Cardingmill Canter

Race Reports

Never believe the jolly names given to races (Cardingmill Canter?), even if you’re young enough to be taken in. This was a 5.5 mile struggle, from start to finish – or at least it was from my perspective, some way down the field. We lined up, Sam H, Tom, Gary and I, assuring the starter that there were unlikely to be any more Croft runners held up by the accident on the A49 at Onibury. From the start, there was a general shuffling until we picked up pace to a steady jog up the roadway and over the stream bridge (it wasn’t always thus, used to be a stream crossing) to the start of the clamber up Cow Ridge. A good 5 minutes later, we reached the top where we were expected to run again, still uphill but now much more gently, along a soft track that took us over the Portway, and then a gradual descent with fewer obvious paths, a climb or two and then the race back down into Cardingmill Valley, the last bit steeply down to the stream. Over the road and onto the second half, a climb up to the golf course, pulling on the handy wire fencing (usually we are banned at the start from even touching it). From there the course is a bit of a tease. You drop a bit, and then have to climb steeply again, drop a bit (with a deep bog to negotiate) and another steep climb which levels out, inviting you to see how much energy you have left to break into a run before the top. My answer: none. From there it’s a short jog down to the last marshal directing us down a steep valley, with the sound of roaring water, somewhere near, maybe even under foot. More teasing: I’d just about caught Gary by the top, lost sight of him on the descent and then at the bottom I glimpsed 2 runners emerging from the right, one of whom was Gary. We crossed the stream more or less together, but he had the legs of me on the fast downhill along a stony track. With drizzle in my eyes, and fatigue beginning to affect me, I had to concentrate hard on where I put my feet, and crossed the line some 50 seconds behind. The V70 category has suddenly got a lot more competitive!
Gary finished in 76th, 1st M70 (1.07.11), I was 83rd (1.08.02), with Sam still feeling fairly fresh in 96th (1.11.03) just ahead of Tom, 99th, 2nd M65 (1.13.20). The race was won by an under 23, Ross Campbell (Highland Hill Runners), in 45.40 nearly a minute and a half ahead of his pursuer, and over an hour ahead of the 115th runner.

2 thoughts on “Cardingmill Canter

  1. Well done to all at the start of the new Fell Running season. Compliments to Sam for volunteering to be “carer” for the CARCOF brigade – hope you had plenty of Werther’s Originals to reward the old dodderers at the end.

  2. Fell races are tough! The views are worth it though and probably even better on a clear day. Contrary to Mikes comments it was the boys who looked after me when I arrived very close to the start time. Thanks guys,I hope to join you for another fell race sometime soon.

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.