Deegan, Golding and Thorpe”, the latter three being part of the Golden Balls era (see also Nick Sharpe and Si Stainer). Rich seems to be getting to grips with racing and suffering, rather than running and smiling. Matt Beresford rounded out the V50 team in style (188th, 3.50) although was a little disappointed pre-race. “I only joined Ambleside from Kendal to get in the team photographs. But there wasn’t one!” Should’ve joined Helm Hillock Runners and all their glitzy camerwork…
Our sole lady, and with much respect to Jane Reedy (369th, 4.53) for battling like a trooper. “I had a truly awful run,” were her exact, and concise, words.
Alas, nothing’s perfect, and this roving reporter didn’t manage to speak with Gary, Todd, Chris or Paul Wright; apologies. But… with Chris Atherton (83rd, 3.18) not running in the green-and-blue vest of joy, it felt like a snub. Good run though, and he does deserve a pat on the back. Todd Oates (108th, 3.26) would have had to head off on his 16-hour drive into the deep smog-filled south; plenty of time on which to ruminate. And Paul Wright (316th, 4.28) would, I imagine, have probably been more concerned about his lift back to Cumbria with Deegan, and the whereabouts of the car keys. A good result too for Paul in the V55 category.
And the final word, as most words do, comes from Gary Thorpe (106th, 3.25) whom this reporter inexplicably couldn’t get hold of. When I asked his whereabouts, he was apparently seen skipping across the hard-standing car park area, merrily chirping away to himself his little ditty: “I beat Dan Golding. Now who’s laughing?! I beat Dan Golding. Now who’s laughing?!”
All photos (unless otherwise stated) are from (and copyright) SportSunday – please see their gallery for more.
Post-script: Fantasy fell-running statistical analysis
After being inundated with requests, some small analytical soundbites from the Fantasy Fell-running competition can be provided:
Four people voted Pete Bray, clear winner on the day, as their top tip.
But in joint first place in this category with five votes each were Garry Greenhow and Ben Abdelnoor. Clearly this was the kiss of death for both…
Most under-rated performer
In fourth place, Mike Barron (5 places – predicted 7th, finished 2nd).
Third, Chris Atherton (6 places – predicted 13th, finished 7th).
But Ambleside’s glorious underdogs are jointly Jon Deegan (10 places – predicted 15th, finished 5th) and Gary Thorpe (predicted 19th, finished 9th).
A clear winner, with Jonny Malley given one vote for 1st and another for 20th – perhaps the latter had inside information on Jonny’s recent illness?
Lowest standard deviation
An indicator of consistency throughout predictions, the top three in reverse order were Paul Tierney (std dev 2.43), Gary Thorpe (1.72) and Paul Wright (1.64). Kudos to Gary for making the punters look foolish.
Results without DNFs
Had DNFs been excluded from the results (as per non-starters), the top five would have been:
1st: Dan Duxbury (22 points)
2nd: Paul Tierney (26 points)
3rd: Matt Elkington (30 points)
4th=: Gary Thorpe (32 points)
4th=: Mike Barron (32 points)
But the most fascinating result of this analysis was this extraordinary fact: the average of all predictions would have won the competition (narrowly, with a score of 58). That entry form would have looked like this:
Clearly we are more than the sum of our individual parts – maybe we should average our lottery numbers?
For those of you attending the social at the Badger Bar, it would probably make more sense to run from the Badger Bar – something traily or up the fell for an hour. Meet at the Badger Bar 6.40pm for a 6.45pm run.
Quite sure Sarah has communicated/will communicate with the group wanting an easier run:-) Probably best to check facebook!
Thanks to all that entered the Edale Skyline Fantasy Fell-running competition. Sorry the results have taken longer than expected – unfortunately I dropped a major clanger by failing to specify what would happen in the event of a tie.
After some deliberation it was decided to resolve this using the ‘longest correct subsequence’ from the predictions. Fortunately this algorithm is O(n log n); unfortunately it produced a further tie. After more deliberation (this time unilateral), ties have been broken by excluding non-finishers from the results. This wasn’t guaranteed to work either but luckily it did.
Congratulations to Paul Tierney, this month’s Fantasy Fell-running champion, with Ben Abdelnoor the runner-up on tie-break. Special mention to Dan Duxbury who as well as coming third would have been the clear winner had non-finishers been excluded from the results. This might be something to consider if we do this again – comments and suggestions would be welcome (email link below).
Once the dust peat has settled, the Chairman’s Statistical Analysis will follow later in the week.
You may have noticed that our Todd Crag race is part of the national FRA English Championship series this year (Sunday 25th March 2018). I am the race organiser for this event and obviously we will be hoping for loads of race participation from our team of juniors.
CAN YOU HELP?
We need a huge team of helpers on the day to make this event happen – marshalling, counting runners, serving teas and cakes, etc.
Please do reply if you can help at all. If you know a job that you would like, do say. Some marshalling jobs are very low down – on the road crossing at the park for example, and others are high up on the fell. We need a team to sit at desks registering runners. And we will need loads of help setting up hot drinks in the kitchen and clearing / selling refreshments through the afternoon.
Also, because we will be serving cakes on the day, and all contributions of cakes to sell will be very gratefully received. The more the better!
Dreich days can be beautiful days. The trees on the lower slopes of Loughrigg were veiled in the softest of mists; their dark, sable trunks a sombre background to the vibrant splashes of blue and green vests, the occupants of which shifted about restlessly from foot to foot, cautiously eyeing one another up for hints of form like highly strung race horses. And with lungs burning and calves quaking, they were gone. Gone up the unforgiving zigzags and on to the open fell. Simple and pure: touch the summit of both Loughrigg and Silver Howe and then Loughrigg again on the return journey by any route you like. Two minutes later, Selwyn trotted through the start line to give chase. And then, he too had disappeared into the soft mist.
Harry Shuell’s rapid start was reeled in by Ben and Dan’s pace of experience. Game on! With Ben running carefully to manage an injury, the battle for victory was left to Harry and Dan: one deploying the fast surge tactics and the other the persistent, even effort…you guess! In the end, youth won out and Harry sprinted into the park to finish in 1h 20mins and 28 secs, chased all the way to the line by Dan who finished just 12 seconds behind him. Ben, injury well under control and looking as fresh as a daisy, took third in 1h 25mins.
Thanks to all who turned out to have fun in this first Club Championship race of 2018: runners (club and guests) and spectators. Without your passion for our sport, your laughter and good natured banter, we wouldn’t be the finest fell running club in the world. Here’s to the rest of 2018!