Jura Fell Race
Sat May 29th 2010 (16 miles 7500ft ascent)
Five Horwich athletes made the long trip up to Scotland for the annual Jura Fell Race this year. As usual Albert Sunter & Tony Varley took the long cycle trip there from Ardrossan Via Arran, Kintyre & Islay. Whilst Mick Green made full use of his camper van for the trip.
Conditions on the day were pretty miserable with low cloud base at around 1000 ft and a stiff breeze increasing to strong gusting wind on the summits of the Paps. This obviously made navigation awkward and times in general were slow. Mick Green though had a storming run and finished a very credible 13th overall (3:54:50) in what was a competitive & talented field, for his pains he received one of the coveted whisky glasses.
For Albert Sunter, this was his 21st visit to the race and after running in to splendid a 60th (4:34:37) overall position.He received a framed picture of the Paps of Jura to mark this milestone of 21 races.
For me it was my first time to the race though not to the island, having been there only two weeks prior to the race. I traveled up there on the motorbike with my wife and made a mini break of the event. For years Stephen Barlow had badgered me to do the race so I finally had made the effort. I finished 106th (5:01:15) overall and was pleased with my time given my lack of fitness.
Paul Murray travelled up with his wife Margaret and camped. The day prior to the race both me & Paul went out to recce the route, and on the descent to Keils from the 2nd checkpoint I nearly trod on an Adder which made us a touch quicker after that. Paul finished in a very credible 148th (5:24:51) which for a Vet 60 on his first visit to the race is outstanding. Though I suspect the ulterior motive was to bag a corbet in the process.
For Tony Varley, he retired after descending the first Pap and then making a major navigational error which really gave no alternative but to retire.
A big thanks should go out to Mandy Goth & Phil Hodgson the organizers of this race who have done a very commendable job and at some distance (Todmorden) of putting this annual event on. After five years at the helm they are handing the reigns over to someone else.