Saddleworth Fell Race
Sunday 26th May
This race was described by the race organiser in the briefing as a ‘classic’ dating back 50 years or so. Makes the Pike race that little bit more special. Five harriers made the trip through Oldham, Lees to Greenfield. The sunshine on this bank holiday weekend made the setting even more attractive. This race was the next in the Local Fell Grand Prix so that always attracts one or two extra runners from the participating clubs.
The race has a steady road climb before turning left off the road and up the fell. The runners edge a golf course before the serious climb up a rocky steep slope. Once on the top there is a run across the fell before a steep drop back to the golf course, road and finish.
Gary Chadderton was first harrier home in 22nd place in a time of 26.27 and with Doug Fleming coming back from holiday, Gary was attempting to score as many additional club points as possible. The next three runners were always going to be around each other but after being beaten by Colin Wood in the last fell race, Pete Ramsdale was keen to get his own back and John Parker was back to racing after a two week layoff having recharged his batteries. Pete Ramsdale worked hard on the climb trying to get away from Colin, knowing that Colin usually descends better. The ascent was really dry whilst the descent found the only mud on the hill, so a little extra care was necessary. Pete managed to hold the others off to be second Horwich counter in 48th place in 30.05 with Colin 57th in 32.09 and John 65th in 33.11, completing the trio. New member to the club Dave Barnes completed the quintet with a solid run of 35.11 in 74th. Good race.
Winner was Phil Winskill of Kendal AC in 22.08, with Andy Swift of Penistone FR in 22.16 and Ben Rothery of team AM Mayhem in 22.41. 90 finishers
(I should mention that Colin did cycle there, race, have a spot of lunch and then cycle back – training for the next Iron Man competition later this year).