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Thread: I was there.

  1. #1
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    I was there.

    Thoroughly enjoying the 50th anniversary issue of the fellrunner. Neil Shuttleworth's article especially interesting. The snapshot table of fell racing through the decades quite fascinating. It seems that fields were biggest and times fastest at the end of the 80's...when I started racing. No doubt the often mentioned running boom of the early 80's fed a lot of high quality athletes into the sport. It was clearly a very competitive time to be racing. Things fell back a bit thereafter with fields and times only now getting back to that era. But of course, unseen by that chart are the truly spectacular long distance achievements of late, especially by women. Perhaps the second wave of runners fed by the trail and skyrunning boom of the noughties are a different breed ?
    I am Kuno....

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Was interesting to read a comment somewhere that "only serious runners raced in those days... if you weren't in regular training, you'd be likely to come last"

    I think there's a lot more runners around now who, while they may race reasonably regularly, aren't necessarily training for it... aka racing to "complete" rather than "compete"

  3. #3
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    Perhaps that's true. I certainly remember the fierce competitiveness and the example set by the front runners at the time. For most of us, we were chasing moonbeams but that didn't stop us trying!
    I am Kuno....

  4. #4
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    I think a great motivator for me was the first time i did Buttermere Horseshoe... admittedly it was (and possibly still is) the hardest race i'd ever done, and i'd been suffering cramp for a couple of hours, and quite a few had dropped out... but the marshall on Mellbreak informed me there were only about 5 people behind me on the course!

    That gave me a boot up the arse for sure... i went back two years later, still suffered horribly from cramp, but knocked an hour off. Still finished about 200th though (it was a champs race though!!)

  5. #5
    Nice to see the 1988 Rock and Run mentioned. It was my first MM. We managed comparatively well in some challenging conditions (think winter - we soloed a snow gully at one point) because we didn't have any lightweight kit so were effectively wearing walking gear with fell shoes. Even so our race hopes came to an end climbing out of Wasdale towards the penultimate checkpoint on day one when my mates headtorch broke. Somehow we managed to find the CP but pitched our tent there, having had enough. We were woken the next morning by the first teams arriving there on day two.
    There's also a brief mention of the World Cup races around Keswick the same year. I did the open race, a version of the Coledale Horseshoe. A brilliant day with a cloud inversion and later a brokenspectre like shadow of the descent from Crag Hill, complete with runners being projected on to the clouds on our left.
    Last edited by Mark G; 30-07-2020 at 04:00 PM.

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