Captain Cooks Fell Race – New Years Day

Captain Cook’s Report

263 runners lined up outside the Royal Oak to shake off the Christmas cobwebs and nearly 10% of the field were NYMAC runners with 21 men and 5 women doing the club proud.  Paul Lowe was our highest place runner finishing second overall and in doing so took a share of the early lead in the NYMAC 2014 fell championship along with Eddie Meehan who also took 2nd in his age category.  Keeping it in the family Claire Lowe was our first female runner home and along with Caroline Graham and Lucy Clough led the ladies to first in the team prize, with the men claiming fifth.

Of course when you’re running the event you only see a small part of the race and have to interpret the bigger picture from the results, photos and what others tell you.  On this course I reckon that you can only see about 40 seconds or so up front and nothing behind, apart from at the turn at the monument.  I’ll will try to bring the 40 seconds that I could see of the race to life where I can though.  I never really saw Paul Lowe, not surprising given the speed he goes and the speed I don’t.  Up ahead I did catch a brief glimpse of Kev McLoughlin on his return following a lay off, it’s was good to see him back running, but I didn’t see him for long because soon he was more than 40 seconds ahead and out of sight.  As I made my way up past the farm I could see Jeff Belt and Jon Skidmore who were about 10 seconds or so ahead and Paul McGough and Nick Simmons were running alongside me.  As a non fell running Fell Manager for most of the last year it was good to have some runners I knew to work off as I was feeling a bit out of sorts to be honest, even stumbling on a couple of occasions as soon as the track veered right and got rougher as it started to head up towards the wood.  By this point Jeff had fallen back a bit after a strong start and Jon didn’t seem to be enjoying it too much as he mumbled something to the effect of ‘wish I’d done the Parkrun instead’ as I went past him.  Nick was going strongly though and passed me on the steep section through the woods where it takes a lot of effort just to keep moving forward.  I was trying to run within myself on the ascent but I decided to go with him and try to keep in touch on the descent if I could without going too much into the red.

In terms of time the monument comes at a little more than halfway, but of course you run down at about twice the speed you go up, so you have the bulk of the distance still to go.  Normally I would moan about this race and its lack of technical descent, I remember once saying it was just a road race with a bit of mud.  That was partly tongue in cheek but I have never done that well in this event and always feel vulnerable to the roadies so I needed to think of a suitable excuse!  Today though coming back from an injury I was glad of the easy downhills.  From the monument it’s a very fast race with only a short uphill section of tarmac to slow you down before the section through the fields at the end.  Try as I might I though I couldn’t seem to get within 20 metres of Nick who was still running really smoothly.  As there was no one immediately behind I was just about to settle for what I had when I seemed to close a little.  Approaching a gate I was just about on him when he took me by surprise and vaulted it.  An impressive move, I wasn’t feeling so confident and as a result was back to square one.  Again I gradually drew him in on the easy lower slopes and just managed to edge past about 400 metres before the finish, I hoped he would give up the ghost but no such luck and he rightly made me work all the way to the line and we nearly caught the runner in front in the process.  A good battle and for me finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Full results are on the Esk Valley site but NYMAC runners are listed below:

2nd       Paul Lowe              34.00

26th     Kev McLoughlin       37.29

40th     Paul McLean           38.36 (not listed as NYMAC but I think Paul has joined)

41st      Paul Christon          38.39

42nd     Nick Simmons        38.45

49th     Jonathan Skidmore   39.39

54th     Paul McGough          40.13

59th     Jeff Belt                    40.51

60th     Paul Godley              40.53

75th     Gary Burnip               42.03

88th     Ian Hodgson              42.55

94th     Julian Barwick           43.06

140th   Claire Lowe               46.05

144th   Caroline Graham        46.12

148th   Chris Wright              46.23

152nd  Eddie Meehan            46.34

154th   Ian Higgins                46.47

155th   Mark Behrens            46.54

167th   Lucy Clough              47.57

174th   Di Jobson                  48.24

192nd Phil Hughes-N’bro       49.54

194th   Bill Pennell               50.02

207th   Doug Welsh              50.53

222nd  Bob Howe                 52.47

232nd  Helen Duggleby         55.06

236th   Richie Clarke             56.22


Paul Christon


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