After 12 races and a terrific season, the club fell championship had its final fling at the Thropton show in deepest Northumberland. 15 Polyfellers made the trip for the 6.5 mile race up to the summit of Simonside and back down again. The sun shone, the wrestlers wrestled, the lurchers dashed and the kids emptied their parents’ wallets for want of ice creams and goes on the bouncy castle. It was a great scene.
108 runners were there in total and the race was set to be an interesting one. Phil Green of Heaton and NFR gave us the customary start-line speech about how to retire and added the unorthodox element regarding the waist deep river crossing about half a mile into the race (and from the end).
Suitably warned, we were off! The first half mile is a road run once the show field is left and the pace is hot. The queue at the river made for a surreal pause so soon after starting and the ignored option of the footbridge, 150 yards distant, glistened empty and redundant. Fellrunners, as is their way, all went the interesting way.
Fields and a steep road give way to forest tracks and only a short section of genuine fell terrain as the steep climb to the summit of Simonside eventually yielded a superb prospect, including Thropton to where we were to return. The initial descent was very technical, but also very short, much to those of us that gain an advantage over such ground. Mental notes were made to include more races with more of this in next years champs (more on that little update in a blog near you very soon).
Then a thunderous descent through forest tracks and soon were were back on the route out, with the Coquet no less deep and the show field no less jovial as we all collapsed back into it.
Will Robson finished third in a strong field and showed his intentions perhaps to rob his dad of the championship next time around. Gary defended his crown with a great run to finish 8th but this time they were split in the Poly ranks by Danny Richardson who was 6th and could well feature in the rankings next year.
Jon Heaney was a superb 11th and secured the overall runner up spot with Chris Rowe a strong 13th. The rest of the standings are given below.
Well done all for a brilliant championship – brig on the relays and the do on the 29th