Roaches fell race 2022 report by Jim Rangeley

Race date: 13 November 2022

Race distance: 15 miles (3700ft of ascent)

With 15 miles and 1000m of climb, The Roaches fell race is perfect for those with a keen need for punishment, and includes some excellent (weather dependent) views for a bargain £5 on the day entrance fee.

The drive of just over an hour to Tittesworth Reservoir for good loos and race day parking was quite a cloudy one. Matt Broadhead was on wheelman duties, slightly hungover from Hop Hideout’s ninth birthday the night before, but navigated the drive through the low cloud that beset the peaks with great aplomb. As we moved west of Buxton on Leek Road, the thick fog cleared to silk sheets and then only wisps that couldn’t hide Hen Cloud rock formation positioned just below the abdomen of the Roaches.

We were greeted by a friendly marshal and car park attendant with “have you run this before?”
“No” we replied in unison heading to race registration.
“You’re going to have great fun, the weather’s perfect”.

Like many of these relatively low key fell races, the start/finish was a small village hall filled with fumes of Deep Heat, platters of cake and pots of tea. We paid the fee, collected numbers and headed back to the car park via the same marshal with the chat of:
“Have you run this before?”
“No” we replied in unison.
“You’re going to have great fun, the weather’s perfect”.

The race starts through grass fields, rocky climbs and a mile or two of sandy edges. The route follows a technical rooty descent through beautiful woodland, then a small dunk in the river Dane before climb number two out through more pasture and more moor while hopping a steel gate or two. Then after a moment or two we reach the start of The Climb up the Cheshire Matterhorn. Something Something 24% gradient for just under 1km before a touch of the white painted trig to mark 7.5 miles and the turn around point. Maybe a little glance to Jodrell Bank while you catch your breath. Then head home in reverse.

By the time I reached the final but pretty relentless climb back up to the Roaches my legs were heavy, and my head was light. Having eaten all the sugar I’d taken with me, only will to finish helped me up the hill. Within the last mile or so I caught back up with Matt, who had a healthy lead on me, but thanks to cramp he had slowed up a touch. Within the last 500m I had pipped him at the post. So I must thank and congratulate Hop Hideout for their birthday and my very narrow first Strider.

And here’s the alternative report, inspired by Michael Rosen’s classic, and submitted in the hope it doesn’t get the Striders website taken down for blatant plagiarism 🙂

We’re going on a Roach Hunt
We’re going to run a big one
What a beautiful day!
We’re not scared

Uh-oh! Grass!
Long grassy climbs
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it…
Oh no!
We’ve got to go through it
Swish, swish, swish, swish

Uh-oh! A river
A deep cold river
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh no, we’ve got to go through it!
Splash, splash, splash, splash.

Uh-oh! Mud!
Thick ooozy mud
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh no, we’ve got to go through it!
Squelch squerch squelch squerch

Uh-oh! A forest!
A big dark forest,
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!
Stumble trip, stumble trip

Uh-oh! Shuttlingsloe!
A rocky arduous Shuttlingsloe!
We can’t go through it
We can’t go under it
Oh no…
We’ve got to go over it.

Ho ho! A trig point!
The breezy peak of the hill!
We’ve made it over it,
No need for under it,
We’re going to get through it!

What’s that…!

One shiny bright tabard!
A well ticked list!
Two companions!

Quick! Back down from the trig!
Back down Shuttlingsloe,
Back through the forest, the mud, the river, the grass
Get to the finish line!

Straight home, up the stairs, into bed, under the covers.
We’re not going on a Roach hunt again… until next year.

The race was won by Jack Scott (inov-8) in 2:03:11, 6 minutes clear of second place; and by Miriam Jones-Walters of Mercia Fell Runners in 2:41:04.

Striders results

P Name Cat Time
106 Jim Rangeley M 3:16:40
108 Matt Broadhead M45 3:16:50

Full results:

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