All’s Well That Ends Well…
It happens, yet as ever the fell running community did what the fell running community always does, just got on with it. Smiling of course.
OK, so things went a little askew, there was a definite moment of confusion for both the runners and for the race organiser. Yet this is fell running. So what happened? Without delving into a public enquiry the lead runners were sent the wrong way on the course by a race marshal. At the top of the first climb the leaders it would appear were directed towards the summit of Win Hill as opposed to dropping down towards Ladybower Reservoir. Oops… Then a number of runners in the mid pack stopped and questioned the route. I (Stu) appeared over the hill and I was asked the actual route. I agreed that I felt the runners were right, ‘You drop down’. The cry went up from another runner calling everyone back… most did turn back, around the top 20 (estimate) didn’t.
It was a ‘mess of fell runners’ for only a few minutes as runners charged one way, then turned and charged back again. Come on folks, it was verging on the comical and looking back, yes I’m laughing at the memory. To their credit the runners who turned, carried on and raced. One runner was laughing, ‘Only in fell running, and it’s flippin’ freezing so I’m keeping going’. Never a truer word.
So now we have two sets of runners, potentially heading around Win Hill towards each other… have to say we did have a laugh at the thought of this one on the side of the hill. Fortunately, the leaders hit the top of the hill and just turned and ran to the finish. Although, a couple did try to make amends and cut across the heather to join the route proper.
The Race organiser was contacted. He was, for a minute, speechless…then, ‘Tell me that again’. His next words can not be printed… As to the poor marshal. Look, we really appreciate you being on the hill, in the horrible weather we had tonight. Stuff happens, everyone was safe and got back to base OK. So have a whiskey, laugh at the confusion of the sight of runners going in a multitude of directions. It’s OK, it’s fell running. We all had a good time and that’s what matters.
Why didn’t I get the camera out, I have no idea… you just had to be there, definitely potential for a Monty Python sketch.
More Winners than Losers
So here’s what happened with the results.
The leaders of the race who completed, what shall from this point forward, be known as the Hope Wakes Fun Run, all got a prize… As to those that got it right and battled to finish the full course, with a little extra, they took the trophies home.
Fun Run Winners:
Stuart Bond and Helen Thorncliffe
Longer Than Expected Race, Winners:
David Sykes and Anna Hoogkamer (Yes, Dave we agree you should get a mention in Fell Runner Mag, too.)
As for the Gritstone Series Leader Board… how do we sort this one out? Well we don’t. This is ‘the Round That Didn’t Happen’. It won’t count for the series. We think that is only right. For having made this decision, you will now only have to complete 3 of the ‘Short’ Series Races, not 4… I’ll amend the website to reflect this in the coming days.
So that’s it folks… a new kind of race format arrived on the scene tonight, albeit vaguely familiar and it became known as the Hope Wakes Fun Run – very much the ‘Round’ that wasn’t.
Ahhh well, All’s Well That Ends Well.