Runners brave the weather for festive fell race
Tuesday 2nd January 2018 @ 13:03 by Mark Phillip
Sports

Glossop’s Des Gibbons closed his 2017 fell race promotions with the Wormstones Race on New Years Eve, a race which acted as a trial for the Inter-Counties Fell Race next May.

Many of the 94 who competed in the five-mile race from the Beehive in Whitfield entered into the festive spirit and competed in fancy dress. The one-lap circuit went through Gnat Hole, up to the trig point on Wormstones, then across and down to Harry Hut to return by lanes to the Beehive. Every step was treacherous yet the winners managed to clock fast times.

First home on a wind-swept mud bath was Alasdair Campbell from Buxton AC. He took 31 minutes 14 seconds, a very good run as his time was close to the course record set in summer. He was 11 seconds quicker (31:25) than Dan Howarth, representing Keswick AC, but originates from Matlock. Third man home was Ben Light, Buxton AC in 33:59.

Caitlin Rice from Glossop also ran well placing 8th overall, in 36:55. She ran for Ribble Valley Harriers and was wearing their colours which included a hat that resembled a bee. She too must have floated over the mud as her time was fast for the conditions. Buxton had over a dozen out and supplied the second lady in Helen Thornhill, an under 23 who was 21st overall and took 40:15. Elizabeth Leason, also aged under 23, was the third lady and had the pick of the well-wrapped prizes.

Runners came from Rossendale, Wharfedale, and Liverpool, with a surprise entry from Fulham Running Club. Andrew Han placed a creditable 11th. The first Glossopdale Harrier was Paul Skuse in 37:33

With another hat on Des is the manager for Derbyshire’s fell running team and will organise the 2018 Inter-Counties fell race. The Fell Runners Association, the sports governing body, has chosen the Lads Leap race from Crowden. This short race over 6 miles will be a great tester as the best Brits will flock to Crowden for it on Saturday 19 May. Meanwhile for Des it is back to the day job.

By Neil Shuttleworth