What a perfect day for a fell race. There was a shower of rain in the morning but by the start of the race, it was a bright cloudy day, with a slight breeze – ideal running conditions. The race starts with a long climb. Coming up the hill out of Worsthorne, there was nothing to chose between Jimmy Craig, Gary Shaw and Stephen Hall. After the first initial climb, there is a slight downhill section before anther climb to the race summit. As the runners disappeared from view, the race opened up and it rapidly became a two horse race between Jimmy Craig and Gary Shaw. The race has a sting in its tail in that after passing the second reservoir, there is another climb before the final descent back to Worsthorne. As the two leading runners approached this last ascent, Gary Shaw made a challenge on Jimmy. To those watching, it was fascinating. There was a vet runner was taking the lead from a “young Turk”. The fact that he was able to do so says a lot about the fitness of Gary Shaw. One assumes that at this point, he was trying to break Jimmy and build up an unassailable lead. But Jimmy did not allow this to happen and settled in behind him and kept up with him. As they approached the top of this climb Gary was leading, but Jimmy Craig was on his tail and it left everyone wondering who would come out tops on the run in. As it turned out, Jimmy just had the edge and he passed Gary on the downhill run and with a bit of a sprint at the finish, he made it home with an eleven second gap. However this was a race and a half and it says much that Gary could push Jimmy so close. This was racing at its best.
Further down the field, Barlick had two runners in the top ten, with Ian Beresford finishing 5th and Andy Berry finishing 9th. Afterwards Ian admitted that he owed his position very much to being pushed by Andy during race.
In the ladies’ race, Jackie Collins led the Barlickers home in 5th place with Molly Ralphson close on her tail. Laura Craig has an excellent run to finish 8th overall and third Barlick lady.