Sabden Fell Race 2016
Incorporating the Lancashire Senior and Junior Fell Championships
28th March – Easter Monday
Having felt for some time that a Lancashire only race would be a great idea for our Fell Championships, 2016 felt like the ideal time to do it. David Bailey had retired as RO of Pendle, a race we had successfully piggy-backed since the Senior Champs was re-launched several years ago. There had also been debate about the pressure on Barley as a base for many events.
Sabden is not used as a base for a regular fell event, probably because it doesn’t quite have the parking required for most races. However for a Lancashire only race and the smaller field sizes that is likely to bring, it is a great venue with some interesting route choices.
So the new race at Sabden was set up and a request was made to Lancashire AA to consider sanctioning it as the County Champs for 2016 and they agreed to do that. It’s always difficult starting up a new race and I was hoping for a decent turnout and with good feedback.
In the end the seniors held up fairly well with particularly good support from Clayton and Rossendale. However the juniors were down in numbers, which was a continuation of a trend I’ve seen for a few years as our Lancashire clubs just don’t seem to have as many junior fell runners at the moment.
Feedback was excellent. The attendees felt the Church Hall worked well as a base. The course received good feedback and particularly from some who have been racing on Pendle for years and had never taken some of the lines used during the senior race.
Chris Arthur of Bowland took the mens title by a good margin from last years runner up Chris Holdsworth of Clayton. Danny Collinge also of Clayton took 3rd place and finished 1st U23. Ashley Holt of Rossendale was the 1st VET and the U23s look in good shape as they took 3 of the top 5 places.
Nichola Jackson of Preston Harriers was last years U23 winner and 2nd senior. This year she went one better and took her first senior title. Deborah Gowans of Accrington Ropoad Runners was 2nd lady and 1st VET followed by Carmen Byrne of Holcome Harriers.
Clayton retained their Senior Team Title, which is given to the club on the basis of the best 4 Men and best 2 Ladies to finish.
The Boys Champions were U16 Joshua Boyle (unattached), U14 Jamie Teare (Blackburn H) and U12 Jackson Mackay (Clayton). Both Joshua and Jackson retained their titles from 2015 and Jamie went one better having been the U14 runner up last time.
The Girls Champions were U18 Elizabeth Greenwood (Blackburn), U16 Minnie Targett (Rossendale), U14 Briony Holt (Clayton) and U12 Ella Dorrington (Clayton).
Clayton won the Junior Team award for the first time, based on the best 3 Boys and best 3 Girls
Finally thanks go to my team of volunteers. I had great support from Lancashire AA Members as well as from others. I don’t want to single people out, but the marshalls moved around with each race, encountered some very poor weather during the senior race and managed to bring in all the markings from all areas of the course.