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UK Inter-Counties Fell Running Championships

19/05/2012

On Saturday 19th May, Shining Tor in the Peak District was the venue for the UK Inter-Counties Fell Running Championships and David Parrish, who was making his debut for the Scotland West team was both excited and apprehensive at the prospect of taking part…. David reports:

 

‘’The start line was truly a sight to behold… there were something like 250 runners all lined up on the hill with the breath-taking backdrop of the Errwood Reservoir and the rolling Peak District hills. To fit in, I imitated a few warm-ups of accomplished looking athletes. I didn’t know anyone there and the usual dialogue of last weekend’s debauchery (or even last night’s) was not heard, instead there were sentiments exchanged about various fell running series’, mountain marathons and just generally a lot of discourse which made me feel significantly out of my element. At this point I met my two teammates, Matt Sullivan and Kenny Richmond, and they seemed like really affable gents, I also learned that as well as it being an Inter-Counties encounter it would be an open race so the potential prospect of being last was eased.

The race itself was roughly 7.5 miles, although you never quite know on the fells. I did not hear the start gun although I assumed there must have been one for a considerable amount of argy-bargy ensued after a pertinent safety briefing of which I heard almost none of, and it began. I did briefly entertain the idea of running (sprinting) the first 200 yards to get in a photo with Andi Jones (a 2:15 marathoner and multiple Snowden winner) but fought that thought off with common sense. I modestly positioned myself in the pack going up the hill, something I sort of now regret, but I did not know any of the runners to gauge my effort and I still don’t wear a watch.

The hill race itself, as far as ascents go, was pretty tame but the pace was very, very quick. Slowly I moved my way up the pack and began to really enjoy the experience; rich with cameras and support. Owing to my slow start, I picked up a commendable amount of places on the first decent but was overtaken by a man of middle age, smiling quite sadistically and committing himself, Craig Malcolmson-esque to the most inspirational lack of self-regard I have perhaps ever seen. From a safe distance behind I joined him on this deathwish and bounded down the bouldery hill, probably not in control, forgetting myself and my lame ankle, something which I later thought as quite ill-advised, but I was consumed by the occasion.

On the whole, the race was fantastic and I was happy with 61st place in 55:02. Team mates Matt and Kenny finished side by side miles ahead of me and we therefore got 8th in the Inter-Counties competition.’’

Dave

 

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