Short report of a trip to the South Pennines for the Great Hameldon Hill Race 6th May 2012 by Phil Gillard
Memories of Accrington in May
My last trip to Accrington was in May 2010; no thoughts of running that day, I was there to support my beloved football team Grimsby Town and help them avoid the drop to the football conference. I will not bore you by reporting on the (lack of football) that day and history will tell you that we were not successful and still lie languishing below the football league. The only saving grace was meeting up with Danny Chan who was in the Grimsby crowd – his mate is a Grimsby supporter.
So how long does it take to banish the demons of such a memory – two years in my case and so on Sunday 6th May I set my sat nav to take me to the Peel Park pub in Turkey Street, Accrington, the venue for the Great Hameldon Hill race. My sat nav has a facility to “avoid”, so duly set to “avoid” Accrington’s football ground it guided me to the race start. How lucky are these people of Accrington (putting football aside) to have such lovely moooooers (that is moors in Lancashire speak) so close to the town, even the kids races were able to get onto open fell within a few hundred yards of the pub.
………..and so it was under the occasional blast of Pennine sunshine we set off on the Great Hameldon Hill race; the route ascends through some woods, down under the A56 and up onto the open fell going straight up onto the trig point, rounding the trig point, a nice descent and back under the A56.
The distance is about 6 miles, the climb is about 1100 feet, the terrain comprises of hard track, some grassy meadow, some tussocky fell and some nice slushy Pennine bog.
Would I recommend it, yes on a number of counts – there is a lovely family atmosphere with the kids races starting an hour before the main race, it is not too taxing and well-marked and marshalled – a good first fell for non-fell runners and the Pennine terrain is something everybody should experience – lovely soft, springy peat. Going a bit further afield also allows you to be beaten by people you haven’t met before and running behind vests from Clayton, Accrington (no football shirts allowed) and Bowland is a bit more of a novelty.
It sounds such fun that the results don’t matter but here for the history books
||Helsby Running Club