Auld Lang Syne fell race - 6 miles

With 472 finishers the Auld Lang Syne fell race is not your ordinary fell race. For a start you get a free bottle of beer when you sign on - "Old Leg Over" is described as a right grand Yorkshire beer. This traditional race takes place in Penistone Hill Country Park in West Yorkshire, in Bronte Country close to the home of the Keighley and Worth Valley railway. From a hill top quarry start the route winds across the moors on good paths making it really friendly for fell first-timers although there are still a few challenges thrown in for regulars like steep drops and climbs into and out of a river crossing, and a superb downhill trail on peat where speedy runners can make up places on those less sure of their footing (though watch out for knee deep bogs). After an uphill finish competitors are rewarded with coffee and biscuits before retiring to the excellent Sun Inn down the road in Howarth, a free house with a great range of beers.

This year both men's and ladie's records were broken despite heavy going in places after recent rains. Alistair Brownlea finished first in 39.07, a massive 1 minute 48 seconds off the record, while Olivia Walwyn knocked an amazing 2 minutes 10 seconds off her own record to finish in 47.05. Just 3 Long Eaton runners made the trip with Richard Wilkinson finishing in 51.51 in 97th place, Ian Wallis returning to form with 66.11 in 367th place and Colin Bostock not far behind in 380th place finishing in 67.31.

It's a bit of a drive up to Howarth but as a once a year event on an usually quiet new years eve it is highly recommended. I think this trio will be back in 2008.


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