|View from under 14's turnaround point
Being injured and unable to run throughout the whole of August Bank Holiday was very frustrating, but I was still able to get involved and watch others participating in our noble sport throughout the weekend. Three of us spent Saturday afternoon flagging and taping the various Hebden Fell race routes for the brave people who'd be giving it their all on Bank Holiday Monday as part of our local Sports day programme. Races vary in length to accommodate under 9's, under 12's, under 14's, under 17's and seniors.
|Under 17 boy making it look so easy
Tiny tots simply run twice around a sloping field adjacent to the main arena. We couldn't flag it on Saturday because it was full of sheep and nobody, including the farmer who rents the field, had any idea who they might belong to! On Sunday I put on my shepherds hat and herded them into another field where they were eventually fastened in for the duration of the sports. All went well on the day as the miniature fell runners trundled round with much verbal support both from proud parents and our animated race commentator, Ian Douglas.
|Under 17 girl
Much as I'd like to have done, I've never run the Senior fell race. Most of it I could cope with, the short 300ft ascent, a rocky scramble to the white stone at the top of the crag, the bumpy path through tall bracken and swift descent back into the ghyll. What I can't manage at my time of life are the three high walls with deep drops to a downhill slope on the landing side. My old bones aren't as solid as they used to be whilst my balance and co-ordination leave much to be desired.
|Tom Adams of Ilkley leads the senior
race up the crag
This year I was marshalling at various vantage points where I could watch some amazingly keen youngsters, talented under 17's and experienced seniors making it all look rather easy as they flowed gracefully over each obstacle of the uneven terrain. There are times when I regret not having started running until the tender age of 54. I seem to have missed out on an awful lot!
|One more false start young lady
and you're out!
Meanwhile, back in the Sports field, there were flat and novelty races for all age groups. Those who regard running as too much like hard work could try their hand at Bat the Rat, Knock down Ginger, Field Quoits, Putting Contest, Football game, Train Game, Treasure Hunt or Tombola. With children in mind there was a Bouncy Castle that got rather crowded, a Bran tub and ever popular Face Painting. Long queues snaked out from the barbeque tent, tea and cake stall and ice cream van as folk sought to replace lost energy. After a Fancy Dress parade at 7pm the day's proceedings ended with the traditional singing of Rimington (aka 'Jesus shall Reign'). Well, it should have but no-one seemed to know the words!