October 23, 2023

Windgather Fell Race

A glorious Sunday followed in the wake of Storm Babet as 5 MACs gathered at the Burbage Institute, Buxton for this year’s Windgather Fell Race, BM,  over 13.5 miles and 2’600 feet.

A field of 118  runners   set off up Bishops Lane and after half a mile of tarmac a left turn took us steeply up to the moors. Down beside Wildmoorstone Brook into the Goyt Valley on varying degrees of moistness, around Bunsal Cob and across the valley below  the Errwood Reservoir Dam. A couple of miles of fast forestry trails overlooking Fernilee Reservoir before the steepest climb of the day up to Windgather Rocks. Great views to be had over the Cheshire Plain, and lovely running along the ridge to Pym Chair and Cats Tor. We then hit the dreaded slabs for the next mile to Shining Tor.

A nice descent initially and then a horrible, loose, stone and boulder filled heathery gully followed by a boggy section to the bottom of the valley where we crossed back over the River Goyt. A long drag up Berry Clough to Burbage Edge and then a fast descent through fields, a section of tarmac and more fields to the finish back on Bishops Lane.

The race was won by  a raider from the Lake District, Kim Collison of Borrowdale in 1:41:31. The first lady was Annette Haines of Totley AC, 29th o/a in 2:14:30.

For MAC:

18th         Bob Foreman                      2:04:50         1st M60
32nd        Mark Elwis                          2:15:55          2nd M55
41st         Scott Thompson                 2:22:06
53rd         Ayako Yokoyama Nichols  2:26:00
100th       Emma Fitzgerald               2:56:49

Emma had her race compromised by gallantly stopping  to administer first aid to two other runners. Good for you Emma.

This is a tough but very enjoyable race with a bit of everything. Back at the Burbage Institute there were plenty of cakes and filled rolls for sale and a particularly delicious Tomato and Red Onion soup. Yum.