December 27, 2023

Totley Two Turtle Doves Fell race

Another glorious blue sky Boxing Day for this years Two Turtle Doves Fell Race. I managed to get to the start line on time to join the other 160 runners for the 5 miles and 980 feet of ascent in this BS category race.
An initial lap of the sports field, which this year was boggy in places, to thin the field out before a short stretch of uphill tarmac to the end of Strawberry Lee Lane. Off road from here on a mixture of path and bridleway and from the stepping stones it was varying degrees of uphill through Blacka Plantation to the car park on Hathersage Road. It was now fast running on rutted and sometimes flooded bridleways and, save for a couple of fields and a muddy pull up Wimble Holme Hill, mainly downhill to the end of Strawberry Lee Lane and back along the, now downhill, tarmac to the finish and thankfully not having to do a lap of the playing fields.

Two young U23 whippersnappers dominated the race with Finlay Grant of Dark Peak getting home first in 32:37 just 17 seconds ahead of Tom Spencer of Buxton and over 2 minutes ahead of third. The first lady home was Imogen Pieters of South Yorkshire Orienteers, 29th overall in 42:43.

MAC placings were:
5th Greg Hopkinson 35:59
6th Max Wainwright 37:52
33rd Bob Foreman 42;54 1st M60
61st Gemma Cox 47:48
99th Megan Hopkinson 54:19

A great effort by all and another well organised and marshalled event by Steve Franklin and his Totley AC helpers.
If Megan had not been so competitive in dipping for the finish line she would have emulated Steve Gill’s feat of last year and won the spot prize for the 100th finisher who, by the way, was given the same time as her of 54:19.