On Saturday I ran the UK Fell Relay Championships in Kettlewell. My club Dark Peak Fell Runners were given little hope in the predictions on the popular fell running forums and independent blogs online. The competition was going to be tough and we were thought of as too weak an opposition for Bingley, Leeds AC, Shettleston Harriers, Borrowdale and Pudsey and Bramley. 

The race consists of four legs, two of which are run in pairs. I was handed the navigation leg (one of the pairs legs) by our team captain Rob Little. After the nightmare at the Ian Hodgson's a couple of weeks before I was keen to right my wrong doings with a map in hand. 

The captain got us off to a great start tearing in to the finishing field in first place ahead of some quality runners. He handed over to Oli and Rob who I imagine spent most of their leg arguing about training philosophy, which type of chocolate milk offers "optimum performance" and politics. Despite this Rhys and I saw them coming down the hill to the changeover having increased the advantage over Mercia. We got a bit of banter from the teams at that point along the lines of "the pressures on now boys". After Rob and Oli passed on the metaphorical baton with a weary hand slap Rhys and I set off hard. We didn't want to act as navigators for the chasing pack. We hit the first and second controls with ease and managed to get out of the line of sight. We were slightly left on the way to three but it didn't take much to adjust our line (see map below). The rest of the race passed quickly and on the way to control 6 we could see that we had a big gap. A quick descent later we were back at the finish handing over to Lloyd who finished off the job. 
In the end we were almost five minutes clear and we picked up our gold UK athletics medals in the evening sunshine. I asked a well respected professional sports development officer later that day if a UKA gold medal is better than a WOC gold and he said it is - so it must be. I hope you are reading GG. 

This is extremely exciting for Dark Peak. There were some good teams out but our victory was convincing. With the likes of Stuart Bond, Ralph Street, Matthew Speake, Dave Schorah and Tom Beasant all on the "bench" or in the "injury room" the first team could be a mouth watering proposition for years to come. I hope I can make it next year. 

Results: http://www.sportident.co.uk/results/2011/BritishFellRelays/fell_relay_relayoverall.html

Other blog posts: http://www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk/2011/10/16/uka-fell-relays-dark-peak-dominate/http://fellrunningbriefs.blogspot.com/2011/10/sun-shone-but-darkness-reigned-in.html

Unfortunately Lloyd had to go and catch his ferry so missed this. 
10/18/2011 04:20:35 am

I am indeed reading, and Eddie can piss off. Nice one though boys!

10/18/2011 06:39:08 pm

Excellent blog and the nod to "one direction" has not escaped this ex-pat! As I'm sure Rob & Oli would hastily point out choco milk is for recovery not performance. For next time Kris is over on Lillomarka duties I can recommend this one for taste & enjoyment: http://www.qsjokolademelk.no/
or this one for optimum recovery:

10/20/2011 12:30:59 am

Good blog John, and well done, oh and thanks for the link out to MST.

I did 'mention' DPFR in my article here http://www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk/2011/10/14/UKA-fell-relays-baton-down-the-hatches/, though granted I didnt have you guys down as favourites - well done again!


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