Race Date: Sunday 4th March 2018
Race Report by Matt Gibson
While others were cancelling training sessions, training indoors, resorting to treadmills, hunting for flat snow free routes and bemoaning the cancellation of Parkruns, some of us were still out racing. Many races were cancelled this weekend but fortunately the tough folk of Congleton Harriers didn’t back down and decided it was business as usual.
The race started at 11am below the snow line on a disused race track sheltered from the wind, making it a very pleasant morning. The first three or four miles were all uphill taking us above the snow line and up to the top of The Cloud, or Bosley Cloud, the hill which gives the race its name. At 343 metres (1,125 ft) in height, it is one of the highest hills in the area. Its heather-covered summit plateau is crowned by a trig point from which extensive views over Congleton, Biddulph, Macclesfield, Holmes Chapel and the Greater Manchester area can be enjoyed. Apparently it is also possible to see the top of Snowdon from here. I’d like to describe the far reaching views from the top, but alas we could only see 50 yards in front of us through the fog.
Thankfully the wind wasn’t as strong as we’d experienced earlier in the week, but it had been a tough climb to the top and the weather was now far less pleasant. From this point onwards the route was generally downhill with the odd nasty incline thrown in taking us back to Congleton through a mixture of snow, ice, mud, slush, energy sapping boggy swamp-like fields, 18 inch snow drifts, trails, tracks, woodland and even a little bit of tarmac thrown in. A bit of everything to occupy the mind.
It is a really well organised and well marshalled event that is worth the trip across the Peak District, with hot soup and cakes a plenty at the finish line if you need tempting further.
The winner was Carl Moulton of Boalloy RC in 58 mins 31 secs and 1st female was Harriet Pickup also of Boalloy RC in 74 mins 8 secs. Champion Strider for the day was myself in 89:01.
Full results can be found here.