Shining Tor fell race 2023 report by Matt Broadhead

Runners approaching the camera, it is raining

Photo: Andy Mutley

Race date: 10 May 2023

Race distance: 10km

Race report by Matt Broadhead

This was one of those random midweek calendar fillers off the FRA website that I picked ages ago just to put something in the diary, and I’m very glad I did. Come the day, I slung my kit on in the work bogs, checked my FRA kit and set off into some mucky weather towards Buxton. Most Striders were away doing other things, so I wasn’t massively surprised to be the only one huddled in the Errwood Sailing Club, looking at the close-packed contour lines on the race map and staring pensively at the hills across the lake as I sipped a cup of tea.

Only so long you can stare at a hill before you have to run up it though,so I followed the herd to the start line, zipped up my jacket, listened to dire warnings about weather, disqualification and time penalties, and did a bit of perfunctory stretching.

The race starts with a short flat road section, then starts to climb up the hillside to Shining Tor, about 3 miles of climbing bringing you out at the top, and for once it’s all runnable. Someone had told me this while I was drinking my contemplative brooding brew, but I didn’t believe them. Once you hit the top, it’s a right turn onto a slabbed path that runs most of the way along the top of the ridge to Cat’s Tor (past Thursbitch, which gives me a chance to recommend Alan Garner’s excellent book: This section appears in the opposite direction in the excellent and difficult Windgather race. I was glad that my Walshes are good on wet stone, because it was drenched up there but nobody seemed in the mood for gingerness. I was not glad I had chosen white socks. From Cat’s Tor it’s downhill all the way, mostly on a track that runs alongside the road down from Pym Chair to the reservoir, fast, furious and muddy with some superd descending from the people who kept overtaking me. Then finally it was a sprint finish across the dam.

I scuttled happily across the finish line, wondering if this was the first time I’ve ever kept my jacket on for a whole race, and plodded back to the sailing club for some soup and a doughnut. Very glad I did this one, I think “AS” fell races might be my new favourite thing. This one is great. Loads of marshals (and loads of Buxton Mountain Rescue people), plenty of climbing and descending, but all of it runnable. Even the weather was spot-on!

The winners were Harry Bond of Staffs Moorlands AC in 40:45 and Katie Walshaw of Holmfirth Harriers in 45:07. 200 finished. Honourable mention must go to Trevor Faulkener, the 200th finisher and the only V80 in the race.

Striders result

P Name Cat Time
118 Matt Broadhead MV45 58:36

Full results:

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