Castleton Show Run

This race is billed as a road race for fell runners or a fell race for road runners, just to clarify for those that haven’t done it i can confirm that it is a road race, once you have left the show field at no point will your trainers leave the tarmac.  Actually that’s not true there is about 10 yards of field at the end.  Like many village show runs this event does have a sense of occasion as you are cheered out and, hopefully, cheered in.  This, along with a fair share of hills, makes this race a bit different to your average road race and it is a particular favourite of mine.

After Dave Parry starts us off there is a mad dash for the front, a trait typical of fell and cross country runners in order to gain position on a narrowing track.  There’s really no need on this race as it’s road all the way but I suppose old habits die hard.  I’ve learned to take it easy on the first climb on most races that I do then really go for it on the first descent.  After going over the first climb in around 20th position or so I descend quickly and manage to get into a small group containing fellow club members Brian Saysell and Anthony Harnett.  Meanwhile up front Mike Jeffries is on his way to individual victory as well as leading NYMAC to a team win with the help of his brother Chris and Chris Dunne.

With its ups and downs this is a route where you’ve got to run your own race and as such you can often end up running for much of it on your own, as I did after Hob Hole.  On the climb out of Hob Hole I decide to let Anthony go – not that I had much choice! – hoping to catch him later, he got a gap of around 20 seconds or so and I never managed to get it back.  I really pushed it on the final descent to try to catch Ian McGrath from Durham Fell Runners, I seemed to have been gradually closing on him for the last 5K, but I fell agonisingly short and was just about on him as we re entered the show field but the line came too quickly.  I stopped my watch at 39.12 which I was well pleased with only to be given an official time of 39.25 which I couldn’t quite work out as Ian was given 39.10 and I was within 10 metres of him!

14 NYMAC runners completed this race, making up nearly one fifth of the field.  If you do road 10K’s consider giving this event a go, it falls just short of 10K at around 6 miles but the time seems to pass quite quickly as there’s always a hill or a descent to think about so you aren’t just knocking out the K’s in a metronomic fashion.  Some of the hills are quite steep but you can run them and if you are tempted to walk remember that Peter Connor will probably be strategically placing himself at the top of one of them to make sure that you don’t!

Paul Christon