Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Fell race from this perspective. Standing around at the beginning, not in a vest or shorts, watching loads of runners that I know going in and registering, and standing by the start with an icecream and a camera watching them all speed off into the distance.
Yes, we were back at Hope Wakes Fell Race yesterday. A year ago I ran around the course and then helped out with the post-race massage. Lynne was also there, massaging away but did not run the race. This year was only slightly different in that I didn’t run it either. A small niggle in my left foot saw to that. Not a big injury by any scale, but one which I’m keeping a weather eye on, and one which I do not want to get worse, hence stepping on the side of caution.
Nevertheless, a crowd of well over 100 runners gathered for the race and set off in fine conditions. Although it was a little warm, and there was certainly going to be a bit of a sweat on in the first mile or so, the ground was good and soft, providing a great surface to slide all over.
We stood around waiting for a while, and then word came through that Dave Taylor was first over the pike and coming back down the hill. More names came through, but not Jack Ross- who I fully expected to be in the lead. A few minutes later, Dave came in through the finish tunnel, and on realising he was the winner, asked, “well, where are the other 2 then?” Jack and someone else, running hard on the other side of Winhill had missed a turning, and were not back.
I took the opportunity to give Dave a post-race massage, concentrating on his calves- as we waited for the next runners to come back in. After bringing his legs back to life Dave wandered off, and I saw a good number of other runners, many of them first time fellrunners, so it was good to see them on the scene, learning the ropes, as it were. Alongside Lynne and I were another 3 physios who were also involved in post-race massage, so there was a good, steady stream of runners coming in for treatment and injury advice.
As ever, the event was very well organised, smoothly run, and with the exception of the first 2 runners, I don’t believe anyone got lost. It is always great to be involved in events like this, lowkey, grassroots stuff where everyone smiles and says hello. Hopefully we have educated a few runners as to how to be less suceptible to injury. All in all, a good evenings work!