Saltwell Fell Race – Stanhope

Stanhope Fell Race

Report submitted by Louise Priestley

The Race Stanhope Fell Race
Overall Score (out of a possible 35)  31
PB Potential 1 – A really hard course, not sure PB’s would ever be possible!!
Atmosphere 5 – A great laugh, good banter along the way
Organisation 5 – Not much to it, very simple but effective
Scenery 5 – Outstandingly beautiful
Value for Money 5 – £5 bargain
Beginner Friendliness 5 – Lots of first time bounders
Club Support & Social 5 – A few from the club were there to support along the way. Presentation after the event at the Smelters
In Short Tough but brilliant. I’ll definitely be back!
In Full: I’m not feeling particularly fit at the moment but I decided to give this a go for the experience. Loving cross countries as much as I do, I’ve been keen to try out a fell race and I liked the fact this was a local event.

The weather was beautiful and the views across the fells were outstanding. A few of us headed over and as usual all were in good spirits. We registered at the side of the road – I loved the simplicity of this event, along with the fact that it was a bargain at £5.

As we stood around people discussed the overall distance as being 5miles – on completion I can add this was NOT CORRECT!! I clocked it as about 6.2mile and that extra 1.2 miles & on an uphill finish made ALL the difference J

The course was pointed out by fellow bounders and previous years experiences discussed. I switched off after a while and decided on a ‘let’s just take it as it comes’ approach.

I did however, take on board the 4 key facts i.e. you climb up, you drop down, you jump in a river & you climb up to the finish line.

These 4 factors proved to be pretty accurate.

Starting & stopping throughout the event was pretty inevitable due to the terrain. The ground was uneven & that along with rocks & scrambles, bracken, fern & peat bogs led to numerous twists of my ankles. The extremely steep descent down to the river made it pretty impossible to run (for an inexperienced fell-runner anyway!) Sitting on my ‘bot’ or sliding down on my hunkers seemed the most sensible way to get down.

The river at the bottom with the strategically placed stampers ensured runners got as far in as possible was HILARIOUS. You basically jumped in, punched your number to prove you hadn’t avoided the challenge, before clambering back out & continuing with your run.   The hills seemed never ending as we finally approached the final one, leading up to the finish line. With gritted teeth and a gurn or two, I mustered up some energy & made it up to & across the finish line.

(I did think I was going to throw up at the end, sorry Mark Fish for my inability to speak to you!)

It was a great course, tough but brilliant & definitely highly recommended. I loved the fells and can’t wait for the next one.

 Thanks as always to everyone for your invaluable support & banter along the way.

 Full results can be found here


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