Three Peaks Fell Race

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Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Marlon » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:04 pm

Three Peaks Race (25th April 2009)

Following a persistent calf injury (and last night being given an estimated six weeks before I’m up and running again) I will not be taking part in the Three Peaks Race :cry:

There is now a waiting list for the event but believe there is a route for transferring the place to another Harrier.

If you want the place please let me know (call or email below); I will offer back via Sportrident next week.

Hope to see you all out there again soon,



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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Eddie Winslow » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:12 pm

Can anyone give me a lift to the race and bring me back again?

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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Turl » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:46 pm


I'll be driving if you want a lift. Will get in touch nearer the time.

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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby ClareandBetty » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:22 pm

With a fractured metatarsal I, like Marlon, am very unlikely to be able to take up my 3 peaks place, so if anyone is interested in taking it, please let me know.

(A bitterly disappointed) :cry: Clare.
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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Paul Stephens » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:58 pm

I've a friend coming up from Leicester to do the 3 Peaks. Unfortunately I can't give him a lift to the start on the Sat am. Anybody out there with a space from Ilkley. thanks. Paul
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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Duncan » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:13 pm

Anyone got a space in the car for a lift to the Three Peaks on Saturday? Only need a lift to get there as have a lift for the way back. Thanks in advance. Duncan
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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby GrahamA » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:02 pm

We'll have a couple of spare places in the car, if anyone is still looking. Coming from Guiseley through Ilkley.
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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Stuart P » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:14 am

There have been a few requests for lifts to the 3P's but I have lost track of who needs what.

I have space for 2 or 3 people from Ilkley to 3 peaks and back if anyone is interested.

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Re: Three Peaks Fell Race

Postby Paul » Sat May 09, 2009 1:12 pm

SoobeDoo's report here ...

And at the End there were 4.
No, that’s not Peaks, it’s survivors.
This time, almost to the hour last year, the text message went round, we mentally signed up, and we were committed. We, in our infinite wisdom, were going to run the 3 peaks.
The initial merry band of travellers consisted of myself, Nigel, Keith, Ian, and Andy (Wilson). We vowed to run the qualifiers, swore we would train come hell or high water, and we would be at the start whatever.
Summer passed in a wash of missed opportunities, there were loads of races we could have run; that would have counted; that could have been completed in sunshine. But we were a team; we wanted to run together, the pain had to be shared. So October arrived, and we found ourselves in rainy Cleveland just because it was the last race that we could do that gave us the credence needed to pass the stringent entry rules. We ran, got a time, and that was it.
Rombalds was always a mid-way point. By this time we had picked up quite a crowd, joined by Clare, Marlon, Andy Shinn, Eric, and numerous others. I just remember January and February passing in a haze of Friday mornings running in knee deep snow, trying desperately to maintain the circulation in my hands, religiously telling myself that it was all part of the training.
Rombalds came, we all ran, some better that others, but that was the miles done. Only another 3000ft to factor in. Hey, we could do it (?).
After a rest from Rombalds the real work started. We needed to know what lay ahead of us. What pain we had to endure. We had a good schedule, every 3 weeks(ish) go up to the Dales, do a hill, then do 2, then do 2 others, check our timings, make sure we could make the checkpoints.......It was all good - apart from the fact that we never actually managed to do a recce without getting lost, and never actually made any of the cut-off times. Ah well.
In between times, Marlon wrote himself off with a calf injury, I had a few weeks off with a shin thing, Andy W was away, Andy S disappeared, Clare got a metatarsal stress fracture, Eric just couldn’t stay out of the pub, and Ian just bought more and more kit.
I think that when the day arrived, there was a consensus of opinion that of those that had made it through the training, only Nigel had a fighting chance of making the cut-offs. The rest of us aimed for Hill Inn, and glorious disqualification.
For the first time ever in my running career, the Gods all conspired to work with us. The rain had held off for 3 weeks, so the bogs-of-doom had abated to ankle-biters, the wind held us toward the hill at Whernside instead of wrenching us off to certain death, visibility was such that even the most stupid of navigators (me) could not possibly get lost.
This was all good, but added to the nightmare that had haunted me each and every night for the last week - timed out at Hill Inn and having to do it all again next year................
We set off, fully laden down with kit, to what is, I think the worst part of the race - Pen-Y-Ghent. A deceptive little hill, one which you think you should be able to run up, but, if you’re me, patently can’t. I tried my best, but valiantly gave up when the leading men came haring past us, back down said hill at a pace that suggested that they had not only had a frontal lobotomy, but cared not a jot for their own safety, nor that of those who had graciously stepped to the right to let them through.
At this point, all I had in my head were Keith’s words “the race is to Hill Inn”, and Ian’s comprehensive breakdown of minute per mile pace. I just wanted to get to Ribblehead, grab a piece of malt-loaf from the massive tray of goodies I had prepared the day before to stop myself having a stress-induced heart attack, and at least see my family before the ignominy off timed-out-ness inevitably happened.
I had adopted, from the top of Pen-Y- Ghent, a ‘jelly baby-per-mile’ strategy. So when Ribblehead arrived and Jane B and her family valiantly offered jelly babies I rather rudely threw my stash towards them with a few choice words (sorry!). I had made check one, with time to spare, I was quite chuffed. Mindful that the kids had been waiting ages, I stopped for a quick chat, off-loaded everything from my pack that had been annoying me all the way from the start and egged Ellie to run with me whilst I drank. It was at this point that I realised I had off-loaded all water, banana, and -god-forbid- had no jelly babies!!!!!!!
Oh well, only Whernside beckoned. Again Keith’s words rang in my ears - don’t stop, whatever you do, don’t stop, so I didn’t. My calves were screaming, and the false horizon nearly reduced me to tears. I checked my watch at the top of Whernside, it was 2.45, 45 mins to get to Hill Inn (bizarrely and quite amazingly, and I’m glad I didn’t know this at the time, but Rob Jebb was concurrently racing to the finish to another stunning victory!). At this point I welled up; the realisation that I might actually make it was almost too much to bear. The wind was horrendous; I realised how lucky we had been, weatherwise. The descent off Whernside is never easy, and mentally, I felt I was there, but it was soooooooooooo hard to keep pushing on. Seeing a few Harriers supporting on the way down was awesome, and Dave Woodhead lied when he said I was nearly there, but when I passed Helena and she said it was less than a mile I was the happiest person ever. I suddenly felt ok; I was going to do it.
Hill Inn, the Holy Grail, was in sight. I would have collapsed, had it not been for Edward running towards me, beaming, shouting ‘Mummy - you’ve made it with 15 minutes to spare’ and making me look at his watch. I have never been so happy to see a child (aka) a pub in my life.
We walked, en famille, toward the next hill of doom, passed the Bryants sat a-pic-nicing in a lea (who all cheered amazingly well, given they looked like a family of hamsters, filling their faces with food, and looking so happy - God, how much did I want to be them?.....), and all of a sudden, my ecstasy turned to horror. I’d done it, but hadn’t. I’d told myself the race was to Hill Inn. My body had listened, and it gave up. However, I still had Ingleborough and a mega run-in to do. Just walk, it’s fine. So walk I did. All the way through the duck boards, then the climb...........
I was in a nice little group, we were all knackered, but not one of us cared. But then the Harrier tag-team took effect. I was climbing a mountain - no joke - I felt it was fair to have a little look around, but lo! from above Dave Wilby chastised me for taking in the view. My fellow shattered runners muttered that the comment was a little harsh, but we carried on, and laughed heartily when Ralf pissed on Dave’s shoe (telepathy really does work!). Then Kelly started, we just got past her and then Andy, Debbie and Bernie started. I know it’s hard for supporters to stay out for us slow runners, but a friendly face so helps, and your presence is so much appreciated, even if it doesn’t appear so at the time.........
The summit of Ingleborough arrived, and the feeling was akin to that I felt the first time I saw ‘Concrete Square’, just sort of a let-down, an anti-climax. I dibbed, and set off back down. It was reminiscent of the Somme, misty, dank, and every 20 or so steps I passed someone nursing cramp, struggling up, unable to get down, bodies strewn everywhere.
Hey ho, only 5 miles to go, all down hill, and to quote Dave Wilby ‘just one foot in front of the other Sue’. My nemesis then appeared - the dreaded stitch. I struggled down, being passed by quick walkers, and just wished the miles away. That had to be the longest 5 miles ever. I so wanted to be back. The mist cleared, Horton was in sight, the end was nigh. I really truly had done it.
It’s a strange run-in, a funnel of open-ness, and when you’re as far back as I was, those hardy souls who’ve stayed to cheer have probably been waiting quite a while for the potential excitement of either seeing one of their mates, or a comedy cramp-fuelled limping random person, so you are the centre of attention. A huge thank-you goes out to those of you who stayed, cheered, and encouraged, I knew I’d done something special, and you all made it feel so. I even didn’t care when the announcer said ‘here’s Sue Bickerdike - she’s a vet - I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that’ - to be honest if he’d said ‘here’s Sue Bickerdike, she was rubbish’ I wouldn’t have cared one iota. I thought I might cry at the end, but I was too tired to be bothered to do even that.
My familial support dissipated into bored disgruntledness, understandably, and the ever patient Carl took the kids home, leaving me to deal with awesome cramp in splendid isolation. Bliss.
So it was over, a year of planning, talking, using up weekends, running in extreme weather, losing toe-nails, sleepless nights, and a fear that I have never experienced in my life.
So, in the end there were 4 - finishers that is - from those that signed up and subsequently joined our merry gang all those months ago. Nigel, myself, Keith and Clare ( who has to win the award for tough cookie - one week out of pot, missed lots of training runs, and still managed to finish in style - amazing!).
It’s not a walk in the park, and a race that has to be respected, and heart-felt commiserations to those that fell along the way.
Would I do it again - never. Would I recommend it as a race to do - absolutely.
If I can do it - anyone can, and for those of you who do I’ll be there every year, supporting from the lea, sat merrily a-pic-nicing.........
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