UKA Fell Relay Championships

A hardy crew of LERCers made the trip to Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales for the 2011 UKA British Fell Relay Championships on Saturday October 15th and, after what Damian described as the “hardest run (he's) ever done”, both the men's and women's teams could be very proud to have competed in and completed this prestigious championships.

First held in 1989, the event attracts some of the best fell-running clubs in the country, with challenging stages to match, so it was always going to be a tough proposition. Nevertheless, the Long Eaton men, represented by Damian Cowlishaw, Mark Harrison, William Chang, Phil Abbott, Paul Burchell and Alan Maplethorpe finished a creditable 155th overall, while the women's team comprising of Catherine Benson, Vicky Yeomans, Catherine Rowe, Claire Eardley, Cheryl Brown and Vicki Walker took a couple of scalps and finished as 41st ladies team.

The event is unusual, in that the 4 legs are completed by 6 runners, with each leg offering a different route and testing a different skill. The first leg, undertaken by Damian Cowlishaw and Catherine Benson, was a loop that featured a sapping 3.5m and a 900ft ascent. Their efforts for the day completed, they were able to take up a vantage point in time to see the pairs of Vicky Yeomans and Catherine Rowe and Will Chang and Mark Harrison finish their partly flagged 9.5m 2400ft ascent “frying pan” route, before watching Phil Abbott and Paul Burchell and Claire Eardley and Cheryl Brown tackle a point to point course that put their navigation skills to the test over 8 miles and 1800ft of climbing. It was left to Alan Maplethorpe and Vicki Walker to bring the teams home via an “out and back” 4.5m 1550ft ascent to complete another successful day on the fells for LERC. And the T-Shirts looked good, too!

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