What a day! After all the fantastic weather we’ve had we woke up to low cloud, wind, rain and low temperatures.

I was fortunate to share a lift with Andrea and Sarah, chauffeured by Phil. Andi and I had a small bag for post race use whilst Sarah seemed to be planning on staying for a week she had so much stuff…Phil was glad when we finally left the security and warmth of the car as he’d had to endure conversations about our bowel movements and what underwear we did or didn’t have on.  Poor man.

I was aiming for a time of 4 hours 30 ( I had to be at a Swim Meet with Mark in Harrogate later. Warm up was 5:30pm).

With my race plan written on my hand in marker pen to remind me I set off with the hoards up Penyghent (Carol and Bob were just before the ascent to lift our spirits) arriving in 46 mins. I even briefly shed my windproof top – not for long though as the rain started again in earnest. Simon informed me that I needed to pick up the pace if I wanted to reach my goal so I got a wiggle on and hot- footed it over to Ribblehead arriving an hour and five minutes later. There were several familiar faces to cheer me on including Bob with Mark and Paul as well as Helen and Ruth with drinks and gels.

I still felt great so pressed on quickly, fording the river before the steady unrelenting climb up a very squelchy Whernside. As we approached the top Graham appeared out the mist – a very welcoming sight (so welcoming in fact that I hugged him) – I dibbed and realised I’d made it up in 45 minutes! Wow! Down then to the Hill Inn with 25 minutes to spare dodging the weekend walkers and slippery muddy sections on the way.  Roger greeted me there with encouraging words before I left him for the last peak of the day: Ingleborough.

Shazza’s and Ruth’s smiley faces followed by Clare’s and Julia’s warmed me up as I hurried past; eager to keep to my goal. At the foot of Ingleborough I had to put on more clothes or I knew I’d be in trouble off the top. My hands were so cold that I had to ask another runner to open my sac for me! Five minutes passed but it was worth it later. Annie greeted me just before the summit looking frozen. It was snowing by this time and the wind was vicious.

46 minutes saw me off the top and then the long and treacherous descent to Horton. This really IS the worst part of the race and on Saturday it didn’t disappoint. I took two tumbles resulting in cuts, bruises and a torn jacket. I was starting to feel a bit dizzy but the lower I got the better I felt. Seeing the field ahead was a welcoming sight and it was such a relief to dib 46 minutes after leaving the summit. I finished with a time of 4 hours 38 minutes.

I looked like death but felt elated…….Bob was there to welcome me (Shazza and Ruth were there but didn’t see/recognise me) and took me home where I had a 10 minute bath before dashing off to Harrogate for the afternoon and evening eventually landing home at 11pm.

A super race under vile conditions but still want to do it again!

Thanks to all those who supported us Harriers; it makes a HUGE difference.


Sorry for the delay in getting this report out, but the results weren’t published until last weekend and I was busy over Easter.

Considering it was a Club Championship race, it has to be said that the Senior turnout was disappointing. There were a number of factors for this; it was the start of the Easter holidays, the weather forecast was atrocious (although, in the end it wasn’t too bad) and it is a long drive from Settle.

Six Juniors ran, and judging from the times, there was a sprint finish between Oscar and Sam in the U12 race. The Junior courses might have been short but they were also very steep, so well done to all our Juniors for finishing a tough race.

8 Sebastian Segger-Staveley     11.46
14 Emily Carpenter                      13.56   (5th Girl)

13 Douglas Segger-Staveley         09.10
26 Ben Greenep                             10.03
36 Oscar Wulf                                  11.04
38 Sam Greenep                              11.05

In the Senior race, it was the Ladies showing the Men how to run. First back was Sally, with Steve taking maximum points in the men’s Club Champs. Another good run from Sabrina and also from Helen who was 2nd LV50. I was the last Settle finisher; Steep rocky descents are not my cup of tea and it showed. However, my spirits were soon revived when Steve’s car “broke down” outside the Eagle and Child in Staveley on the way home!

62 Sally Handford    38.10  (11L)
71 Steve Moor           39.52  (14 V50)
74 Sabrina Gilby        40.36  (12L)
82 Helen Greenep    43.42   (2LV50)
86 Chris Beesley        45.03  (8V60)

Having only joined Settle Harriers last September, this year’s KWL was a new experience for me and so I thought I’d have a look back over the series. I can’t mention everyone who ran as it would take far too long and I would be bound to miss someone, so this is a very personal look back.

It started back on January 4th at Scout Scar which is a nice course and the weather was kind. But I had run the Club Christmas Handicap the day before and I did struggle a bit towards the end. Still one down, eight to go. At this point I should explain that I never had any intention of running at Whitestones, Fairmile or Barbon as I knew I had to be down south those weekends, so my aim was to race the other nine.

The following Sunday at Firbank, the weather was not kind. Gale force winds and pouring rain. But the race was short and the wind was behind us going up the hill on each lap. The way home saw the first of several trips to the Barbon Inn. As my late father used to say, dehydration is a serious problem.

Sunday January 18th was the home fixture at Giggleswick. It was also my 63rd birthday, and true to form there was lots of snow on the ground. I had one of my worst races, really struggling on the second lap, but I enjoyed my birthday pint in the Harts Head afterwards.

I missed Whitestones on the 25th, so my next race was at Birkrigg on February 1st. This was my favourite race of the series, and I had a great battle with Steve and Annie. Each time we went up a hill, I pulled away, and each time we went down the other side, they came past me. This happened three times and on the last descent Steve just pipped me to the line. A good day was rounded off by meeting up with an old friend for lunch in Brigsteer.

Two weekends down south meant my next race was at Sedbergh school. The weather if anything was even worse than at Firbank, and the three lap course was very heavy going. This was to cost me dearly as in our hurry to get warm and dry afterwards, I didn’t warm down or stretch and by the following Wednesday, my left hamstring was not happy. As a result I missed both Cunswick and Cautley, which meant I had to do both the last two races if I wanted to complete the series.

At Oxenholme the weather was kind and the course was testing but runnable. I took it fairly steadily on the first lap to test the hamstring  but pushed it on the second lap. No ill effects, so on the 29th I turned up at Elterwater and duly managed to complete the series despite my dislike of rocky descents.

I have enjoyed the racing (mostly) but for anyone training for longer events, a series of short races on a Sunday lunchtime is not ideal. My highlight was Birkrigg and my low points were the second lap at Giggleswick and the descent at Elterwater. My thanks to all the Settle Harriers who have encouraged me during the series, despite the fact that I am old and slow, and my particular thanks goes to Brian and Steve, my travelling companions; your friendship and support are much appreciated.

The following Settle Harriers completed the series (minimum seven races)

Sally Handford                         5th Lady

Sabrina Gilby                            10th Lady

Jo Wulf                                        12th LV40

Jill Gates                                       3rd LV50

Brian Kennedy                            3rd V50

Steve Moor                                  16th V50

Chris Beesley                                7th V60