Monday, 6 September 2010

Grasmere and Shelf Moor - fame and fortune

I'm studiously avoiding turning this blog into the Mrs Noel blog, but there are times when I have to blow her trumpet. We were in the Lakes a few weeks ago and it allowed us to attend the Grasmere Guides race. This is steeped in history from the days when it was run by local shepherds (who set fantastic times).

Neither of us had done this race before, but we were aware of how special a race it is. I was slightly ill on the day, so agreed to look after the kids while Mrs Noel gave it her all. We watched the field of runners storm off and slowly plod up the very steep hillside opposite the showground. The good thing about some of these short races is that you can see nearly all the race from the showground (the race is about a mile a half long). There is also a commentator, who tells you where the lead runners are relative to the records of yesteryear.

In the end, Rob Hope won it in a sprint finish after chasing Rob Jebb all the way down the hill. Then Mrs Noel and another lady were involved in a similar sprint finish to see who would be 2nd lady. Mrs Noel managed to hold off the other lass, to claim 2nd spot in this very prestigious race. The prestigiousness (if that's a word) was underlined by the fact that they had a podium and a proper photographer.

Mrs Noel was then amazed to find that, partly due to the historical fact that Grasmere guides used to be a professional race, she won £100. Fantastic eh! The first £15 was shamelessly wasted by me on a bottle of fizzy that we drank in the campsite.

So, back to Shelf Moor and my moment of fame. I was aiming for top 50 in this English champs race, as that would mean I'd get points in the English fell running championship. In the end, I was very pleased to finish 49th. This means I'll get 2 points (I think). It's not quite a podium or £100, but it meant a lot to me. Here's me saying hello to the photographer (Fell Donkey).