Here’s a short trip report submitted to the Fell Runner. Photos courtesy of Ed Birch & Matt Heason
Grindleford Fell Race 2019
The weather and the ground underfoot were near perfect for this year’s Grindleford Fell Race. A popular race just inside the Peak District from Sheffield that offers 2 river crossing (the last just before the finishing line) is always well attended by fell clubs and Sheffield’s bigger running clubs alike. This year was no different, with 324 runners taking part.
With a different start pretty much every year, due to varying laps around the cricket pitch to split the field, the course record is hard to accurately record. But local runner, Steve Franklin (Totley), did a good job of putting a good sprint in at the end to ensure he set a new record on the new course (2nd year of running), finishing 32.12.
Current course record holder, Caroline Brock, didn’t break her time from the previous year but did still hold on to the first place in the women’s results, finishing in 38.22.
The new course provides a third gentle rise after the first main climb to Jubilee Hill and the second up into Longshaw, giving those with hill legs the opportunity to drop their fellow runners, before the great technical, rocky and muddy downhill through Padley Gorge.
Once out of Padley Gorge the runners take one of the other changes on the new course, down a single track that drops them into the fields before the final dash down hill and across the long field to Derwent River crossing.
With only 1 retiree on the night, 323 runners finished, the last runner across the line 1:25:19, Dawn Jessop (Vegan Runners), well done Dawn.
The organisers arranged for all the usual category prizes, including fastest locals, with previous race organiser Mike Nolan and his wife, Julia, taking both first places. In addition this year they awarded a prize to fastest male club, Totley AC and fastest female club, Steel City Striders. Taking it one step further, they also awarded a fastest village or city area prize, this year’s winners being postcode S11 (Eccleshall/Sharrow) taking it for the men and S6 (Bradfield area) taking it for the women.
As with all sporting events in Grindleford now, the fell race operated a no plastic cups policy, which despite the warm weather presented no issues for the runners.