Saturday saw the third race in this season’s HPH Fell League. It was the Oxenhope Fete Fell Race, which as the name implies is attached to a fun event just like the previous week’s Baildon Carnival Canter. Being in Oxenhope with the venue just across the road from Oxenhope Railway Station meant that quite a few Harriers made the trip on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway to add a steam train (and real ale) experience to the day.
The fell race was a smaller affair than the one at Baildon, attracting just 32 entries including 13 Hyde Park Harriers. It’s one of the fell races that is organised by Keighley & Craven AC – a great chap called Arthur being in charge of this one. The course is just over three miles long with an impressive elevation gain of 450ft. The first energy sapping climb begins at the start and goes straight up just short of 300 ft inside the first mile. On reaching the top though you are rewarded by fantastic views of the Leeming Reservoir that you are soon plummeting towards for a quick circuit before heading back to Oxenhope village via bits of track, bits of trail, bits of road and a few little hills. The last km is a mad multi-terrain downhill dash. Lots of twists and turns and plenty of opportunities to go wrong, but it’s a very well marked course with lots of friendly marshalls and locals to guide you round. No bloomers on washing lines to dodge this year, but there was a great kid with a water pistol to help cool down any over heated runners.
The Hyde Park Harriers did very well, picking up half of the available prizes. Dan Cross finished 1st with Chris Mann 2nd and neither took any wrong turns this week. Rebecca Rogers was 2nd lady home and Claire Geeson was 3rd lady. Ken Fox was 1st M50. Anthony Aimon was 5th – all the more impressive considering he had cycled the 26 hilly miles from Leeds with Chris Mann. Rici Marshall finished just ahead of Clare Evans and Mick Mason and Matthew Gray finished side by side with Mick just getting the decision in the reverse of the result last week at Baildon.
A conveniently located ice cream van at the Fete was kept busy by fell runners rewarding themselves with post race treats. Not sure if any Hyde Park Harriers were tempted to enter a team in the Tug-of-War in the Fete afterwards, but there is some evidence of participation in a three legged race! Check out James Booth’s Facebook page for some great photos of Hyde Park Harriers enjoying themselves at the Fete, including Dan Waas meeting an Eagle Owl.
Here’s how all the Hyde Park Harriers did in the Fell Race.
Full results and lots of brilliant photos by Dave Woodhead can be found on the Woodentops website: http://woodentops.org.uk/index.php?topic=home&subtopic=morephotos