Kinder Downfall Fell Race

Three legs and then no legs...

Well in the space of a week I ran in the Manx Mountain Marathon on Saturday 20th April, then yesterday was the Kinder Downfall race. I went from three legs, the symbol of the Isle of Man, to no legs as I ran the fast and tough Downfall race across Kinder Downfall.

Team Saddleworth before race start in Hayfield Village.

It was a 10am pick up from the Mossley residence by the driver in chief, Des “Thunderbolt” Thorpe. Travel arrangements were the trusty VW camper van and off we both went in the direction of Glossop. Yours truly was tired from not a great night’s sleep and getting to bed late as Claire’s parents are down. First excuse. Secondly it was a week ago since the 30 mile Manx Mountain Marathon. Second excuse.

Thunderbolt won the race in great style pushing hard (Apryl would be proud) and not relenting on the climbs. He was a man on a mission. That said Thunderbolt did confess that it probably was Richard “G Man” Gee’s race had it not been for a rather bad ankle twist just after the Edale Cross. The author had spent most of his race trying not to expire and holding off an always cheerful Bridget “Bob” Lancashire.

The race starts from the river bridge on Church Road in the centre of Hayfield with registration in the Scout Hall just down the road. Runners congregate outside the The Royal PH next to the cricket ground. It was a cold start when we registered but it then became apparent it was going to be a bit warm… So it was a club running vest. It is a fast start as you head for Kinder Road then to make a left turn up onto a bridleway to then begin the climb up to the Kinder Plateau. If you look to the OS Map you are running up Snake Path, to White Brow, to then climb steeply up William Clough to hit the Pennine Way doing a 90 degree right turn to head for Kinder Downfall. It is solid climb.

Yours truly headed off fast (G Man’s words) only to hit White Brow and realise the Isle of Man had robbed him of his legs, Desmond trotted past on a mission, Richard Gee cheerfully trotted by. Try as I could I was not able to keep up with them, burning quads and a painfully realisation I now had Bob to contend with as she cheerfully chatted away with other runners.

On reaching the infernal Plateau, it is quite a fast slog across the top to hit Kinder Low and begin the fast descent to Edale Cross and the route home across lush green fields. At this point Thunderbolt and G Man were not to be seen, and I’d managed to hold Bob off. It later transpired that poor Richard took a very bad roll on this right ankle on the rocky track after Edale Cross. He did well to get back, and it was only on finishing could people see how bad it was. All other runners, Kevin, James, Kate, and Monica made it back safely.

A gathering.

Kevin impressed all at the sheer fact that he ran this race after a Stag Do. Beast and legend we all murmured together.

James Sheard astounded at Kevin’s ability to leg it after a stag do.