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