Saturday 17th October 2015
I am a member of Preston Harriers and for the first time in a long time we managed to get a female team out to enter the fell relay championships! It is an epic day with teams of 6 runners, leg 1 and 4 shorter solo sections, leg 2 a pairs section over a longer distance and leg 3 a pairs section requiring navigation. I was on the navigation section and I can safely say the nerves had definitely got to me as this would be the first time navigating with someone of the same level as me.
As a team we knew we up against some of the best fell runners in the country and decided that the day would be a day for experience and fun and anything else would be a bonus. Female fell runners in the Preston area are relatively scarce!!
The day started out with a tough leg 1 and our runner really felt the climbs, we came back in the back end of the field but we knew we had plenty of time to make some gains. The next leg runners were strong and made good progress over the challenging terrain. They had been out practising over the area in the previous months so knew the area well and this showed on the day….it showed some local knowledge can really pay off in these kind of races. Next up was my section with my fellow runner Lyndsay…compass in hand we set off and were handed a map a mile in to the run. We decided to plan each section as we came to it to stay focused as I knew from previous navigational efforts I am easily distracted by the beautiful landscape and talking….and can easily lose my way….vital lessons to be learnt out on the hills!!!! We did amazingly well….we didn’t take one wrong step….we did go a slightly different way to most people for one section but we know we made good time and explained this to one of our coaches who was out supporting on the field who was surprised to see us appear from a different direction ha ha!!! Neither of us fell over either which is always a bonus as I usually end up tripping up at some point so all in all a successful run!! Next off was the leg 4 runner who thoroughly enjoyed her time out on the fells…she is relatively new to fell running and the next day she had signed up to another fell race :-).
Relays are a great team event and can be a lot of fun. We may not have won, but we were able to successfully practice our navigational skills, have some fun and most importantly may have gained some more female fell running ladies :-)!