Monday, 16 May 2011

high peak madness - 10.7m / 3050'

careful study of the FRA calendar (bit of an in-joke at Optimistic Towers as I read it most nights in bed) threw up two races in one day this weeked - Mount Famine and the Bollington Festival Three Peaks.

I had also hoped to tie in the Lantern Pike Dash on Sunday, but higher powers conspired against me, delaying the race by one week to clash with my entry into the inaugral Leaden Boot Challenge.

i was quite looking forward to this bumper day of racing, but unsure how to pace myself to stay the course over both races. on one hand, Mount Famine was the harder, with 1850' of climb over 5 miles, but my second race of the day weighed in at a longer 5.7 miles and a not inconsiderable 1200' of climb.

there is a great account of Mount Famine here at a fellow FRA forumite's blog, so i'll save the details on this race, however i will include a picture of the start (taken at the 2010 running, but I can vouch that the hill is still there):

(picture courtesy Geoff Briggs)
i was pretty happy with my run at this first race of the day, and made my way home as quickly as possible to round up the troops for a trip to Bollington and the day's second race. after refuelling with a slice of pizza and a lucozade, i was on my way again.

the Three Peaks race was to take in the summits of Kerridge Pike, White Nancy and the Nab, before returning to the cricket ground below the Middlewood Way viaduct where we started from.

luckily this race started off on the flat and continued like this for the first couple of miles, giving me time to coax my legs into action. we were soon climbing up to the first hill, i didn't find the going too tough, perhaps as I knew that the climb would be spread over the three peaks.

perhaps the toughest part of the race was the contouring back from Kerridge Pike back onto White Nancy, but we'd soon made the second summit and there was just time to take in the view from the top before we were ploughing down the hill and back into the village. i managed to squeeze the last drops of energy from my legs to make the top of the Nab, before making one final descent to follow the canal home to the festival site. this last stretch brought home memories of the final stretch of the Troller's Trot, however this stretch of waterside running was not nearly as bad in this case, and the only other similarity was a happy one at the end - a big pile of chilli - and courtesty of the brewery, a pint of Three Peaks ale.

high peak madness indeed! to my knowledge these two races were also run by two other runners, from Wilmslow AC and Springfield Striders (Essex!!).

next stop Vanessa Chappell


  1. Good effort t.o.r. They're good these fell races aren't they?

  2. absolutely brilliant! i've been blessed with a couple of good ones recently - Crowden Horseshoe was a cracker too. all within about 20 minutes of where I live as well!