The 3rd Castleton Show Run
 11th Sept 2004

Saturday 11 September 2004 dawns quite brightly and quite breezily. After helping the rest of the family transport and stage numerous exhibits for the handicraft marquees, I circle the show field to make contact with the show secretary, announcer and steward – everything is in order, timetable confirmed.

First circuit of the course, with heavy hammer, to set out direction arrows and ‘beware runner’ signs, before grabbing some home baking in the cricket pavilion, and setting up race registration. Runners start to arrive, marshals start to appear, I start to get busy. Saved by Dave Parry, who takes over registration, whilst I brief the marshals. With three cattle-grids, four road junctions and a difficult crossroads to cover, we can manage it with Bill and Di and six Castleton youngsters and Mick (after his gate duties) and two cars and a bit of to-ing and fro-ing!

I call runners to attention for a final briefing outside the National Park tent – keep left, go left at the cattlegrids and go left onto the footbridge at the ford (watch the new curbs!).

Dave arrives, takes some photos, holds the runners whilst I run for my car to lead the way – and they’re off! There is still a bunch together at the crossroads, but someone makes a break on the downhill to Dibble Bridge (Keith Dowson). After the climb, though, it’s Paul Lowe and Rob Campbell together, and they start to pull away. Is Rob forcing the pace on this flattish part?

Paul breaks away at 4km, on the descent to ford at Hob Hole – a jinx through the bollards and over the bridge, but Rob opts to get his feet wet. I can only see Paul now in my rear view mirror, but apparently Rob doesn’t drop much further back for the rest of the race. Pete Connor appears, to shout encouragement (?) at the 5km high point before the long steady descent to Westerdale. Fred Nightingale’s parents are there too.

After the short sharp climb into Westerdale, it’s undulating for the rest of the way home – Paul appears comfortable. 2km to go and Pete Connor appears again. After the crossroads I speed away to prepare the ‘reception committee’ – gate open, Dave with clipboard and stopwatch, Mike the announcer with roving microphone announces everyone in. Paul is a minute outside his record (the breeze on the way out!) but Alison Raw battles to the line – new ladies record by 3 secs.

Everyone is back within the next 20 mins – Castleton man Tom Chadwick, first over 60, last man home, but Mike the announcer ensures he gets a big cheer.

Consult with Dave on the prize-winners, unload the wine and beer onto the table, and we get underway on schedule (before the motor bike display starts in earnest!) Mingle with the runners, thank the marshals, join Rob Pollard in the cricket pavilion for some more home baking. Spot Paul Kelly lugging bags of purchases to the car – nice plants!

Then it’s a third circuit of the course to collect the signposts, say goodbye to Dave and Pat Parry who are still doing the marquees. After loading the car back up with the family’s handicrafts and trophies, the marquees are cleared ready for the evening disco.

Not a bad turnout for the run, but could do with some more. Everyone seems to have enjoyed their day out - in the North York Moors, at a typical village show.

I ponder next year’s ‘marketing’ – ‘a road race for fell runners - a fell race for road runners’ – if you haven’t tried it, then you’ll just have to come along next year to decide – 2nd Saturday in September (the 10th in 2005 I believe) – and if you have tried it, I look forward to seeing you again next year!

Chris Wright – race organiser