69 John Mason 1:41:17
DNF Cloey Mason
Two contenders for the Stephen Chew Trophy in one weekend!
At 19 miles over some rough boggy moorland, this is a tough old race.
David Mirfield had an excellent run to finish 3rd overall, Poor old Pete Jackson, a regular participator in this race over the years, had to retire after falling and damaging his quads. But having said that, he is off to a flying start to once more win the Stephen Chew Trophy.
3 David Mirfield 2:44:08 (2nd M40)
DNF Peter Jackson (Retired injured)
There are two running races, one over 30 miles and the other over 45 miles. You would think that John Boothman, having only recently completed the 268 mile spine race would have had the weekend off. But John is always up for a challenge and he entered the longer race. He went steady with the object being to get round injury free and that is what he did. Having said that, he did finish 3rd M60.
Richard Cranham took part in the 30 mile race, which was a surprise as he has recently being experiencing a niggle with his ankle. However, he was going well and was in 3rd in third place at the final check point and his ankle was holding up. However, shortly afterwards, he went wrong and lost a place and then, going up Pendle, he rolled his ankle and fell. He could no longer run on it, but he decided to walk the last 4 miles to the finish. At that point, as he was no longer running, he should have put his kit on and it was only when he was near the trig and walking really slowly that he realised that he was getting cold. By the time he reached the steps, he was cramping badly and could hardly walk. A passing runner lent him his poles. Further down the steps, another passing runner, Dan Anderson, sacked off his race and stopped to help. Robert does not remember it, but Dan said that he found him shivering, saying that he was tired, but otherwise not talking a lot of sense. All classic signs of hypothermia. He stripped Robert down and put on his emergency kit, even stopping a walker and borrowing his coat as well. Dan also gave him his hat and dry gloves. He then walked him to the finish. What a brilliant guy. Robert finished in 34th place, but had it not been for Dan, this race might have been his last one. This incident is a reminder to us all of the dangers of hypothermia. If you ever have to stop running, then layer up immediately as your body temperature can drop rapidly and it is quite frightening, but the human body can only function within a very narrow temperature window. Thankfully, Robert got warmed up and is now OK.
45 Mile Race
57 John Boothman 10:21:06 (3rd M60)
30 Mile Race
34 Robert Cranham 6:50:27
.A great run by Victoria Peel!
2 Victoria Peel 23:53
30 David Pease 38:01
56 John Mason 41:03
85 Raymond Banks 48:28 (1st V70)
This race concludes the Red Rose Series and John Mason was the only Barlicker to complete at least 3 race to get an overall series placing where he finished 6th V50.
This winter race at 268 miles and ascent of nearly 33,000 feet, covering the length of the Pennine Way from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholme in the Scottish Borders is certainly Britain’s most brutal endurance race. It is a challenge that tests the physical resilience and mental strength of all competitors as they face snow, extreme cold, storm force winds and driving rain.
John Boothman is a vet 60, but once again, he took to the fells to test himself in this most challenging race.
This year, he started off rather well. His steady pace was a little bit quicker than last year and by Tan Hill, he was in 24th place and over 6 hours quicker than his time last year. At that point, he looked to be on for a top twenty finish and a personal best time.
But as well as physical resilience, luck and fate can play their part in this race and when John reached the check point at Langdon, fate intervened. John did not intend to stop long at Langdon, but to continue overnight over High Cup Nick to Dufton. However, upon arrival he was told that the race was being put on hold and that he could not leave Langdon. It seemed that the rescue services were under pressure from runners ahead.
Not knowing the length of the stop, John chose to catch up on some sleep, asking the marshals to wake him should the race be allowed to continue. They did so, but leaving him little time to get ready and as a result, so many runners who were previously behind John were now in front of him. He made it safely to Dufton and then set off over Cross Fell to get to the next stop at Alston. On Cross Fell, it was extremely cold and the wind chill factor made it even colder. At the summit John was feeling very cold, but as it was only a short distance to Greg’s Hut where there is some support, John pressed on. When he arrive, he was checked over and was already displaying the signs of suffering from hypothermiia. He was warmed up and then he continued to the next check point in Alston.
From there John went along Hadrian’s Wall before once more turning North towards Bellingham. Just before Bellingham is Horneystead Farm and once more luck intervened. He slipped on the ice, hurting his back and his leg. However, he doggedly continued, but as he approached the next check point at Byrness, the pain he was suffering began to take its toll. He told the group he was running with that he could not keep up and whilst they pressed on, he continued to make his own painfully slow way to the check point.
To the dot watchers who were following the live tracking of the race, it looked like John’s race had come to an end. But John is nothing if not tough, resilient and perhaps foolhardy. A lesser man would have, not unreasonably, dropped out, but John took the opportunity to get some rest in the local church which had been set aside for use by the runners. It was like sleeping in a fridge and was very cold, but he managed to get 3 hours sleep and when he got up, he felt much better.
So, he decided to attempt the last leg over the Cheviots to Kirk Yetholme and the finish. There is a steep ascent from Byrness towards the Cheviot Hills and once more the pain returned. His pace was slow, but slowly he was inching his way to Hut 2, the last check point before the finish. He eventually made it there and after having a medical check up and some pain killers, he made his way up The Schil, the last big hill before the steady descent to the finish. Again, John’s progress was painfully slow, but he was very gradually getting there. However, when he had around two miles to go, he felt that he could not longer carry on. How ironic to go over some of Britain’s highest hills, in the roughest of weather, only not to be able to meander along a relatively benign walk to the finish. But once more fate intervened. A group of supporters were walking out to meet their friend who was in the race when they came across John. Luckily, one of them was a physio. He helped John by massaging his ears. It is remarkable than ear massage can alleviate back pain. John already felt much better and the physio told him that he could do no more with John wearing all his warm clothing. Despite the cold, John removed some of his clothing and let the physio apply a further message. The relief that it gave him was enough to allow him to complete the last two miles to the finish. Far from being a pb, it was a much slower time than last year, but at least he had finished in 47th place out of 75 finisher, most of them younger men than John.
47 John Boothman 136:25:35
Nobody thinks of a marathon as a sprint, yet this race is called a sprint despite encompassing almost two back to back marathons. It is the first part of the Spine Race Series and covers the 46 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Hebden Bridge.
This year Ian Cocks entered and set off at a blistering pace and was amongst the first three who were running together as a group. The initial reaction was that he had gone off too fast, but that was without knowing the training that Ian had put in. In fact he had carried out the largest block of training ever over 14 weeks, in which he reccied the whole course and carried his full kit weighing 10.5 kg up and down Pendle. As Ian said, “Descending with that kind of weight is very challenging on your legs”.
This what Ian said of the race:
The race was going well until I got to Wassenden and then the cramps started. This was a surprise being a cold day . I held 2nd place from the start of the race till the finish with 3rd place just kept behind me until we got to Snake Pass which is 10 miles in , then I didn’t see him again.
Ian is being a little modest. He ran a brilliant race. He trained and prepared well and it was perfect execution on the day. It was only that he came up against that superb athlete, Rupert Allison that he did not take first place.
2 Ian Cocks 8:53:13