Report submitted by Lisa Taylor
|The Race||Viking Chase 4 Peaks Fell Race|
|Overall Score (out of a possible 35)||24|
|Value for Money||5|
|Club Support & Social||2|
|In Short||Beautiful views but you have to earn them J|
|In Full This is the last race in the Esk Valley Fell Club summer series and a fundraiser for Cleveland Mountain Rescue. I’ve done a few of the series before but have never had the chance to run this one. It’s always a joy to be out on the North York Moors, so I was looking forward to it.
Leaving the Black & Gold in the wardrobe, Jason & I were playing in the away colours of Northumberland Fell Runners for this one.
We drove up the steep road up Carlton Bank to the start at Lordstones Café. Getting out of the car, it was freezing – a shocking contrast to the temperature when we left the house. Registration and a kit check & we were ready for the off.
It didn’t take long to reflect on the title of the race and realise that anything with 4 peaks in the title wouldn’t be flat. In true fell running tradition, it was straight into an uphill which was steep but runnable. Not much time to get your breath back & into a difficult downhill down the steep flags on the Cleveland Way. These are the worst kind of terrain for me to descend & as I resembled Bambi tip toeing down them, a fair few people sped past me.
Then it was back round past the start line & back into the second of the 2 peaks which was a bit more of a walk than a run. Determined to find a better line down the next descent and avoid the flags, I took a fell trod to the side of the path, following a few wiry fell runners who looked like they knew where they were going (they didn’t). Stuck in a tangle of bracken & ferns, I realised we’d all gone a bit wide of the line and we’d lost a fair bit of time & places trying to get untangled & back on track.
The 3rd peak took us up onto the moor where the sidewind nearly blew me off my feet. Another downhill, then a quick sprint through a field of cows who had thankfully moved a little bit to the side & it was onto the final climb up to the Wainstones.
A final tricky descent down (again poorly executed) & then it was only 2 miles to the finish line. I was under the impression this was a flat run to the finish but it was still a bit undulating and my energy was now running low.
Pushing my legs on through the little uphill of the finishing field, I finally reached the finish line relieved and reminded of just how hard fell races can be. A bag of Haribo & cup of water in the tent & I felt a bit better although I vowed never to do a fell race again. Once I got home I reviewed my calendar to find the next one’s in 2 weeks. Better get those fell shoes clean then. ;-)
With 1800 ft of ascent over 8 miles and some tricky descents this race maybe isn’t the best choice for newbie fell runners although it is well marked & marshalled. Details of all the Esk Valley races can be found here: http://www.eskvalleyfellclub.org/