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Author Archives: Gritstone Series

Wolf’s Pit Race Report by Team Accelerate Athlete Will Burton

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Wolf’s Pit is known as a tough race, taking in 450m of climbing over its 9.6km duration. Most of this elevation comes in the first climb but the course takes in two other climbs in the second half of the race, the last one particularly short and sharp as you pick your way through the trees back onto the main path. The course concludes with a dash back down the hill, a river crossing (which has been known to claim …

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All’s Well That Ends Well…

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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 …

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Round 3: Round Up and Down, 2017.

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Three races in and the race is on for the Series title. So how’s it looking? Zoe Proctor, Pennine, has completed all three of the Gritstone Series races. Wolf’s Pit, saw Zoe finished in 5th, 2nd at both Castleton and Edale. It looks very much as if the forever smiling V40 is leading the series. Pending the final count I believe Anna Hooghamer (Dark Peak) is lying in second and Helen Thornhill (Buxton) just behind, both are U23. Caitlin Rice, …

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Newbie Fell Runner Does a Double Part 2

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I work Saturdays and fully expecting my legs to seize up if I’m sat at the computer all morning, so I do all the jobs that don’t involve sitting down. A lively photo shoot involving children and dogs see’s out the afternoon. It isn’t until watching the England match that my legs start to complain slightly. I spend the second half shifting position all around the living room and slightly stretching to relive the discomfort fully expecting to wake up …

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Newbie Fell Runner Does a Double Part 1

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EXT. ECCELSALL WOODS – MID FEBRUARY – POST WOOD RUN The Wood Runners are chatting; some drinking tea, some coffee and all eating well earned cake. Two blokes are looking through a new shiny black folder. STU: Those two are a bit close together. ME: I put them both down so I didn’t forget when I saw the dates pop up on Facebook. I’ll drop one of them closer to the time STU: Ok, might be interesting to see how …

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Marshalling Fun at Edale

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Marshal Race Report by Mikk Murray When Debs asked me and Fi to marshal at this years Accelerate Edale fell race I couldn’t help but say yes! I knew I wouldn’t be racing it as I’m doing the Bob Graham the weekend after, so watching everyone else push hard up the hills sounded like the next best thing. We got there early to marshal the junior race first which is part of the Gritty series. I didn’t envy the younger …

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Castleton Fell Race

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A Message from the Castleton Fell Race Organiser. A week before the race Derbyshire was in the grip of a mini heatwave. The course had never looked better, hopefully the weather would hold…surely? As I arrived home from work at 4:00pm on race night to prepare for the race, as if on cue, the heavens opened and for the next 30 minutes, Castleton was subjected to a months’ worth of rainfall! Thankfully it eased; however the deluge had saturated the …

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The Gritsone Series Just Got Tougher…

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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 …

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Look Back, then Forwards…

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The Gritstone Series 2014 has made for an eventful year… The series did not get off to a very good start for Stu and I – Wolf’s Pit in March may now seem a very long time ago. What should have been an enjoyable day out at Shatton turned into us spending the day in the Northern General Hospital as Stu managed to fully rupture his quad tendon in his left leg while taking pictures of the junior race.  Emergency surgery to reattach …

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The Final Countdown…

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With one race to go in the Accelerate Gritstone Series – Grin & Bear It on 1st Nov- both the men’s and women’s podium places are being hotly contented. The current ladies leader is Gay Fletcher (pictured at Edale) of Smiley Paces; she has had an amazing consistent series and so far completed every race. I know she is planning on running Grin & Bear it so she will complete every race and almost certainly be in the prizes. Second and third …

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Grinning All the Way…

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The Gritstone Series is ever evolving and changing, for 2014 we added our most northly race, the “Grin & Bear it”. This is organised by Woodhead mountain rescue. We are keen to add another longer race to the series, at 15 miles and taking in a different part of the Dark Peak; so the Grin & Bear it ticked all the boxes. Starting at Langsett barn the race climbs up to the very remote, bleak, boggy but spectacular Outer Edges, which …

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The Curbar ‘Loco-Commotion’…

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Now that was fast! This time last year it rained, it was proper chilly and there was no Curbar Commotion. This year there was, plus it was sunny, warm and dry – what a difference a year makes. So year one of the Curbar Commotion and the first you worry about as a race organiser, ‘Is will anyone come along?’  Well the CC organiser need not have worried as a touch over 210 runners rolled up. From the moment they arrived it …

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Curbar Commotion – Series Event Update

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Early this month we were advised that Windgather Fell Race had been cancelled. Despite the best efforts of the race organisers, contractual difficulties with the Forestry Commission forced their hand.  A very unfortunate situation and one has to say, a loss to the Derbyshire Fell Racing scene. With this in mind the decision has been taken to replace the event, allbeit at short notice with the Curbar Commotion, a new race. The Commotion takes place the week before the date …

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The Wolf’s Pit 2014

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Another great race at Shatton today for the Wolf Pit Fell race, the first of the Accelerate Gritstone series. A bright sun and glorious clear skies meant it looked like near perfect race conditions. At least until runners stepped out of their cars to be met with a chilling wind which had caused the collapse of the race HQ marquee overnight. All was restored in time for the registration opening, the numbers running kept the registration tent busy right up …

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Series Round-Up

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Windgather is once again the final round of this years Gritstone Series and there is much to play for.  Chris Shelton, currently leads the standings for the men and has found himself in a strong position going into the final race. Windgather would have been a course to have suited him and he has proved in training that he has the speed to match Stuart Bond.  Unfortunately for Chris, he is unavailable through injury and as a result has perhaps …

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First Time Winner…

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It was a first for Tom Saville, as he crossed the finish line in a senior fell race for the first time. We all know the eighteen year old has a turn of speed and in this race he also demonstrated he can run with a cool head. Race Sensibility usually comes with race experience… This is Tom’s story of his race. I’d never done this race before as I wasn’t old enough, apparently I still didn’t look old enough …

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A Weekend of Frantic Racing… (Part 2)

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The weather was better in Edale than in the centre of Sheffield (apparently) and it is not very often you can say that about the Peaks, let’s be honest.  The sun was out, the hill sides were bright green and at 8am there was not a cloud in the sky.  The Edale Fell Race, is organised by Debs, from Accelerate, and each year the monies raised from the event are passed back to the local community projects and also Edale …

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A Weekend of Frantic Racing… (Part 1)

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The first weekend of June always promises so much, what with the hope of good weather, plus two cracking fell races to get you through the weekend. Castleton takes place on the Friday night and with Edale that same weekend, on Sunday.  For some it can also prove to be a tough weekend as they race both for others a bit of a dilemma as they decide which to race and to ensure they get their scores on the doors …

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Race Reporting: Burbage 2012

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Scrabble as you Scramble Report By Dot Kesterton, Smiley Paces How do you keep your mind occupied whilst your legs, lungs, heart are exploding on a tough fell run? Dot selected 7 random letters at the beginning of the race and spent the next hour making new words which now form the Burbage Skyline Fell Race Report 2012, (with just a little bit of poetic licence) The Letters: E R S A N D T Date: 8th May 2012 Drat: …

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Race Reporting: Castleton 2012

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Drizzle, Rain, Monsoon and Ice Pellets!! Report By Matt Ridge, Totley AC. For my first attempt at a fell race further afield than my ‘home’ races of Totley AC, I thought I’d give Castleton a try. I was aware it had a reasonable (understatement) climb in it, but surely a bit of light rain would keep me cool? After a misty drizzly drive from Sheffield with three other Totleyites in the A-Team bus we parked in the misty drizzly car …

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Race Reporting: Hucklow 2011

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Report By Nic Barber, Fell Runner and Orienteer… Great Hucklow Fell Race is one of the few races (along with Burbage Skyline) in which I have competed every year since I took up this fell-running lark nearly 4 years ago. A different race route to my first attempt, a few friends have called this their favourite Peaks Fell Race as it is fast, provides a wide range of terrain and some fantastic flapjack at the end! After a ‘DNS’ at …

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Race Reporting: Edale 2010

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Accelerate Edale Fell Race, June 13th 2010 A previous counter in the National Fell Championships this event deserves it’s ‘tough’ reputation. A rapid ascent direct from the start line to the summit of Ringing Roger and the edge of Kinder sorts many a runner out and often sees the front runners quickly out pacing the chasing pack. It was Stuart Bond who once again took charge as the runners topped the first climb and from here it was clear that …

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Race Reporting: Castleton 2010

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Castleton Fell Race, June 4th 2010 Once again fell runners came out in force for Round 3 of the Accelerate Gritstone Series. Entries were again way up on last year with over 240 toeing the start lane on a sunny summers evening. The odd roll of thunder could be heard in the distance and race organisers, Charlie and Stuart, were hoping the clouds would stay high, keeping the rain at bay. Castleton is also the only race in the series …

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Race Reporting: Great Hucklow 2010

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Great Hucklow Fell Race, Fast and Furious…. Local races can sometimes be a full gone conclusion when you see the starting line up. This years Great Hucklow Fell Race proved to be an exception with many of the area’s faster paced fell runners on hand to provide a race who’s outcome was not decided until the final run into the finish. Both Gritstone Series leaders, Helen Elmore and Stuart Bond were looking for 5 out of 5 wins and effectively …

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Race Reporting: Longshaw Fell Race 2010

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By Debs Smith Longshaw fell race always has a great relaxed atmosphere and this year was no exception. The 6th race in the Gritstone series proved to be crucial to a few categories but for others Windgather will be the decider. The sun shone as we set off over Burbage. It is a great route. Starting with a long steady climb up to Burbage bridge before descending through the mud beside the river. Although it was relatively dry this year …

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Race Reporting: Windgather Fell Race 2010

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By Dot Kesterton Windgather, in the Goyt Valley above Buxton provided a spectacular setting for the last of the seven of the Accelerate Gritstone series of fell runs for 2010. Described as 13.5 miles, rising to 559m I hesitated for a minute or two before thinking I’d give it a go. It was a good decision. Sunday 10th October dawned warm and sunny. Temperatures of up to 18 degrees were forecast so I knew I would enjoy the race even …

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Race Reporting: Wolfs Pit 2010

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Report By Stuart H. The Series has now received over 100 entries and the ‘Bradda Dads’ who organised the Wolf’s Pit Fell Race have come in for plenty of praise too. It all sounds like a great way to start the 2010 Gritstone Series. The race took place with the last of the snow still visible on the higher reaches of the Peak and with a cold north wind blowing in. With so many events happening locally entries were around …

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Race Reporting: Burbage Skyline 2010

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A record entry, long queues, a delayed start and a dry beer beer cask. Sounds like a good receipe for a succesful and enjoyable evenings racing. So it proved. The entry record for the event was smashed and long queues ensured a swift descision to delay the start. The number of competitors that arrived caught everyone by surprise, especially as it was felt that the very chilly conditions would keep people at home – Wrong! So 324 competitors headed from …

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Race Reporting: Burbage Skyline 2009

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By Mark Smalley Burbage Skyline, my second ever fell race, the launch of the Accelerate Gritstone Series and a race beginning and ending at a pub, perfect! A nice clear day, yet a cold wind chilling those in shorts and t-shirts leading to a penguin style huddle at the start line. A cheeky attempt to cut a couple of hundred metres off the start was quickly quashed by Andy Moore (race organiser) in his multicoloured jacket leading to a few …

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Race Reporting: Castleton Fell Race 2009

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By Mark Smalley Castleton Fell Race, the second part of the Accelerate Gritstone Series and about an hour and a half before the race is due to start the heavens opened and unleashed a downpour that would have made even the hardy fell runner possibly think twice about turning up for the Castleton event. Yet there was a surprisingly good turnout, with the weather calming down just in time for the start and the first climb up Loose Hill. As …

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Race Reporting: Edale Fell Race 2009

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By Lucy Harris (ShUOC) After watching the Castleton fell race on the Friday in preparation for the Stretton Hills race on Saturday, me and Zanthe were not going to miss out on the Edale race too, so aching legs were ignored and race numbers pinned on! The pouring rain of the day before had cleared (well long enough for the race anyway) and it wasn’t as hot as the previous weekend so perfect running conditions (you could see the top …

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