The FRA Relays 15th October 2011 - Kettlewell

12 Carnethies headed south on friday to make up two teams in this years FRA Relays, we stayed at Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel. 20 miles or so away from the event centre at Kettlewell.
A glorious October day at the relays was followed by a good few pints and a nice meal in The Bridge Inn a pub that we have now officially adopted.
The next morning we had a run from Muker up the Pennine Way in order to blow the cobwebs away.

Ladies - 133rd 05:03:26 30

Mens Vet 50 - 103rd 04:46:33

Leg 1 - Patricia McMaster
56:30 (173rd)

Leg 1 - Bob Waterhouse
47:38 (126th)

Leg 2 - Jasmin Paris / Kim Threadgall
01:33:54 (94th)

This was my first outing on a Carnethy weekend and I really enjoyed it so I can't for the next one particuarly if the sun shines on every trip!

I must admit I can't say I was jumping for joy when they told me I would be running my leg with Jasmin, I had seen her times this year and knew that I would be miles behind her. My legs weren't particularly fresh after doing Kielder marathon last weekend but even if I had focused on this race and been as fresh as a daisy I was still no where near as fit as her....it was an interesting experience as I knew that no matter how hard I pushed I still wouldn't be able to keep up! I tried to enjoy it and just plodded up the hills enjoying the weather, the great course and the views but it was quite demoralising watching Jasmin bound ahead of me making it look so easy!

It was a great route though and Jasmin kept me going by feeding my jelly babies every so often :-) The highlight was obviously catching Willie and Neil on the final stretch to the finish...out of the 190 teams entered who would have thought the only 2 carnethy teams entered would finish at the same time! We handed over to Helen and Joanne who did a really good job on their navigation leg although they weren't so pleased to see us finish at the same time as Willie and Neil as it meant they had a race from the start with Adam and Andy.... The rest of the day was spent washing our legs in the river, lying around in the grass watching the others finish and sitting around outside the pub while we waited for the prize giving to start. The night was spent in the pub and the following day we spent a good few hours running around the hills in the Dales which was a fantastic way to end the weekend.

It was a great weekend spent meeting new people, swapping race stories and planning more trips and races for the year ahead which I am looking forward to!

Kim Threadgall

Leg 2 - Neil Campbell / Willie Gibson
01:42:48 (137th)

The weather was great and that made for a hard and hot climb out of Kettlewell. Once at the top there was a good descent down to Starbotton with a welcome drink from the burn at the bottom. One more hard climb up and then a very muddy crossing of the top of the fell followed by a fast descent down a track. With a nasty we sting in the tail there was a sharp climb just before the finish where the Ladies caught up with us. This led to the spectacle of the two Carnethy teams racing it out to the finish line. A very enjoyable leg.

Neil Campbell

I was a little apprehensive as I stood at the start, my weight loss regime had gone astray in July and my bum bag was sitting on my spare tyre. But the weather was great and the scenery was fantastic.
The first climb was tough an Neil and I stayed close together on the stoney track, the descent was different with Neil running ahead and after the river crossing the next climb dragged on. I was chasing Neil's kilt up the hill.
Along the wall on the ridge the mud was deep and I managed not to fall in unlike the girl in front who face planted.
The last descent was sore on the old knees and the words of the marshal struck fear in me. "You are being chased by some girls".
I tried but it was impossible, Jasmin breezed past me on the last climb, could I hold off Kim, could I hell, she breeezed past in the finish field (sorry Neil), but it was great to come in together.
A great race and a wonderful weekend.

Willie Gibson

Leg 3 - Helen Bonsor / Joanne Anderson
01:26:46 (95th)

Leg 3 - Andy Spenceley / Adam Ward
01:18:37 (56th)

Leg 4 - Hilary Spenceley
01:06:16 (171st)

Great weekend away in the Yorkshire Dales. Lovely weather on race day meant waiting to run last leg was a pleasure rather than the chilling experience it can sometimes be.

After watching the start, Keith (on leg 4 for our crack men’s Over 50 team) and I went off to recce the lower part of our leg, basically a figure of 8 up Great Whernside, billed as 5.5 miles, 1600ft. On a lovely day, we had fantastic views which later on I’d be too focussed to appreciate!

We got back to the field in time to see great excitement as Jasmin and Kim on leg 2 caught up 9 mins on the men and passed Willie and Neil as they entered the finish funnel. Helen and Joanne also finished strongly maintaining our position, and although as expected it was downhill from there I enjoyed my run, climbing strongly and not doing too badly on the descent, and with a strong finish. Some good banter with competitors who passed me going down, and a nice lassie from Shettleston even held a gate open for me. Some of those fast merchants miss out on the social aspects of being further down the field!

Hilary Spenceley

Leg 4 - Keith Burns
57:30 (129th)

Picking up from Adam and Andy I started the climb on a good stony cart track that Hilary and I had reccied earlier as far as the scout hut. From here there was a steep boulder strewn scramble over the shoulder of Great Whernside. It kept me well awake, with warm sunshine on my back. The field was well spread with no close competitors to focus on.

A little lad with his mum and dad were on their way down the hill. The kid had just gone on strike, sitting on a boulder and shouting to his parents that tomorrow they should do what HE wanted to do. I gave him some support bawling out his parents, but I hadn’t time to explain how it’s good for him. I empathised because my day had also been prescribed for me; I had received a late order from the boss to turn out for the team at Kettlewell, but I wasn’t cursing because I was climbing well in warm autumn sunshine as crucial anchor for the team, hauled out of retirement, re-tyred, and refuelled for battle.

The boulders led to a slope easing and some entertaining bog hopping before the summit. I had lost two and gain one on the climb. The descent avoided the boulders and gave a very fast bog trot back to the hut, and a place recovered. The descent continued as a very fast and perfect sheep mown fairway back to the valley bottom. I lost another place to an Eryri girl who I couldn’t hold on the short cruel re-ascent before the finish. A great run with only one face plant in the bog.
The circuit of Great Shunner Fell and the Buttertubs next day was a rewarding second course to a feast of a weekend.

Keith Burns

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