Fairfield Horseshoe report

Report from Gary Jones:

Fairfield Horseshoe 2017

This was the 51st running of the classic Fairfield Horseshoe,so one of the oldest races on the FRA calendar.Chip timing was used at a fell race shock horror for the older traditionalists but went down really well and ultimately a sign of the times.

NFR was represented by Philip Pearson,Trevor Symonds and myself but fellow Cramlington resident Kris White was running and it was good to have a bit crack beforehand .It was really nice on the valley floor with a misty covering on the fell tops which had a kind of eery into the unknown quality.I had driven all the way to the Lake district forgetting to put my fell shoes in the car so whilst delighted that Pete Blands van was there but not so delighted i had to shell out the best part of £70 on some fetching black and white Walshes.

The race was as tough as ever with the slog up Nab Scar hitting me as hard as ever destroying the quads immediately so was a case of hands on knees and power striding.Once on top despite the more runnable part running towards Great Rigg the damage done on the climb made it hard to get the speed going which was frustrating.The climb up Fairfield was helped being in a kind of train of 4 as in cycling but my god the temperature was really low and descending the technical part off Fairfield was kind of frantic to get out of the chilly breeze but really quite tricky as the rocks were really greasy which the newly purchased Walshes weren’t dealing with too well(I was told afterwards that Inov8s weren’t much better!!).I descended really well passing quite a few runners which my strava confirmed was sub 6 minute miling.A few navigational errors on the descent saw me go too close to the wall where there was big drops and a few expletives were let out but those of you that have ran this race will tell you this is one of the fastest enjoyable descents in all of fell running.The run in to Rydal Hall along the track takes the life out of your legs but i was pleased to run my fastest time on the route to come in 25th.
Philip wasnt too far behind me in 49th as 2nd V50 and Trevor in 231st as 9th V60.
The race was won by ex Northumberland resident Ben Abdelnoor

Gary Jones

Pendulum Fell Race report

Report from Gary Jones:

Pendulum Fell Race 2017

Ever since Glen and Jack Mcwilliams created this A class brute of a race I thought I’m going to have a go at that, but having said that looking at the pictures of the 2016 edition I was pleased I was greeted on arrival with near ideal conditions apart from a bit of wind. It was nice to catch up with a few NFR new and old as well as some faces from further afield like Paul Butler and Joe Blackett. As I’ve not being on scene much in recent years I didnt know what to expect. Jack done the briefing Whilst some motivational music played which was definately unique in any fell race I’ve ever been to. The race stated and after the first stile a group of 4 headed by Edis of Keswick went on the more runnable but longer Track to the right Whilst myself and a little further back fellow NFR Scott Gibson took the more direct left trod. The front of the race stayed much the same all the way up Cheviot which was marvellously dry with a prevailing wind. On the top the leaders had already opened up a fair lead with Edis, Kurt Heron,and 2 DFR runners ahead with Andy Blackett and NFR Lee Bennett not far behind me. I descended quite well but conserving energy was joined by Andy who I know is a good climber.
Passed back down by the bridge ready for the steep initial climb to the Crags and I could see 4th not too far ahead. I was filled with trepidation at the prospect prospect of a bog before the very tough climb up Hedgehope but after the Crags whilst in pursuit of Blackett it was really quite dry!
The climb up Hedgehope was a case of head down and yomp trying to bridge the gap ahead.
On the descent off Hedgehope despite a jelly legged descent I Passed Heron to go to 6th which would never of happened in a road race (the more fell races he does with his raw speed then look out!). The run in accross to the Crags and down to the finish was most enjoyable and finished 6th.
This 11.2 mile 3689ft classic certainly is a tough one but a brilliant route and great event put on by the Mcwilliams and very well done to all my fellow NFR and all other runners for completing.
I hope this becomes a permanent fixture on the Fell running calendar.

Gary

NFR Champs update

Windy Gyle Fell Race, June 18th will be the substitute race following the land access problems with Allendale Fair Race. Updated Champs

It is close to the mid week Humbleton Fell race but enables us to keep to the Medium category Northumberland choice.

The next Championship race is on Sunday 30th April – Cheviot and Hedgehope Pendulum (AM).

Happy running

Paul and Frank

Allendale Fair Race

race_tape-e1371633698511Please note that Allendale Fair Race is on Saturday 27th May, not 3rd June as was previously stated here, Allen Valley Striders site and the FRA guide.

Also, due to nesting birds, the route has had to be changed. The result is that the race is now deemed a trail race and as such has been removed from the NFR Club Championships. A replacement Championship race will be found.

It is still sure be a great race and day out, more details on Allen Valley Striders website