Ilam fell race writeup

Today me and Ruth represented the Harriers at the Illam Fell Race on what was looking like a very damp evening. With the horrendous rain this morning and the weather forecast not looking good for the race time even the organisers put out a late message for compulsory water proof tops to be bought!

On arrival at the lovely village of Illam it seems we had struck it out luck weather wise! All the foreboding dark clouds that had been going over us seemed to be holding off. The start line was at the bottom of Bunster Hill and it was then that me and Ruth looked at each other and went “sh*t!” as we realised it would be literally a free for all scramble up this steep hill to the top! I will mention this as it will never happen again..but over half way up..I suddenly found myself side by side with Ruth..I didn’t have any illusions this would last though 😂sure enough on getting to the top she had that amazing burst of power and took off leaving me behind! However I’m alright with this and set my sights on another runner

It was a steep descent to the bottom where the route was nice and flat for a short while by the river, then it was over the Dove Dale Stones and up the next steep hill of Flagpole Hill. This was yet another brutal hand on your hip bent over climb, I don’t know what was noisier, my whistling breathing or my whistling hearing aids in my pocket! On getting your breath back it was a chance to get a nice fast run on the flats before the final climb (and more effing and blinding) up Thorpe Cloud and back down. One chap next to me slipped on the wet grass and ending up descending half way down on his bum which had me laughing!

As a few runners at the end said, all fun and games unless you meet a stone while going down and thats a career as a soprano sorted! The final dash was back to Illam Hall. This was the first time both of us had done this race but give a cheer for Ruth who did the club proud by claiming 1st Lady! My review after a hot shower and banana on toast? Definitely one to do next year! The views at the top make the brutal climbs worth it and it is only 4.3 miles so nice and short!

Andy Stubbs
Old enough to know better