Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Shuttlinsloe Fell Race

Location: Shuttlinsloe, Cheshire, UK
Date: 25th May 2009

I ran this race last year and enjoyed it so much I decided to do it again this year. It also fits with my desire to inject variety into my training.

I used to do a lot of fell running. Fell runs can be every bit as gruelling, if not more so, than road races like marathons. For example, one of the last races I did before giving up long cardio was 14.5 miles with thousands of feet lost and gained during the race. It took 3 hours 15 minutes.

The picture shows us at the start of the Shuttlinsloe race on Monday - we must run to the top of the small mountain on the left, and back.

The great thing about this race is that in one, short, 20-25 minute effort, it combines all the variety of a proper fell race. This variation makes it feel more like a Primal/Paleo activity than a flat race: there are times when you have to walk, wade or wait for others at stiles - so it has intervals of varying effort. Here are the various stages:
  1. Downhill sprint into the forested gully.
  2. Wade through the river.
  3. Hike up a steep bank covered with bluebells.
  4. Run along a track to the base of the steep part near the farm (centre of picture)
  5. Run/hike up the front of the mountain.
  6. Check in at the top.
  7. Run left along the ridge.
  8. Career down the side, trying not to tumble.
  9. Career back down through the bluebells, almost certainly tumbling.
  10. River again, then the sting in the tail - back up the hill with legs like rubber.
This year I did not train for the race. The last time I ran up a hill was in April and prior to that I cannot remember. My time was slower than last year, but I was also conscious of spending longer waiting for people at stiles; possibly long enough to account for the difference. So my guess is that I was not really any less fit. This is interesting given the profile of my fitness regime has shifted significantly towards intervals and away from longer duration training. This certainly chimes with the opening remarks of Clarence Bass in this post.


Guy said...

that sounds like a good run and great fun.

Theres a similar race down near where my Aunt lives in Devon that I fancy trying one year, the Seaton Grizzly.

Methuselah said...

Thanks Guy - looks like a good race, but might be a bit longer than I would attempt these days... I tend to stick to things I can complete in under 30 mins. Good luck if you try it. You done any other fell runs?

Anonymous said...

I too did this race !
I too was slower than last year !
I think my problem though was all the BANNOFFEE PIE I ate the day before .
I'm a sinner ....

Guy said...

yes I noticed afterwards that it is a wee bit longer than your one.

No i haven't done a fell race, in fact i have only done one race ever and that was the Robin Hood half-marathon about 4 years ago. I have only just started running again since xmas. Half built up my stamina now, concentrating on HIIT twice a week then a 1hour run on the weekend. But the HIIT is having an incredible effect on my stamina/strength/endurance. Luckily i live by the sea in Scarborough and i have beaches/steep hill so can vary my location each time.

Methuselah said...

Guy - fell races are so much more fun than flat running. Good to hear the HIT is helping. Be sure to let me know how you get on if you get into the Fell Running.

Anon - yes, I've heard Bannoffe pie can have devastating effects on fell running performance. Of course I would never eat such a thing ;-)