report from John Duff:
British Fell Relays 15th October 2016
NFR had a great day at the British Fell Relays on Saturday. The event was held at Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond, just north of Glasgow. We finished 31st out of 115 teams – our highest finish for a number of years.
The weather was dreich – low cloud at about 1,000 feet with drizzle interspersed with heavy showers. John Tollitt was our lead-out man on the short first leg. He put in a fine performance, finishing less than 10 minutes behind the leaders. Frank Shillitoe & I took over for Leg 2 which followed a horseshoe route over Beinn Dubh.
There was a real sting in the tail climb towards the end – 350 metres, most of which seemed to be on all-fours. Despite Frank’s shoe starting to fall apart, we managed to hold our placing on the long descent, and handed on the baton to Jonny Malley & Scott Gibson for the navigation leg.
The teams on the nav leg were away a long time, and started to return very gradually in dribs and drabs. Reports filtered through of “tough navigation in zero visibility, featureless terrain, endless re-entrants and hummocks etc”. Just when we were wondering how our lads would fare, they burst into changeover, taking Richard Garland by surprise who duly dashed off on leg 4. Jonny & Scott had run a storming leg – 16th fastest on the day, lifting our overall standing by a whopping 36 places. Richard completed the job, holding his own in company with some fast leg 4 runners, to bring us home in 31st place.
At the sharp end, Dark Peak won ahead of Shettleston and Hunters Bog Trotters – who also won the ladies’ race. Other local clubs taking part were North Shields Poly and DFR. Full results are on the sportident website, and leg maps etc are on the event website. Many thanks to the organisers Westerlands, and our team captain Frank.
More of Richard Garland’s photos on Facebook