The evening of June 24th saw the 2016 Tideswell Fell Race. The race takes place at Tideswell Dale. This year, 85 runners took part, which is a good turnout. I think there were a few more than last year.
Rain threatened to make the fell race a cold and wet affair. Dark clouds hovered overhead and they unloaded a cache of large hailstones. Luckily the skies cleared and blue skies soon replaced the dark clouds.
Tideswell Fell Race is a nice run with a really tough climb quite early on.
The race organisers always use the money raised to aid a local cause or charity. This year the money raised was to go to rebuilding Tideswell Youth Club, which tragically burnt down last year.
There were a few runners from Tideswell Running Club taking part. Myself, Will Brindley, Glenn Cropper, Pete Walliss, Louise Handley and Paul Weir.
The Race Begins
The race tends to start at a cracking pace, plunging down the track from the bassalt quarry and into the dale. Run down Tideswell Dale and into Litton Mill.
Turning right over the river bridge and up the windy path to the Monsal Trail. Straight over and up the steep steps at the side of the old packhorse bridge that crosses the old railway line.
Then a steep, steep climb to the top. It all depends on how you approach this bit. It can be pleasant if a breeze is blowing, or it can a few minutes of hot, quadbusting hell.
When you hit the top, you will find your legs again and begin to run. Onto the hard farm track and down the bank before turning up to the cottage on the crest of the hill.
As soon as you hit the downhill, You can increase the speed. Buy vary to save some energy for the tarmac and the race back up Tideswell Dale.
The descent plunges down a green hillside and then into a small wood. The path is muddy and rocky. It ends with a long set of steep steps, which are lethal when wet. The steps seem to go on forever and are very steep.
The Tar Stretch
Over the bridge at the bottom and you hit tar. If there is a time to reel a few people in, this is it. Catch them up and push for home as soon as you hit the bottom gates of Ravens Tor Youth Hostel,
The ascent backup Tideswell Dale is a long, drag especially when you’ve just done the best part of a fell race. Disengage the brain and power through it, do not think. Or you’ll end up grabbing a breather.
Pressed hard on the final stretch going through the gate just before the quarry. Not far now.
Nothing left to do now but finish strongly.
Some great running from team TRC this year. Well done everyone.
Phil started running in 2014. His current goal is to compete in as many races as possible and keep improving.