Race report for the inaugural Baslow Bolt.
The inaugural Baslow Bolt fell race was held on Saturday 30th November 2019. The recent heavy rains had subsided, to be replaced with frost and fog; so that the mud was mainly firm, but there remained some cold watery sections along the 7.5 mile (12 km) course. Fun conditions for a hilly fell race! About 250 committed fell runners, aged between 18 and 80, gathered at the start in the churchyard at 10am for a briefing by race organisers Ian White & Richard Conroy (supported by a committed and hard working committee and about 40 marshal volunteers dotted around the course).
As the bells of St Anne’s church chimed, Revd Mike Gilbert sounded the horn and set them off on their way around the beautiful but hilly and challenging course, taking in the Baslow skyline, along some 1200 feet of ascent.
The course went across the bridge and through a ginnel (which caused a brief delay: thank you all for your patience!) then up the Wheatlands fields to Bank Wood south and north, before dropping down to Bubnell. The runners then headed along the river to Curbar, through the grounds of Cliffe College and up to Curbar Gap. Then along the technical Baslow edge, before dropping down Bar Road in a breathless descent to the finish at the school.
The overall winner of the open category, and the inaugural course record holder, was Joe Oldfield, who thundered home in a tremendous time of 50 minutes 38 seconds. 1st lady in the open category was Shelley Fairey in 1 hour 25 seconds, setting the new ladies’ course record. This was a great result, given that there was stiff competition in the form of Sally Fawcett, who finished as 2nd open lady in 1 hour 54 seconds. There were winners for both men & women over 40, 50 & 60; with requests to add an over 70’s category next year.
These other category winners were as follows:
- V40 Women: Emily Berg 1.06.31
- V40 Men: Robert White 55.08
- V50 Women: Alison Wainwright 1.08.08
- V50 Men: Kurt Fitch 58.37
- V60 Women: Pat Goodall 1.13.12
- V60 Men: Simon Ward 1.03.38
There was some dispute over the 1st local, but Colin Nadir, Simon Ward and Rob Johnstone all acquitted themselves well!
At the finish, there were delicious coffee & cakes, courtesy of the Baslow PTA, and vegan soup from Neil Angus, which went down a treat. There were even sports massages, courtesy of Bakewell Physiotherapy Group, for all those tired legs!
The final contribution to St. Annes PTA from the race subs, food and drinks was a shade under £2000. A massive thank you to all who participated and all who helped to make it such a success. The provisional date for next year is Saturday 28th November 2020.
Richard Conroy, Co-Race Organiser.