Herod Farm Fell Race 2023

Runners going downhill

Photo: Wioleta Wydrych

Race date: 19 April 2023

Race distance: 4.8km

Race report by Matt Broadhead

The trip across the Pennines began inauspiciously, as I realised I had left the cornflake slices at home. Jim and Laura forgave me and let me ride in their car anyway, and we were soon pulling up outside an unmarked factory unit outside Hayfield, more CIA than FRA. We watched some performative stretching in the car park, then wandered up the road to the start, which was handily out of sight of the hill.

The race is an AS, and the hill is called Whiteley Nab, and it’s a devil whichever side you climb it. We learned this by climbing it twice, from the East and from the North. Climb one is runnable in parts, followed by a descent too steep for breathing and a flat too short for recovering. The second climb is one of those classic “long line of people ahead, all pushing their knees with their hands” ones, which Strava claims gets up to 50% at one point but is mostly in the 20s, and then there’s a beautiful cross-your-fingers descent to the end. The terrain’s not so bad, and not really the point. Just the simplicity of running up and down. Brilliant.

This race reminded me of the Hoppits Hill one I did earlier in the year, packed-in effort, all work and no play, except the whole thing is play really and it’s great.

A stroll back to the car park revealed that not only are the CIA good at spying and that, they also put on a decent spread, with a table straining under the weight of cake. I picked one that said in big letters “NOT VEGETARIAN”, but although lacking meat it was still delicious.

Seriously though, more Striders need to escape from that “Southwest of Sheffield is where short fell races are”. West and North of you are loads of really good, challenging courses just waiting to be slathered in green and gold.

162 runners finished, led by Joe Steward of Salford Harriers in 21:29, and Martha Tibbot of Saddleworth Runners in 25:43. Abbie Pearse was second woman in 27:38.

Striders results

P Name Cat Time
24 Abbie Pearse FSEN 27:38
63 Jim Rangeley MSEN 32:36
100 Matt Broadhead MV45 36:17
139 Laura Rangeley FSEN 40:59

Full results: https://glossopdaleharriers.files.wordpress.com/2023/04/herod-farm-hill-race-results-2023-1.pdf

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