Tigers Trail Race 2022 Result

Tigers Trail Race (5.5m) Wednesday 27th April 2022

Report by Rob Byers.

Set in the picturesque Limb Brook valley (Site of the upcoming Steel City Trail 10) the Tigers Trail represents an excellent introduction to fell running for those looking for an outing on the trails without the worry of getting lost in the wilderness. The event is organised by Totley AC and is based in and around the Tigers Rugby club. Who doesn’t love a race venue with an active bar?

We had a fantastic Striders’ turnout and some great performances across the board. Of particular note, Abbie Pearse kept her winning streak going with a new course record time of 35:51, simply outstanding given the difficulty of the course. Paul Middlemas also came 2nd in the M40 category (And probably should have been 5th overall had I not held him up at a ladder stile!) in a time of 34:45, netting himself a hamper of fresh strawberries and beer. The overall winner was Bertie Houghton of Hallamshire in a time of 32:35.

It is perhaps because of the race’s reputation as a good intro to fell running that I found myself literally dusting off my trail shoes and toeing the start line together with 22 other Striders. Due to some pandemic related schedule shuffling, my driving test was set for 7am the following morning; so my top priority was simply surviving the oncoming gauntlet with functional feet.

The first mile is extremely fast, on smooth downhill tarmac. As fun as that is, there is an impending feeling of doom that gravity isn’t going to be on your side for much longer. The following section involves a steady 2.5km climb up the Limb Brook trail with very brief sections of flat/downhill respite. As you reach the peak of this gauntlet, you’re faced with a quick hop over a stile before joining Sheephill Road (Those who did the Sheffy Half may recall this as the location of the pub at the top of the hill!). The route then winds its way up through the Lady Canning’s plantation for a further kilometre, dodging the odd mountain bike careening the opposite way. It was around this point that I started to realise that I had completely misjudged my effort, or to put it in Yorkshire slang – my legs were absolutely buggered. I figured if I could just reach the crest of the hill, I would sign off and let gravity do the rest of the work. However, the upcoming downhill had other plans, consisting of a mile of sharp rocks, loose scree and generally very tricky terrain. Doing my best to keep my feet functional I pressed on, but found myself completely humbled by the manner in which some of the more experienced fell runners were just gliding over this terrain as if it were tarmac. I could hear someone quickly approaching behind as a neared the final stile, and in a last-ditch attempt to not lose any further positions I rather selfishly pushed on to reach the bottleneck first. The next mile was back on smooth downhill tarmac, and I quickly realised that my pursuer was Paul Middlemas; a very friendly and familiar face (Shoutout to Peter’s excellent training sessions on Tuesdays & Thursdays). Together we both started the long sprint down the hill for home, probably changing position three or four times. We rounded the final turn back onto the grass, and a few lung busting strides later we were finally at the finish, ready to collapse. I can safely say that without Paul’s pressure and competition at the end, I would have left seconds on the table, a testament to how important it is to always push our fellow club mates to their best.

Full results can be found here https://www.avtiming.com/tigerstrail

Position Name Category Category Place Time
5 Robert Byers MSEN 4th 34:31
6 Paul Middlemas M40 2nd 34:45
10 Abbie Pearse FSEN 1st 35:51
26 Al Cook M50 4th 38:41
29 Neil Schofield M50 5th 38:44
39 Richard Carter M40 11th 39:41
42 Tim Holt M40 12th 39:54
50 Andrew Mansfield M40 16th 40:54
78 Mark A Platton M50 11th 43:12
80 Jim Rangeley MSEN 23rd 43:22
87 Jennie Stevens F40 9th 44:03
101 Lee Mills M40 28th 45:21
135 Will Day M50 23rd 48:17
140 Helen Royles-Jones FSEN 21st 49:26
145 Kate Scott F50 5th 50:04
146 Tessa Bainbridge FSEN 24th 49:53
151 Sally Twigg FSEN 26th 51:04
174 Laura Rangeley FSEN 32nd 55:45
182 Nicole Nield F60 8th 58:28
185 Rachel Rea F40 21st 58:32
187 Jane Huws F50 12th 59:26
189 Jo Gleig F60 9th 01:00:05
~192 Paul Shelton NA NA ~01:02:36
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