September 28, 2023

Shelf Moor Fell Race

Bob Foreman reports:

On Saturday, Old Glossop was the venue for the last English Fell Running Championship race of 2023 the John Hewitt Memorial Shelf Moor Fell Race. Now named in the memory of the host’s, Glossopdale Harriers, former Chairman.


A perfect day for fell running with blue skies, warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. Also perfect was the route, a tough  6 miles and 1450 feet of ascent on varying terrain with not a square inch of tarmac underfoot!  A fast start up the Doctors Gate path for around a mile before a left took us steeply up to James Thorn and then on to the TP at Higher Shelf Stones.

From here a couple of miles of tough but fantastic running over peat groughs, bogs and single track heathery trods with plenty of hidden holes and gritstone rocks to concentrate the mind. A steep, grassy but rutted descent into  the valley to the where the race started followed by a flat fast run in to the finish near the bus turnaround.

The women’s race went off first at 11 am with 98 starters. The first home was Phillipa Williams of Dark Peak in 46:42 breaking the 37 year old record by 49 seconds

For MAC Gemma Cox was 46th in 1:03:51 and Ayako Yokoyana-Nichols 60th in 1:08:35.


After the women had done the hard work and flattened the peat 217 men set off at 12.30.

First home was Joe Steward of Salford AC in 40:34

For MAC Dan Haworth was second in 40:57 and managed to secure 3rd overall in the English Champs. Billy Cartwright was 7th in 43 :10 having already secured the English Championship Title.

40th     Max Wainwright        48:54
69th     Richard Bradbury      52:29
89th     Bob Foreman             55:03    1st M65   3rd M60
114th   John Thorpe               57:48
172nd  Geoff Cooper              1:05:51
189th   Mick Moorhouse          1:08:59    3rd M70


The race is run alongside Old Glossop  Village Fete and there was a great atmosphere around the whole event.


Very well organised by Glossopdale Harriers and I hope to be back next year as it is now one of my favourite races.

I’ll be bringing a chauffeur with me so I can get some ale down me!

Photos courtesy of Alan Schofield and Stephen Wilson