This race deserves a new post as it’s changed so much from the original Chunal.

I’d been looking forward to today for quite awhile as it revolved around two of my main interests: fellrunning and rock music. By complete luck one of my favourite musicians Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash was playing a gig in Sheffield and there just so happened to be a fellrace en route.

The race in question being Chunal, of which I’d fond memories from last year. It was a little there and back course made all the better for it being one of the many races put on by the charismatic Des.

On arrival today at the registration tent Des is all smiles but it’s not long before we have a grumble about Man City’s recent blip. Football talk out of the way and Des guides me through the route of today’s race as you can see most of it from the registration tent....and it’s nowt like how I’d remembered the race from last time. I asked Des has he changed the route and he tells me he’s “tweaked it a little”.....blimey has he.

I’d recently heard nothing but favourable reports about a new race of Des’s called Doctors Gate, which unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to work....there’s always next year! Well I can confirm that the newly “tweaked” Chunal is a little beast of a race. I’ll let the race stats do the talking: 3.25 miles 1500ft. The race is a rollercoaster of steep little climbs followed by steep little descents over a mixture of pastoral land of which one ascent/descent had seen some proper hammer from the cattle making for tricky underfoot conditions over the rutted soggy ground....beltin.

What does remain from the original Chunal race is the uphill climb back towards registration and the finish. This is the type of climb that during a pre race warm up you take into your stride and plod up whilst chatting to a fellow runner. But when approaching the end of the race this climb has you defeated whilst all you can hear is Des laughing in the distance inbetween shouts of encouragement. The finish line can’t come soon enough for me as yesterday’s race in the Lake District, Eskdale Elevation really starts to take hold and it felt like I was running through treacle as I crossed the line.

Many thanks to Des and all his helpers. This race deserves much higher numbers than todays 27 attendees.

If tonight’s gig is half as good we’re in for a treat.....over to you Martin Turner.