Totley Moor fell race report 2024 by Darrel Porter

Striders assembled before the race

Race date: 21 May 2024

I arrived at the field behind the Cricket Inn pub at about 6.30, though the race starts at 7, I got there on the tram, the 97 bus and a short walk from the Cross Scythes pub. Josie and Joe were already there, so it was nice to have a pre-race chat in the lovely weather.

Registration was simple and there was no kit check. Josie, Joe and I decided we’d go for a little warm-up run and we had a look at the last hill heading up Strawberry Lea Lane, it did not look like a friendly hill!

We were gathered at the start line about 7.15, the weather was still hot, though not quite blazing sunshine. The race director gave us a race briefing and then we were off. First was a lap of the field, I kept a steady pace and was grateful for the warm-up run as my hamstring injury was keeping quiet for now, though I could still feel the lack of strength and flexibility.

Once out of the field the race opened up a little, it was a short flat section followed by a long climb up Moss Road that continued onto the trail over Totley Moor and continued to climb and climb, this was a real lung buster, but the pace was quite swift!

The trail levelled out for a bit and then swiftly descended on narrow trails and rocky/gravelly paths through Blacka Moor, there were some very steep sections here and I was able to push my pace, overtaking quite a few runners. This descent quickly turned into another steep climb into the woods on narrow twisty trails full of roots and rocks, this was hard going, but enjoyable. Just as quickly the climb was over and we were speeding downhill again.

The trail opened out a little on easier paths, but I found my hamstring was pulling a little and I was unable to really pick up the speed here. After a small stream crossing the route turned uphill again I knew it was coming, but I hadn’t realised how steep this little hill was, and I was forced to walk briefly, I was also trying to save some energy for the final climb which I knew was coming up as well.

There was a short flat section and then we hit the final climb up Strawberry Lea Lane, we’d recce’d it earlier so I knew how tough it would be, but it seemed to go on forever! Pretty quickly I found myself walking and several runners who I had passed on the descents overtook me and Jim Danson, who had been sneaking up on me caught me here. I was able to run the last few hundred meters, before the trail turned down a very steep section of scrubby moor/field. I loved this and threw myself down it as fast as I trusted my tired legs to carry me!

We came out onto a road for a fast final descent onto the field where we started, Jim overtook me on the road (this road running lark is really not my forte!), but I was able to hold my place for the final torturous lap of the field and a little sprint finish.

What a great and tough race, well done to everyone who completed it, it was brilliantly marshalled and well organised, so a great intro to fell racing if anyone fancies giving it a go next year.

P Name Cat Chip time Gen P Cat P
9 Charlie Player MSEN 49:17 8 6
32 Sian Evans FSEN 54:14 4 4
50 Jim Danson M40 56:32 43 15
52 Darrel Porter M40 56:37 45 17
100 Josie Hill F40 1:03:28 16 5
135 Abbie Guerrier Sadler FS 1:08:05 27 12
139 Yared Heller M60 1:09:04 112 41
163 Ben Heller M60 1:11:25 128 16
172 Joe Clements M40 1:13:45 135 33
189 Lisi Briggs FSEN 1:17:38 43rd 18

Full results:

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