All you will ever need to know about the British Fell Championship lies amongst these words and thoughts spread, like ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’, below. So relax. Relax and be amazed by the pure depth of knowledge; the grand literacy abundant in the following prose. Here lies syntax that will make your balls tingle; resplendent with words that carry you, weightless, on winged nouns across fields of adverbs to lofty heights high into the annals of literature to be lain amongst a nest of golden bullshit, the likes of which you may never get to read again on a subject I know so little about. Fellicionado prides itself on the maxim “10% what you say, 90% how you say it”. What you are about to read, if you haven’t wrapped your tits in already, is unfounded shite of the highest order. Opinions laced with the vitriol of ignorance, half formed and half remembered in nights of drunken stupor.
A new year and new season is upon us. Who then will be crowned ‘King of all Fell-kind’ come Autumns end? After the Carnethy 5 the other day it could literally be anyone’s after the gurus at Fellicionado aka ‘me’ got it all but 100% wrong! I quite clearly know my shit! With this in mind I’m going to break from protocol and NOT try to predict the winners for these races – yeah you’ll get some awesome analysis of the respective traits of the main contenders but I ain’t gonna hang me hat on the victors. That’s for you to decide. I’ll still lay a few matchsticks on the overall lads and lasses predictions mind!
Y Moelwyn AM 10.5m 2,799ft climb -Blaenau FFestiniog (no that’s not a typo), Cymru
First in the calendar is this cheeky number. Half the battle is getting the spelling right when you plug it into your Sat Nav and not crashing whilst doing so. Apparently ras y mynydd (mountain running) is more apt for this than a simple fellrunning……..whatever. You go up a bit, down a bit and up a bit more, then some more before coming back down for the last time over a 10.5 miler taking in the famous (?!) trio of Moelwyn Mawr, Moelwyn Bach and Moel yr Hydd (combined Scrabble score of 3500). The Mercian Tim Davies bossed it in 2009 getting a record that still stands of 1hr 15mins 58secs and her from Eyri, Jackie Lee, did the same that year with the women’s record in 1hr 31mins 55secs. Will they do the same this time round?? Does Tim Davies even run anymore?? Jackie’ll have it probably, local pride and all that. Some of the Scottish runners for the lads? Andrew Fallas maybe? Guess we’ll find out on 18th April.
Durisdeer AM 9.1m 4,068ft climb – Durisdeer nr Thornhill, Alba
This one’s a right bastard. I did last year when I should really have been coasting around the easy ones up Edinburgh way. The village alone is worth the effort of getting there though. Mega. It’s a ‘Sedbergh’ style race, very runnable looking hills, grassy and that, but knackering! There’s a bitch of a hill after the road crossing at the point in the race where you’re hanging out your arse. Treat yourself to that one. You start by the old kirk (nice cakes apres race) and are onto the first climb fairly rapidly….best recce the right line if you can, I didn’t and led the first group on a pretty shocking route (in my defence we ALL carry maps) giving us a lot to do! After that it’s hills and grass….feels a lot longer than 9 miles too by the way. Rob Jebb from Bingley has the record (1hr 21mins 53secs) for this from way back at the beginning of time circa 2008!! I’ll let you guess who holds the record for the women’s one (scroll down if you wanna cheat*) but it’s tres fast. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Jebby again for this one and Jasmin Paris for’t lasses. Bit longer to wait for this one…….13th June.
Lingmell Dash AS 4.5m 2,500ft climb – Wasdale, England
The obligatory ‘shortie’ in rap parlance (to quote 50 Cent et al) in the Championship. This one has a separate men’s and women’s start with an hour and a half in between….they should have it like the gypsy past-time of ‘grabbing‘, I’m sure we’d see some consistent record-breaking if it were…….just saying. Like all good fell races it starts and finished at a pub. The fast lads could get up and back before their Guinness has finished pouring…what an advert that’d make (I’m toppers with good ideas here). It is what it is this one. Up to Lingmell and back. One for Lloyd Taggart maybe? Simon Bailey possibly? One of the Borrowdale lads for sure….it’s pretty much local. I didn’t see Rob Jebb‘s name in there but he holds the record….45mins 36secs. Admittedly the Guinness would long be flat. Ambleside‘s Hazel Robinson holds the women’s record (59mins 34secs), it’s only a couple of years old and she ain’t getting any slower by the looks of things……her year again? Or will it be Victoria Wilkinson? Anything around the hour mark looks like it’d do for the ladies. A nice summer race this…..25th July to be exact. Best behaviour cos the man of the house will be there……
Seven Sevens AL 18.9m 8,776ft climb – Newcastle, Tuaisceart Éireann
Wrapping it all up in Northern Ireland is the Mourne 7-7’s. Sounds good this. Anyone who did the British Champs race up Slieve Donard last year will know one of the hills at least (you may not have seen it but you’ll have been up it – probably). It’s anti-clockwise this year – if that means anything to you?! Racing in NI is always good fun so it’s worth the ferry cost just for the craic. I’ll bet my bollocks that it’s an Irish lad that wins it….maybe that guy who won the Donard last year? Allan Bogle is it? From City of Derry AC to be sure, to be sure (I’ll be writing some crap about some of the N.I. runners at some point this year)? The men’s record from 2004 is over an hour faster than the ladies one (3hrs 54mins 22secs compared to 5hrs 3mins 16secs in 2012)….pull your finger out FFS! Has Rhys Findlay-Robinson got the speed over that distance or is one for the locals and orienteers? Women-wise who knows? It sounds like a work-horse race but surely that record will be beaten this year? I’ll stick my neck out and give it to Victoria Wilkinson again……..or Jackie Lee. As soon as this date was announced my wedding guest list halved……saving me a shit-ton of money. Every cloud. It’s 15th August by the way.
There you have it, trying to predict a winner out of that line-up of events is like trying to lick your own gooch. Who will win? Who knows. Who even cares too?
*Angela Mudge in 1hr 34mins 43secs – I wasn’t even close to that in 2014!