The Ian Hodgson Relays 2010
On October 3rd 2010, Ellenborough AC put together a team of runners to compete in the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay. It was only the second time Ellenborough had contested in this event. We put together a team in 2009 and introduced Ellenborough AC to the fellrunning fraternity. On this occasion we finished 32nd of 66 teams. Not bad for a team of eight, three of whom were over 50 years old.
For 2010 we had ambitions to do better. We had gained a couple of good runners in Richard Mc Grath and Gavin Pattinson. Paul Richardson, at 16 years, was eligible to run the short leg with a senior runner (with short legs). Ricky and Brian were as fit as ever. Nick Ray and Andrew (Tina) Turner were Paired together and up for it. We reasoned that a top twenty place was not out of the question!
On the day, all were gathered at Sykside camping Park, Brotherswater in Patterdale: The start/finish point of the race. Leg one took in Dove Crag, Red Screes and the baton was handed over at Kirkstone Pass. Our leg one runners were Richard and Gavin who came in 16th at the changeover. Sixteenth would be a great result if we could hold it to the end. Leg two was in the hands of Brian and Ricky. The High Street leg, comprising Ravens Edge, Caudale Moor, High Street summit, The Knot and finish at Hartsop. For some reason they seemed disappointed with their run, saying, “we could have done this” and “we should have done that”. The rest of us were far from disappointed, we were up to eleventh, a gain of five places. Speaks for it’s self.
Leg three and Paul is off up the road with Gollum, doing what Gollum does (following). Up the road and on to steep climb up Calf Gate Gill, taking us to Angle Tarn. We must have done something right, because we descended the fell and entered the show field at Patterdale in the same eleventh place that we set off in. And eleventh fastest on our leg, according to the stats. Not bad for the youngest and oldest members of the team!
Leg 4. The last leg. Patterdale and up over St.Sunday Crag, Fairfield, Hart Crag and that steep, steep descent off the side of Hartsop above How. For this we had Andrew and Nick. If fellrunners were horses, then these two would be Shire Horses. When they go down hill you get out of the way. There were faster runners on this leg, but there were just as many who were slower. So, there we all were, on the campsite watching the winning teams come in, waiting and wondering if we would get our top twenty finish. I can’t tell you how good it felt to see them come off the fell, and in tenth position! But then, disappointment. They were overtaken on the run in by the Wharfdale team, (who, it turns out, had followed them in cos they didn’t know the way). Disappointment? My Ar..mpit. We were eleventh! Eleventh! And look behind you! Following us in were Rob Jebb and Ian Holmes, only two of the best fellrunners ever. Iceing on the cake!
What to say? Unless you know the history of this race. Unless you’re a fellrunner, you won’t appreciate how good it was to come in eleventh in the Ian Hodgson Relay Race. Little old Elbra, whod’a thunk it.