Marsden to Edale - Trigger Race Report
Organisor and Runner
What with all the new FRA rules and the enforcing old rules (such as compulsory kit) the run up to the Trigger was stressful for me. I tried to conform by printing off all required maps, cutoff times, kit required, weather forecast, hazards etc that we are now required to show at Registration but made quite a few mistakes in my haste. Luckily an early registered runner asked me about the map that showed CP5 and I rushed to change the details.
Registration seemed to go well with plenty of helpers on Kit Check and another body for Number Registration. Everybody involved in the organisation was on the case reminding runners about how numbers had to be worn and kit. We registered 201 runners and the start was only delayed a few minutes while we found someone a compass (as his GPS had failed Kit Check).
We had taped the new route out of the back of the Cricket Club but I rather embarrassingly called the front runners back when they turned right towards the dam. Having taped it in the dark I hadn't realised what a sharp right turn it was - oops!! Running alongside the reservoir I could not believe that we had good weather for a third year year. The sun was shining and the frost looked crisp. Not crisp enough I imagined to hold our weight on the very wet ground ahead. Strange routes were taken to get to Wessenden road so I think we surprised Woodhead Mountain Rescue by popping outtowards Holmfirth. The flags to Black Hill weren't too bad - the frost actually providing a bit of grip.
Off Black we ran and I was interested to see what the runners would make of the new diversion. Steve has agreed a roving set of exit and entry points across Sliddens in order to protect the moss and the trials. So this year was different to last year. I was pleased to see everyone leaving at the blue sign and crossing the fence at the two designated stiles (the red banner being more visible than the yellow meant that most people aimed for Stile A.
There were lots of supporters at Crowden including a full Glossopdale team who had a chair for their runners to sit in !! All the runners seemed to be opting for Lawrence Edge with various lines being taken once on the plateau. I tried a direct line that was rubbish but when I hit Wildboar Clough I was in the same position so consoled myself with that. As we ran further south the snow became thicker covering up the paths and hiding the deep bogs. My line to Shelf Moor Trig snaked around as I tried to avoid bogs. The WMRT team were visible for miles but it seemed to take ages to reach them. Running off towards the Snake I wasn't looking forward to the flagstones to Mill Hill and when I got to them they were totally frozen sheets of ice so it was miles of ice dodging. Apparently some people had the foresight to take yaktraks / katoolas which might be an idea for the future.
I reached the new CP5 on the fence and was greeted by a warm welcome from the marshals. Running off the wind suddenly got very strong and was very cold. I could hardly run into in and stopped when a runner tripped to make sure he was ok. I had started passing runners who looked knackered and the race Organisor in me was worried about a couple in shorts. My chin was frozen solid and their legs looked in too. Giving words of encouragment I ran on hoping that we wouldn't be out later looking for people.
Grindslow Knoll was hidden in a bank of thick cloud that was steadily advancing across Kinder. I was glad I was running off but worried about all the runners coming behind me. I was happy to reach the finish in a time of 4.08 - a few minutes slower than last year and 3rd Lady.
After having a shower (Thanks to Mark owner of Fieldhead Campsite owner for fixing them for us) I resumed work helping out where I could - even if it was only buying the Finish Marshals; Steve, Charmian and Bernice Hot Chocolate from the Information Centre (at £1 very good value and the coffee was nice too). Runner times were down on last year - a result of the wet conditions and the slightly longer route. The clag had advanced and dropped lower by 2pm. Andy Plummer had sorted the prize list out and so I tried to have Prize Giving on time at 3pm. I went down to Edale village hall where the food provided by Bank View Cafe was going down very well.
Photo by Shaun Priestley
Prize giving went well with the Race Kit vouchers for 1st prizes, with beer from Bradfield Brewery and wine from The Huntsman for other categories. Pennine and Glossopdale seemed to do very well out of it! The winner was Simon Harding from Macclesfield in a time of 3.25.16 hours with Jasmin Paris as 1st lady coming in 8th overall in 3.52.28 hours.
Back up at the Finish we had most runners in but were waiting for the last 8 and the Sweepers to arrive. At 4pm Woodhead Mountain Rescue started to get ready to go looking for the last 5 runners but they steadily arrived with Roger Ashby coming in at 4.34pm just as WMRT were about to set off. Roger being a MV70 now had impressively finished the Trigger having spent at least 3 hours in very thick clag and a bitter wind. The Marshals from CP5 and the Sweepers arrived down at the hall to tuck into the last of the food saved specially for them.
Many thanks to everyone who helped behind the scenes - Steve Burgess, Andy Heading, Duncan Mellor, Charmian Heaton, Bernice Nixon, the Sweeps; Steve Wathall, Dave Pickering, Peter barr and John Sinclair. And to all the members of Woodhead Mountain Rescue who in those bright red jackets can never be described as behind the scenes however they were also all the kitchen helpers who tirelessly served and cleaned up all day in the Hall!
We have raised over £3000 for the team. I'll let you know the final figure when we have it.
See you all again in 2015 !!