John Hewitt Memorial Shelf Moor Fell Race 2023 report by Jim Rangeley

Jim Rangeley running down a hill. It looks like hard work.

Photo: Alan Scholefield

Race date: 23 September 2023

Race distance: 6 mile

Race report by Jim Rangeley

Named after a previous club chair of the Glossopdale Harriers, the John Hewitt Memorial Shelf Moor fell race is a sub 10km bash sharply up and back down again, simple.

This year it featured as the final race of the national English Fell Race championships, so with a vast vest array from all over the country a field of 98 women and 217 men over two races gathered on a grassy path below Shelf Moor with pleasant spatterings of sun and a light breeze.
Like all fell races worth their salt, this one is run in conjunction with Old Glossop autumn fete, a small affair, with craft stalls and displays, a bar, and a name-the-pig competition.
The race route starts wide, accommodating 4–5 runners abreast through a few vehicle gates for about a mile as the runners spread apart a little before a smaller single file path is reached. As I get to the bottom of the hill a stream of far more athletic goats can be seen skipping up the climb. The majority of the climb is done in one push upward of a kilometre and around 230m of ascent. Merely walking most of it from false summit to false summit before reaching a memorial plaque to a crash site of a Canadian aircraft, a panel of WW2 aged aluminium and a handful of windswept marshals.
Despite reaching the top of the climb, a Trig Point and a dibber point, the running doesn’t become much easier. Speeding up but through uneven heather clad trails, belying hidden gullies or raised gritstone rocks. The peat paths had loosened with a little rain that churned the packed sponge of a few weeks ago to more of a potting soil consistency at various depths.
As the moor ends the descent steepens and grass appears for half a mile of quick downhill passing the start point of the races, which is a great spot for spectating both the start of the race and the final sprint to the finish along Mossy Lea to the finish line.
The race was won by Phillipa Williams (Dark Peak) in 46:28 breaking the course record set by Carol Greenwood (Holmeforth Harriers) in 1986.
And Joe Steward (Salford AC) won the men’s race in 40:34.
It was, I’m sure, a close run thing but the pig was named Viviham Westwood.

Striders results: ladies

P Name Cat Time
17 Abbie Pearse WSEN 54m 15s
89 Laura Rangeley WSEN 1:31:26

Striders results: men

P Name Cat Time
128 Andrew Mansfield M40 59m 2s
145 Seth Kirby MSEN 1:01:02
154 Russell Stevenson M50 1:03:39
157 Jim Rangeley MSEN 1:04:11
165 Ian Stinson M50 1:05:15
186 Al Cook M50 1:08:39
190 Matt Broadhead M40 1:09:05

Full results:



scroll to top