orchan rocks fell race

Orchan Rocks Evening Fell race 7pm Tuesday 28th April 2015

well what a cracking little Fell race Orchan rocks turned out to be; 5 of us ( Steve Mark Yewan Bill and Dave) headed out to deepest darkest Todmorden with grimm skys above that tried to deter us but we pushed on, having cruised through passport control and visas stamped we even got the last parking spot at the staff of life pub carpark. a quick run up the hill and we were ready to race. then at the start line more runners appeared from the land of Chorley; Jacqui then mike then another Mike things were looking good. 321 and we were off,up the steep access road.

The pace was blistering i knew i couldn't keep it up (but you try don't you) Mark was like a ball shot from a cannon! if i could just stick with dave? 5 mins later if i could just stick with yewan ( still coming back from injury)? 5mins later, mmmm who to latch on to now lol?

eventually after about a mile the road levels a little but there's not a lot of speed left in my legs but then a young Tod runner sneaks past me "that's the one i thought to myself" and my race was on !

we started to rise up again on the picturesque stonewall enclosed grassy paths , i was strugling to keep up with the young Tod runner " but try you must". then the course started to descend and i was catching up but it was a short descent then sharp switch back and we were climbing again (oh the pain) "keep going Bill" i said to myself.

This was the section of the race that skirts around the east side of the actual "Orchan rocks" after the rocks your back on the walled tracks ¼ of a mile still climbing then a left turn chasing up the tracks there’s reeds and hidden cobbles all over the place just waiting for an unsure foot to keck over on ( oops good job it was my stronger right ankle and not my held together with vinegar and brown paper left one) "Eyup the Tod runners leaving me", " but my ankle hurts", " it’s not broke, don’t be soft and get running"( I chastised myself ).

The path is still walled and very runable from this point for about 1/3 of a mile, then there’s another left and we’re heading down ( phew)! After just under ¼ of a mile You’ll go through a little farm yard then on to another semi ruined walled track keep on this till you see the trees coming up to your left (in about ¼ of a mile) then get on the open track which quickly heads into the trees.

Keep calm and whatever you do don’t look left or down (it’s scary) there’s a million foot drop straight down to middle earth and the ballrog! So be steady, but fast and don’t forget it is a race and we’re heading down and I can smell "Tod sweat".

"There’s only 50 yards between us, I know I can do it, I love the down hill especially with hidden cobbles" .

After a 100 yards or so your past the "cliffs of imminent death" if you look left the path drops from your left to another path,( don’t go straight on Mike and Steve).

At this point I’m on the Tod’s heels, This was my chance, just as the path turns right it was all or nothing I could see the narrow track drop down for the next 300 yards I passed! "Right you’ve committed now", " don’t look back", " you’ve got to run faster", " run you #########" I could see two little kiddies waving me left "I could almost taste the water" but where was "Tody"? oh no!!!

OH YES! (Bill Beckett 31st 28:39)

Tody! Nowhere to be seen.( well not for 14 seconds).

And as usual all the other Chorley folk (Mark Ellithorn 17th 25:54 , David Parkinson 24th 27:07 and Yewan Bennison 27th 27:33) were stood around toying with their empty cups looking as though they had been there all week waiting for me lol.

Then came Michael Hendry 45th 31:26, Steve Baker 46th 31:28 and Jacqueline Redmayne 50th 31:42

Well we laughed and drank and nattered and after a while wondered! where was Mike coppin 71st 55:37 2nd vet 70? concerned we all ran back up the course and the stalwart of Chorley was ( spotted by his hi-viz bobble hat) coming towards the "Cliffs of imminet Death", which he breezed through whithout a care Down to the finish line with a cheer from all of us.

Off to the pub for a Beer and a dish of chips (prices were a tad up- market, sadly)!

But the ale; Cheers Mark and company was good,!! and thanks to Yewan for Driving.

p.s. well done John Horrocks 15th 25:49 hopefully joining Caat soon.


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