Despite the clocks changing the small team arrived under blue sunny skies. The great forecast had no impact on the officials decision that all age groups needed to carry a basic kit bag (waterproof coat, hat and gloves in a bumbag), so some last minute buying by parents of younger runners will have helped out the local economy. Although the club had no runners in the first race the willing supporters cheered on two siblings who put in a fantastic effort over the very steep 1km course. This gave the under 11’s time to soak in atmosphere whilst preparing for their race. After being counted in and kit checked they took up position on the starting line. It was a fast start over two narrow bridges but all three runners, Anna Nicholson, Allan Sumners and Nathan Giles, made a strong start together near the front of the pack. By the time they climb the stone wall style on one of the many corners of the steep path Anna had picked off the girls ahead of her to be first. She maintained this position around the mixed terrain of Loughrigg Brow, despite some slips, with the two boys not far behind. Having handled the ups and downs on the uneven rocky paths and the boggy bracken trails it was back over the stone wall style and down the steep path back to the park and the finish line. This was definitely the scariest part of the race and hard work for tired legs. Unfortunately during the bottom section of this descent 2 girls caught up to Anna, who had fallen, and overtook her. As the 2km race drew to a close Anna was cut and washed in mud and unable to respond to their charge but managed to hold out for third. A brilliant achievement for her first fell race with the club. The boys also found the descent challenging but managed 24th and 36th for under 11 boys.
Ben Giles ran in the Under 13’s race, covering a 2.5km route with the extra distance over boggy ground and achieved 52nd. A good start in this age category. Thomas McGrattan made a solid start on the 3.5km route that looped round Lily Tarn in the under 15’s race, but unfortunately had to withdraw just before the turning point due to sustaining an injury. The only club runner left to race was Matthew Knowles in the under 17’s. Coming into the championships after successful races at the Kendal Winter League the team supporters were hopeful for a good finish. Off the starting line Matthew powered to the front to ensure he was first over the bridges. Over the subsequent 4.5km course Matthew’s lead grew and by the time of the steep descent he was comfortably in first place and looked like no-one could or would catch him. He did not disappoint and finished the race as he started. Not only was it a great finish but the team finished the day on a high, keen for the Lancashire championships in two weeks time.
Phtos courtesy of Geoff Thompson