‘Le Grand Depart’
‘The opening stages of the race suited me and I seemed to be passing people for fun on the descent, however the hard part was still to come. We then ascended from Hardcastle Crags through field after field up a long runnable climb that seemed to go on forever and then onto the fells above Pecket Well’
The day started with the elite of cycling setting off in ‘Le Grande Depart Yorkshire’ from Leeds, the route taking in the best of the Yorkshire Dales. Looking at the Clayton-le-Moors feeds on both Facebook and Twitter, I think that most of Team Clayton-le-Moors were out in force supporting the cyclists along the way and to the finish at Harrogate.
Team Motley decided to take in Day 1 of Le Tour on the box and we headed to Heptonstall, which I must admit is an absolutely stunning village which is situated 1 mile from Hebden Bridge. Here we set up camp at the local bowling club and got ourselves comfy in front of the TV. In the evening Heptonstall hosted ‘Le Grand Depart Fell Race’ and it would have been rude not to take part. So after an afternoon of R&R with everybody on the site drinking, I put on the Innov 8’s and headed to race HQ where I bumped into fellow team mates Dave Bagot & Paul Thompson.
Photo courtesy of Woodentops
Allez Allez Allez Allez and we’re off. The race started quickly with a run up the cobbles of Heptonstall village before taking a right over 2 fields and then onto a technical descent through the woods into Hardcastle Crags. The opening stages of the race suited me and I seemed to be passing people for fun on the descent, however the hard part was still to come. We then ascended from Hardcastle Crags through field after field up a long runnable climb that seemed to go on forever and then onto the fells above Pecket Well. The climbing finally finished and by this time I was breathing hard and had lost my opening advantage dropping from 6th or 7th back to 15th or so. We turned around the trig and followed the route back the way we came; so a long descent back to Hardcastle Crags followed by a very steep climb back to the finishing field in Heptonstall. However by now I had caught my breath back and was feeling strong overtaking a number of runners finally finishing in 13th in a time of 00:56:00. This was my first experience of running in the fells around Heptonstall/Hebden Bridge, other than the Calderdale Relay and I will definitely be back for more. This race in my opinion is one of the toughest ‘A’ shorts on the calendar.
Photo courtesy of Woodentops
My fellow team mates finished as follows:
Dave Bagot – 23rd – 58:38
Paul Thompson – 25th – 58:47
Full results can be found here.
After the race I sampled a beer or 2, and of course a little something to soak it all up before spending the night in the tent. The next morning and the start of Day 2 of the Tour de France, which saw the cyclists go from York – Sheffield taking in probably all the toughest climbs in Yorkshire. Team Motley managed to watch the race on the ‘Cote de Cragg Vale’ where the memories of the crowd, atmosphere and the event itself will be something that stays with me for a long time. Unfortunately mini motley managed to fall asleep about 5 minutes before the cyclists came through and missed everything.
Thanks to Dave Motley For this weeks race report!
The Rest of the Weekends Action
With our attentions cast over to the Tour de France this weekend, there were few runners out and about. We’ll be back to business next week I’m sure!
However! There were a few who made it out this weekend. The first Harrier I’d like to mention is Nikki Kay, who put in a tremendous effort at this years Southport Half Marathon. Nikki completed the 13 mile race in 02:17:21 – Brilliant effort!
Our next solo Harrier is Alan Clarkson who travelled over to Preston for the Catforth Cantor 5k. Alan finished as the 3rd MV55, finishing the course in 00:20:13. Good stuff Alan!
In North Yorkshire, Martin Brady and Kevin O’Brien competed at the Bentham Beagles Bash 10k. Martin put in a great shift, finishing in 00:48:20 and 23rd overall, whilst Kevin finished as the 2nd V70 in 01:02:47. Well done chaps!
And that’s it for this week! (Unless I’ve missed any of you out, in which case do let me know) Plenty of races going on this weekend, all of which can be found on our new and improved fixtures page.
I hope to be writing about a lot more of you this weekend, now that silly sport has left town! Have a good weekends racing!!
Photos from Woodentops: http://woodentops.org.uk/index.php?topic=home