The Gritsone Series Just Got Tougher…
Well in one sense, yes the 2015 Gritstone Series has just become tougher. In another a little easier…
For 2015 there is a new format. There is now a choice of Summer short races and in October three longer races, of which the shortest is 15.3 kilometres. The idea is simple and we believe makes completing the Gritstone Series a little more straightforward by reducing the number of races to complete the Series to four. However, within the four completed races you are expected to complete one of the longer October races. That means to compete in the Series you must run three ‘Summer Short’ events and one of the longer ‘October Long’ races. See what I mean, it’s tougher as a Series, yet easier to complete…
The ‘Summer Short’ Races are:
22nd March, Wolf’s Pit Fell Race: 9km / 5.6mi 450m / 1476ft of ascent
5th June, Castleton Fell Race: 10.8km / 6.7mi 458m / 1503ft of ascent
14th June, Accelerate Edale Fell Race: 7.6km / 4.7mi 402m / 1319ft of ascent
5th July, Great Hucklow Fell Race: 9.8km / 6.1mi 340m / 1115ft of ascent
7th August, Salt Cellar Fell Race: 10.9km / 6.8mi 486m / 1594ft of ascent
5th September, Longshaw Sheepdog Trials Fell Race: 9.7km / 6mi 305m / 1001ft of ascent
(Editors Note: Yes we know that March is not summer, but believe me the sun always shines at Wolf’s Pit, honest!)
So no surprises there then, pretty much as it has been over the last couple of years. One change is that Edale and Castleton are now not taking place in the same weekend – they are a week apart. Each of the Summer races is in it’s own right a bit of classic, with four of them being very traditional and around for quite a few years. Salt Cellar and Wolf’s Pit are the relative new comers.
Both Edale and Longshaw (2014 video below) are attached to traditional Peak District ‘Fayers’. Edale, with the annual village Country Day, offering a whole host of tented amenities including the all important cake stall and beer tent, not forgetting the attractions in the main ring. Longshaw as the full name suggests, is an important county sheep dog trials and again post run amenities are guaranteed to please, as is the case at all of these events.
The longer October races are all fairly new to the fell running event calendar, yet very welcome they are. Each offers something unique with Grin ‘n Bear It being a traditional navigation race as each runner has to find the fastest track to each named check point on the route. Last year saw many less experienced fell runners attempting and completing the race with honour. It is the longest race in the series, but the honour of the most ascent falls, or should that be rises, to Windgather at over 2,500 feet. At least we are safe in the knowledge that what goes up does come down, thankfully!
Curbar Commotion (2014 video below), enters its second year and proved to be superbly organised run over the iconic Gritstone crags above the village of Curbar. Over 200 runners toed the start line.
The October longer races are:
4th October, Curbar Commotion Fell Race: 15.3km / 9.5 miles 403m / 1300ft of ascent
11th October, Windgather Fell Race: 21.8km / 13.5mi 762m / 2500ft of ascent
31st October, Grin ‘n Bear It: 25.6km / 15.9mi 591m / 1939ft
Inov-8, the British company responsible for a range of iconic fell running shoes, equipment and clothing are once again the main sponsor of the event. With a new range of shoes and updates hitting the shelves of the Inov-8 Running Centre at Accelerate Running Store this year, the brand will be supporting with an enviable prize list. To ensure the winners get to choose what it is they want from the Inov-8 range the prizes will be issued as gift vouchers. Last year the Gritstone Series overall winners found themselves with £100 of Inov-8 spending power.
So bring on the 2015 Gritstone Series, let’s get those entry forms filled and may the racing begin! Bring It On!
You can enter the 2015 Gritstone Series Here >>
Full details of the 2015 Gritstone Series can be found Here >>