Accelerate Gritstone Series

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.

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Round 3: Round Up and Down, 2017.

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, took the win at Wolf’s Pit, Meg Wilson at Castleton and Kim Baxter at Edale. Wide open then…

Alastair Campbell, Buxton AC, completed the Gritstone Series Weekend Double, winning at both Castleton and Edale. Castleton, saw him take the honors with 42:31 and Edale in 35:36. This puts him in a strong position as he now leads the Series in terms of race wins and we think points. Stuart Bond, won at Wolfs Pit, so there is still much to play for, especially with Steve Franklin consistently placing well.

Full results of all the races are available here >>

Zoe Proctor, Pennine

Smiles all the way.

Alasdair Campbell, Buxton AC


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Newbie Fell Runner Does a Double Part 2

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 Sunday morning unable to make the foot drop out of bed let alone the 1300ft of Edale.

But a strange thing happens; I wake up early and feel ok and my legs don’t complain as I head downstairs for breakfast. Kit grabbed, I set off for Edale. The car park’s open but as I park on the bulrushes I do wonder on the odds on getting out again. Down to the village hall to register, I ask about kit requirements and I’m told to “engage brain”. Thinking the odds of an injury are higher due to tiredness I do, and don’t drop the bag back at the car as I swap to my training designated pair of Roclites rather than the still soaking wet race pair from Castleton.

2BB092DE-F001-46DE-A5A4-A71B54B5113CThe first challenge of Edale, I’ve been reliably told, is the hill at the start. Its not. It’s finding the start. Up through the village over a bridge and into a field following the sound of the junior race just finishing. I’ve got some time so I decide to try and wake everything up with some drills along the path. This doesn’t feel great, no twinges but just not feeling all that energetic. Looking at the hill I’m thinking this could be a big mistake. This isn’t helped by the look on most people’s faces when I mention the Castleton race. A pep talk with a couple of people who know the route forms a plan in my mind. Walk the hill, run the top, stick to the path on the way down, get round.

The start’s fast up the hill, but just as quickly slows to a hike as people funnel through the first gate and turn right up where the path steeply continues. Walking the steep bits through the zigzags and running some of the flatter sections I look back and seem to be solidly in midfield. Moving into a run, the path undulates as it turns towards Ringing Roger and then climbs sharply up to the Kinder plateau, and my legs go into that slightly numb territory leaving me wondering if I’m going to be running the top section at all.

Onto the gritty path along the edge of the plateau and thankfully they start to come back to me slightly, I gain a place by leaping onto a boulder that the lass in front of me has stopped to mantle her way onto, must have some energy somewhere then! The undulating path leads to the first major route choice of the race, stick to the edge path or hop over a stile and follow a sheep trod through the heather; supposedly quicker if dry, but best avoided if wet. It’s definitely wet so I do the sensible thing and take it anyway.  It’s a bit soft under foot, the first part climbs and I start to slow again. The guy in front of me kindly plows straight into the only section of bog we’ve come across with enough time for me to skip round to the left of it, a shout of “cheers” doesn’t seem to endear me to him.  I rejoin the main path at a rocky stream crossing, with a very bewildered family stood in the middle of it.

I look back along the ridge and I’m pretty sure I’ve gained places. This morale boost makes it way to my legs and I seem to have some spring back as I make my way along to Grindslow Knoll. At the bottom of the final climb I notice that my double knot tying skills have failed me again and my left shoes come undone, I elect to stop and retie it and promptly lose two places for my efforts. Better that than losing the shoe halfway down the descent to come, and what a descent!

I pause at the top of Grindslow to neck a gel and get my bearings. The path goes off to my left but the two people who paCol Edalessed me on the hill are heading straight down a grass bank that cuts the corner off and rejoins the path at a gate. Before I know it I’m following them, being a bit over cautious as I nearly end up on my backside but just about keeping my footing. Through the gate and down the path which changes gradient from steep to very steep and back again. My sheep tendencies reemerge as I follow the two runners in front of me onto the grass and down a ridge that appears to cut another corner off. I’m expecting to drop out near the bottom but my direction is off and we rejoin the path. I move left to overtake the lady in front of me promptly finding myself hurtling towards a mound with a 3 foot drop the other side of it. Swearing rather loudly, I somehow make it down the drop without the expected spill. I repeat this slightly further down the path just before rounding a corner to a view of everyone else coming down the grass bank I thought I must be on earlier.

The path straight lines to a gate, that takes us down through the last field. A runner coming from the grass bank kindly gives me right of way as I hurtle through the gate and aim for the far right corner and the trail through the woods down to the dreaded tarmac. He comes past me just before the turn up the back of the Show field. I follow him and three other runners, along the last stretch. A lot of cheering before the last corner for the bloke in front picks me up and I sprint for the line finishing right on his shoulder. That kind of energy never shows up 1km earlier does it?

50:05 on the watch and I can barely get a sentence out to answer the guy who’s just started asking me about the race. I just about manage a thumbs up and cunningly spy the massage tent where I take a seat on the table just as the heavens open.

Nearly a week on and looking back at the races and I’m rather happy. My legs haven’t seized up, which I can only put down to the benefits of the sheer amount of hopping, jumping and skipping I’ve been doing down at wood run every week.  I’ve found out that Edale was technically my best result of the year (so far) placing a good way the right side of the middle for the first time. Could I have been quicker if I hadn’t run at Castleton? Maybe. I’d definitely have been quicker if I could tie my shoe laces properly. Will I focus on one or the other next year to better my chances? Maybe. Although I cant see that suddenly propelling me to a top three finish. Both races had a different character, were great fun and that’s why I’ll probably end up doing them both again. Looking around at the finish of Edale I certainly wasn’t the only person who ran in both. I’d put money on some people having done the Calver race as well, it’s the time of year where you can enter 2, 3 or even 4 local races a week if you really want to. Despite the non-aching legs, this week (on advisement) has been a recovery week, as despite appearances I don’t actually want to break myself.  And anyway it’s Blackamoor next week…

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Newbie Fell Runner Does a Double Part 1


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 you run tired though…

So to the day of the Castleton Fell Race.
It’s 5pm, I’m driving home from work through the Peak District. I’d be better off in a boat. A months worth of rain is lashing down and I’ve just had to ford a newly formed river to get off Sheephill Road.  In two hours time I’m supposed to be running up Lose Hill and Mam Tor in my 5th ever fell race. My 6th is supposed to follow 36 hours later.  Being new to all this, I am wondering how much water cancels a fell race.

I needn’t have wondered.

Arriving in Castleton the torrent has abated. The car park turning has a kindly marshal stood in it with a big sign informing me that the car parks a quagmire and I’m to park in the village. Car parked at the other side of the village, racing Roclites on feet and kit on my back I head down to register chatting to another runner, Mark, about the race to come, races we’ve done before and how we’re both definitely taking full kit round with us as we’d be daft not to.

Despite the start being delayed, I get chatting and fail to warm up. The walk down from the car counts right? After being daft and accepting the offer of putting my kit somewhere secure I join the wide starting group, slightly further forward than the last couple of races, all the week’s contradictory advice about the race going through my head. “Steady to Back Tor… then go… go out fast otherwise you’ll get stuck in the bottleneck…”

And we’re off, forcing myself not to get dragged along I settle into my usual pace of just behind mid-field where I’m joined by fellow wood runner, Sam. We make headway up the tarmac and before we know it we’ve hit the dreaded bottleneck. A gated rocky gully that drops everyone to a walk because someone further forward deemed it un-runnable. At this point Sam leaps up the bank and disappears like a scolded rabbit. I think about following him for about half a second and then think better of it and stick with the shuffle to the gate.

Out of the gulley and the climb really kicks in. I gain places as I hike up the soft grassy path, Mark passes me and I notice he’s as daft as I am and also ditched his kit.

The climb levels off and starts to descend slightly. I pick up the pace through a slippery wooded section that ends rather abruptly at a fence and stile. Out of the woods, now level with a wispy cloud bank, Hope Valley stretches out below as I watch my pace through a few fields and over a couple more stiles. Then a left turn onto the climb to the top of Lose Hill and I’m walking again on the wet flagstone steps. At the summit I’m momentarily distracted from my now aching legs by the view across to Derwent Reservoir. The distraction doesn’t last long as I’m onto the first proper descent of the route and having to make decisions about whether to continue on the flagstone path or keep off to the side on the grass. I use both and soon the route starts heading briefly back up again to Back Tor.

The descent off Back Tor looks worse than I’d been told. Steep, rocky and freshly softened by the rainfall. Most people seem to be sticking to the right hand side down the rocks whilst I cleverly pick a route down the left grassy bank with the sheer drop next to it. The potentially more lethal route works in my favour as I’m rapidly at the bottom and in front of two more people. I try and keep an even pace towards Hollins Cross but struggle slightly on the wet grit, wet rock and wet puddles.

The flagstones reappear as the final climb up Mam Tor looms into view, this section also introduces Castleton’s other key feature; avoiding the descending quicker runners. For someone who nearly always goes the same way as someone coming towards him, this had me worried. Thankfully most seem to be taking a wide line out left for the descent to avoid the flagstones where possible, a route I make a note of for the return from the summit.

Halfway up the climb I slow to a walk and surprisingly see Sam just up ahead. He’s not having a good time of it. We chat and then get each other back into a jog as we round the summit of Mam Tor. Now the fun starts.

ColCasMy heart rate drops to a nice level and I aim myself for the grass line I’d seen the faster runners hurtling down on my way up. A couple of gates break up the feeling of speed and before I know it I’m back on the flagstones again. I trust my shoes will grip and keep the pace up, a sharp right turn through a gate at Hollins Cross and I’m onto a dirt and stone descent that looks like the hillside has just decided to slip away from the rain. I pick a line to the right this time, again close to another sheer drop. My foot slips and for a second I think I’m going to be heading down it. I decide at this point that maybe the middle of the gully looks better and get off the edge. Past three more runners and a marshal is kindly holding a gate open. It takes me until halfway down it to realise I’m back in the bottleneck gulley which seems to be less fun to run down than it was to shuffle up. Then it’s the worse section of any fell race; back to the tarmac. I’m going as quick as I can but one of the runners I flew past on the hill descent comes back past me. I’m not going with him and after a quick look behind to see if anyone else is going to mug me I put all my effort into keeping my pace as the tarmac flattens off. The last turn into the field looms into view and I try to dig in across it but stumble and slow across the finish.

61 minutes, just outside my sub-hour aim and I’m feeling pretty wrecked. Edale is going to be very tough.

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Marshalling Fun at Edale

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 runners at all after looking at the course. A steep hill to start with followed by a gentle incline that led to a fast descent and a long grassy section to the finish. 2 laps for the race, or 1 for the younger ones.
I counted around 40 starters and they soon came running past us. Just a couple at first then a steady line, each clearly giving it their best!
When the last runner passed us on the final lap we started our ascent up towards Ringing Roger where we had agreed to marshal. Fi was going to a fork in the path about 2/3 up the hill and I was off up to the cairn at the edge path. Still a 250m climb up!

Once in position I got chatting to some walkers who were asking about the race and we waited for the first runners to appear. Eventually to my delight, a brown vest appeared (Dark Peak) and Josh Williams came charging towards me with 2 others chasing him, including Dave Lund another brown vest. 20 seconds later and the rest of the race followed.

I gave my shouts and claps of support and received many a thank you from the runners for marshaling. Steph Curtis came past with Team Accelerate’s Helen Elmore not far behind, looking like a battle for the ladies prize was on!
After all the runners had passed there was a guy with an orange vest and a hat with a brush on it.. Obviously the sweeper! That was my signal to head back down to the finish and catch what was left of the race. Fi was waiting halfway down and we ran for a while but I lost her on the line off Ringin Roger (sorry Fi) then it was down the road to the finish. A few runners passed me here before I went round to the tunnel to see folk get their times.

The finish was busy as Edale Country Day was on so there was lots of stalls and music playing. I chatted running with lots of folk and hung around in the Accelerate stall out of the heavy rain until Debs did the prize giving.
A great race, great people and a great day out. Fellrunning is a fantastic sport and I was very happy to have helped make a race happen. I’d recommend being a marshal at the next race you aren’t running!


You can follow Mikk on Twitter @mikkmurray

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Castleton Fell Race

CastletonWinner16A 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 parking field, and we had to make the decision to direct all competitors to park in the village, and walk up to the playing fields. Thanks to all of you who were so accommodating.

Despite the inclement weather, numbers were only slightly down on last year, with 231 finishers. The race saw a good tussle between Stuart Bond and Alasdair Campbell (pictured), with the Buxton runner coming out on top with a fine time of 42m 15seconds. The women’s race was won by Anna Hoogkamer (Dark Peak), who managed to hold off her team mate, Sally Fawcett by 21 seconds.
Many thanks to Stuart and Debbie from Accelerate who once again supported the race with numbers, goodies and enthusiasm!

Finally, to the many volunteers who turned out in the rain to ensure that the race ran smoothly. Many competitors thanked me after the race, and this would not have happened without all of your help and support.

Stuart Bradstock

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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 >>

You can follow the Gristone Series on Twitter by checking out @accelerateuk or by searching and using #GSSERIES  Updates will also be posted on the Accelerate Face Book page.


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Look Back, then Forwards…

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 it and then lots of rehab was not really the idea, oh well. Then, fast forward to the last race in the series Grin and Bear it and Stu managed a 10 mile run over peat bog to follow the race – amazing progress. He has even threatened to leave me with the camera at Wolf’s Pit 2015 as he may just run the race.

The other issue we had to deal with was the cancelation of Windgather Fell Race due to unreasonable requests from the Forestry Commission to use their land. The good news is we have just heard this has been resolved and the race will go ahead next year. This had big implications on how the results for the Series would be calculated and the number of races needed to count.  Luckily we managed to find another great race to replace Windgather, so up-stepped The Cubar Commotion – a great success in its first year due to the number of entrants. Plus, the call was made to make it only 4 races to count for the series not the intended 5.

The highlight for me was the number of people who raced the series, or even just took part in one of the races. Some completing in there 1st fell race, for others it was the challenge of upping there mileage to complete Cubar Commotion or Grin and Bear it.

As ever the growth of the Gritty Series is excellent and it is fantastic seeing the young people race. The weather has been very kind to us this year- I don’t think we had a wet race. The Gritstone Series races have raised hundreds of pounds for the local communities from schools to Mountain Rescue. The whole idea of the Series has been to promote the quality of local races in the Dark Peak area (Gritstone). To ensure they thrive and provide good races for us runners. There is never a charge to enter the Series merely your commitment to run these fab races.

Ladies Series Winner, Gay Fletcher

Ladies Series Winner, Gay Fletcher

The clear winner of the Men’s series was Team Accelerate athlete Stu Bond. He seems to have become stronger and stronger as the series went on. Although he does seem to have frustrating missed out on course records sometimes by seconds! The ladies winner Gay Fletcher, Smiley Paces, is the only person to complete every race in the series, an excellent achievement. They will each receive a £100 Inov-8 voucher.

Two Totley runner secured the 2nd places, Steve Franklin and Pat Goodall. At 59 Pat has had an amazing year as she set herself the challenge of completing 60 races in her 60th year and could be seen at all races with a label on her back letting us know how many races she had completed. She threw herself into the challenge and soon found herself heading towards the 100 race mark.

Martin Dawson, North Derbyshire RC, had 4 consistent good run to take 3rd place in the men’s. Ellie Crownshaw at 17 years old could only complete 4 races due only been able to enter races under 6-miles. However she did well in all 4 races and secured 3rd place. It is excellent to see a former Gritty Series winner performing so well in her 1st session in adult races. She has also won the English Schools fell championships this year. One to watch out for!

The most notable ladies vet performance was Team Accelerate/Scott Dot Kesterton. Coming an amazing 5th overall in the series taking the V60 ladies win. Keith Holmes completed Grin and Bear it to get 4 races in and take the men’s V60 win. Peter Hague had a consistent season to win the V40 and Gavin Williams once again won the V50 category.

A great set of races- big thanks to all the race organisers and marshals who make these races possible. Also to Inov-8 for their continued support of the series. Next year we will have the same great race but there will be a change to the series. Watch this space……..

To everyone who took part in the 2014 Gritstone Series, well done. To the winners and podium finishers an even bigger pat on the back.  See you in 2015… Debs

1st Gay Fletcher Smiley Paces
2nd Pat Goodall Totley
3rd Ellie Crownshaw Bradfield School
1st V40 Gay Fletcher Smiley Paces
2nd V40 Gina Granger Southwell RC
1st V50 Pat Goodall Totley
1st V60 Dot Kesterton Team Accelerate Scott/ Smiley Paces
1st Stu Bond Team Accelerate/DPFR
2nd Steve Franklin Totley
3rd Martin Dawson North Derbyshire RC
1st V40 Graham Moffett DPFR
2nd V40 Peter Hague DPFR
1st V50 Gavin Williams DPFR
1st V60 Keith Holmes DPFR


Mr Bond on his way to Victory at Salt Cellar with a New Course Record.

Mr Bond on his way to Victory at Salt Cellar with a New Course Record.

For those who missed the final race in the Gritstone Series, Grin and Bear It, ladies V60 winner, Dot Kesterton, put her own race report together, here >>

To see the full Gritstone Series Results Click Here >>

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The Final Countdown…

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.

Gaye FThe 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 places are two different generations with Pat Goodall of Totley currently lying in 2nd and is completing 60 races in her 60th year and as I write is heading for 100. In third spot is Ellie Crownshaw of Bradfield School, a former Gritty Series winner completing the adult series for the 1st time. She has improved amazingly throughout the series and one to watch for next year and beyond. So who can so can challenge these three? With 4 race to count, there are a number of ladies who have done very well in three events so far, all from local Peak District clubs. From Dark Peak Claire Oliffe and Jane Crowson, Caz Kay from Totley, Zoe Proctor and Emma Gerrad of Pennine all have a chance of challenging the podium spots if they complete Grin & Bear it and do well.

Stu Bond, Dark Peak, has already secured a win in the Men’s Sereies, no one can get enough points at Grin & Bear It to challenge him. Steve Franklin, Totley  and Martin Dawson are currently 2nd and 3rd respectively. Jonny Crickmore , Dark Peak could challenge for the podium as he had an excellent start to the season. Apparently he is injured at the moment so don’t think he will be at the race.  Andrew Wainwright had good runs at Great Hucklow  and Salt Cellar and a good run this weekend could see him in a top spot.

There is a lot of competition in the vet categories. On current standing in the mens, 4th– 8th place are all held by V40’s with Dark Peaks Graham Moffatt in the lead. Dark Peak are also doing well in the V50’s with a battle going on between Gavin Williams and Andy Barnet, both previous winners. Jeremy Brayshaw, Totley, and Mike Arundale are battling it out for the V60 honours. The women’s V40 is been led by Gay Fletcher, V50 Pat Goodall and V60 Dot Kesterton (Team Accelerate-Scott). 15 miles of peak bog will finally decide the places, it will be a tough one, so you would be advised to ‘Grin and Bear It’.

(Review written by Debs Smith, Accelerate and Dark Peak)

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Grinning All the Way…

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 was recently described by one of our customers on a recee as a “lunar landscape”.  Although the peak bogs can be intimating especially after rain you normally don’t sink too far. But be warned there is an especially deep bog but we have been assured that a member of the mountain rescue team will be there to take you picture before helping you out! All the checkpoints will be manned by mountain rescue so there will be plenty of marshals out of the course. You will have to navigate your own way between the check points so map and compass are essential especially if the mist is down (picture).

Outer Edges

I spoke to Simon the race organiser this week to confirm a few details. The race start is 10:30am NOT 10am as on some documents. Plus there is entry on the day for runners. It will cost you more to enter on the day but as the money is going to Mountain Rescue I am sure no one will mind. There will be much needed hot food available at the end. Plus the Lord Major of Sheffield is starting the race.

Having not done the race before I am very jealous of everyone taking part. I do have a love/hate relationship with Outeredges it is amazing we have such wilderness so close to cities and main roads. I love jumping across peat bogs but I do get flash backs to various High Peak Marathon adventure when up there! I will be here at Accelerate as it is a Saturday, however Stu will be out and about, with his camera, so don’t forget to smile as he snaps away and cheers you all on. Hopefully he will bring some cake back to the shop, or there could be an ‘issue’.

If anyone has any questions on the race or kit for it do give us a call 0114 2422569. It is full FRA kit: full waterproof cover- top with hood and bottoms, hat, gloves, whistle,  map, compass and emergency food.

It is going to be a tough but fantastic race, ENJOY!

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