Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Isle of Wight Fell Race Series


West Wight Road Runners decided to take the 'Road' in their club name seriously and avoid the Fell races on their doorstep. However, Ian Jolliffe ignored the party line and turned out for the third of the series (13 miles, 1500ft ascent). The course has changed since he last did it in 2000, leaving the coast before rather than after St Lawrence, but taking in a loop towards Whitwell from the top of Stenbury Down to compensate. There are two long climbs, out of Ventnor to Stenbury Down and from the outskirts of Shanklin over Shanklin Down, and a horrible descent off Boniface Down, but otherwise a beautiful course. Anyone who enjoys off-road running will appreciate this course.

Ian started slowly and enjoyed the race, going strongly into the wind from Shanklin Down to Boniface near the end. Then he remembered it was a Fell race so . he fell, coming down the final set of steps at Ventnor station. The final half mile was a jog/hobble, but finished in 1.53.26. Four days later the impressive grazing is healing and the bruised muscle is less painful, but it may be next week before he's running again.

Ian was not the only WWRR member - Dave Baker, running for his First Claim club Wight Tri, managed to stay on his feet and finished in 2.06.59. He'd also done the two other races in the series the previous day in 25.23 and 1.20.55 respectively. I didn't ask if he'd preceded each with a swim and a cycle, but knowing Dave, it's quite possible.

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