Race date: Saturday, 18 May 2019
Race report by Richard Copeland
I saw the details for the Hathersage Hurtle in December last year and thought the timing – around a month after Paris – would be ideal and a first venture into proper outdoor running! Emma took a bit of persuasion but phrases like ‘it’s only 20 miles’ and ‘we can walk the uphill’ won her over!
Paris was amazing but I really wanted a good rest afterwards so did very little running before this event other than a couple of parkruns (note the lower-case p!) Emma and I did a recce of the first section on the Friday before and boy! do you realise you quickly lose fitness! The 10 miles or so we did on the Friday was really tough for me and I seriously considered dropping but persuaded myself I could walk it all if needed. Looking back, the training I’d done for 5 months or so for Paris, had been exactly that – training for Paris. Usually flat and always slow, with hills off the menu.
The day itself though was great. The weather was perfect for this type of running: fairly still, mild without being hot, and cloudy. Organisation was spot on. A field nearby had been given over for free parking and the event village at the Hathersage FC ground was well stocked with toilets, refreshments and registration tents. Post-race beers and BBQs were being set up and the atmosphere was really nice. Everyone looked like pro fell runners though!! Emma and I were starting to feel quite out of place!!
The race starts in a field opposite the race HQ and doubles back on itself to help thin everyone out before some bottle necks at gates and styles. First half mile or so was through fields before the route joined some minor roads and tracks as we climbed up to the transmitter mast above Shatton Hall. This was a gruelling climb which was walked by many and took a lot of strength from these unprepared pegs!! What goes up must come down of course and the run down to Brough was lightning and a little hairy with the steep and gravelly track. The route carried us down through Shatton, over the main road and under the railroad to join the Thornhill Trail which gives a gentle trot up the Yorkshire Bridge below Ladybower. Crossing the Derwent marks the start of a continual 4-mile climb (again mostly walked by many) up to Stanage and the wonderful views down Hope Valley. Even when up on the flat, the running is tricky over the rocks with oh-so-tired legs. We dropped down off Stanage to the head of the Burbage trail and the delightful sweep through the valley, over the road and down to Padley Gorge. The run through the woods down to Grindleford was again difficult with the rocks and roots but I negotiated this without incident! The marshal at the final checkpoint at Grindleford said just two flat miles to go. These miles seemed endless though and with no idea where the finish was it was hard to keep going. Finally, I spotted the top of the goalposts the finish was in sight!! I crossed the line with a time of 5:11:09 and totally exhausted. For me, with the lack of hill training, it was way, way tougher than the Paris marathon, but I did it. And I wasn’t last! Despite running with the back-marker marshals for a time near Shatton, I managed to get ahead of a few and keep going.
Again, there was a lovely atmosphere at the finish with cake, beer, BBQs and music. I met back up with Emma who had done fantastically well to finish with a time of 4:15:42 with her first run over half-marathon distance.
So first proper ‘outdoor’ run and looking back we both loved it (not necessarily at the time!). I’ll certainly do it again and will prepare more properly for it next time. The organisers were excellent and the route stunning! The marshals throughout were so friendly and thanks to everyone at all the aid station and checkpoints.
The race was won by Dave Archer of Matlock AC in 2:14:24. First woman (and second overall) was Zanthe Wray of Dark Peak Fell Runners. Sian Evans (2nd woman), Hal Roberts (3rd man), Fran Cummins (4th woman) all top-fived in their respective genders.
|4||3||Hal Roberts||M Open||02:31:43|
|5||2||Sian Evans||F Open||02:32:02|
|13||10||Alex Shepherd||M V40||02:46:33|
|17||4||Fran Cummins||F Open||02:50:53|
|30||24||Kevin Firth||M V40||02:59:49|
|38||29||Sergei Shkul||M V40||03:02:00|
|44||35||Will Day||M V50||03:03:50|
|50||13||Helen Burgess||F Open||03:07:10|
|71||53||Mark Platton||M V50||03:16:33|
|75||55||Matt Broadhead||M V40||03:17:31|
|82||24||Pippa Powell||F V40||03:19:41|
|87||62||Mark Davies||M V40||03:20:33|
|116||77||Richard Sands||M V40||03:29:02|
|132||85||Chris Walker||M V40||03:32:38|
|140||50||Mir Jansen||F V50||03:35:11|
|174||107||Dean Harding||M Open||03:44:54|
|184||112||Mark James||M V40||03:52:18|
|218||95||Emma Kingston||F V40||04:15:42|
|284||145||Lee Mills||M V40||04:51:36|
|286||140||Sallyann Winslow||F V40||04:51:39|
|302||152||David Adams||M V40||05:00:54|
|303||153||Matthew Winslow||M V40||05:00:56|
|316||160||Richard Copeland||M V40||05:11:09|