August 6, 2022

Salt Cellar Fell Race – 5th August 2022

Six MACs answered Colin Davenport’s call to support the Steel City Striders Salt Cellar fell race. Colin must have heard about the ‘pleasures’ that awaited the six as he wasn’t there for some reason despite describing the race as ‘excellent’. Two other MACs must have been tipped off as they were on the start list but not the start line.

The evening sun was avoiding the shaded area under the Derwent dam as the hundred or so participants prepared for the mad dash to the foot of the steps up to the top of the dam. The race briefing warned of monster bracken and eroded trails making for challenging conditions.

Once the race got underway everyone jostled for position to get a good spot for the climb up to the road. Once past this section it was a long climb up Hollin Clough to Derwent Edge. Once up to the edge it was a short dash along the flagstones to the Salt Cellar itself. It seemed to be a requirement to touch the rock there and get an ominous checking of our numbers before the descent.

The first descent was alongside a wall with the narrow occasionally boggy ‘path’ catching people out with stories of legs disappearing into the bog up to the thigh. As the route descended the bracken get thicker and taller. This made the section contouring round Dovestone Clough challenging. The off camber, undefined paths where you can’t see your feet makes for an interesting experience. The climb back up to the moor was a welcome respite from the forest of ferns before a final dash down to the midge buffet at the finish line under the dam. Recovery beer and cake were available for the people who made it down from the Salt Cellar.

Nick Gant was 25th (1h05m38s), Matt Govan was 54th(1h15m35s), Mick Moorhouse was 61st and 1st MV70 (1h17m49s). Megan Elliot had a great sprint finish to hold on to her position in 71st(1h21m17s), Dale Peakall was just over a second behind in 73rd (1h21m18s). Les Thurston was 110th and 3rd MV70 (1h43m58s).

First male was Ben Kelsey of Dark Peak Fell Runners in 53m51s, first female was Abbie Pearse of Steel City Striders Running Club.

*Photos by Rob Davies