Striders achieve the BIG Wainrights dream!

214 peaks in one day!

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Who doesn’t like to dream big, who doesn’t want to achieve something awesome, and when it comes to running challenges in the fells there is nothing bigger than the Lake District fells and the Wainwrights.  There are loads of celebrated individual records to go at, whether that be the Bob Graham, the Tea Round, Lakeland 3000’s, a continuous loop of all the Wainwrights, and while these superhuman feats are to be marvelled at, putting your own stamp in the record books is beyond most of us.  However, as a collective, there was an opportunity for Knaresborough Striders and members of all ability and experience to get a piece of this action, by becoming only the second club ever to put a runner on top of every fell in one day.

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On May 7th 2022, Knaresborough Striders achieved exactly that, bagging all 214 of the Wainwrights in one day (with a little help from a few friends and family).  Each and every walker, jogger and runner pulled together to deliver a truly inspiring result.  The beauty of this challenge is that it required the collective action to achieve it, with all contributions as valuable as the next, and while we really needed some of our heavy hitters to deliver on the big days with runs over 30km and silly levels of ascent, just as valuable were the shorter distance routes that all contributed vital fells towards the critical 214 number.  This for me is really the magic of Striders, that all levels are catered to, and why this challenge and opportunity to make history suited us perfectly.

We created a WhatsApp group in the week leading up to the big day to help keep track, and throughout the week you could sense the excitement building up to something truly special and on the day itself it just exploded.  There was a constant stream of messages and pictures all day, inspiring and motivating everyone onwards towards the special achievement.

 We will look at doing a fuller write up and encouraging words from as many Striders as possible to share their experiences of the day once it has sunk in, but just wanted to share a quote that perfectly summed up the day for me;

               “it was such an awesome feeling to look out at the mountains in every direction, and know that at some point during the day there would be a Strider summiting them, nutters”

 A massive shout out to all 33 Striders that came together and contributed fells to the make us only the second club to bag all 214 Wainwrights in a single day.

 Dan Molesworth

To see more views of this incredible achievement, click here: Wainwrights in a day gallery



Event Review: Ilkley Moor Fell Race 2022

Ilkley Moor Fell Race 06/03/2022

submitted by Dan Molesworth

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Having run a number of fell races last year for the first time I was really looking forwards to them starting up again in 2022 and the Ilkley Moor Fell Race was my first for the season having unfortunately missed Runners and Riders, the first of the club fell champs, earlier in the year.

Having been to a number of fell races last year I was expecting much the same, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere but fairly small and low key.  However, on turning up an hour and a half early (I wanted to get a good 5km warm up in) the streets around the start were already packed!  All the other fell races I have been to have just had a small gazebo for registration and that’s it, this had multiple pop-up shops from Pete Bland Sports and alpkit, as well as a couple of coffee vans, and there must have been hundreds of people milling around, both competitors and those just out for the spectacle.  The main event itself was a sell-out, with in excess of 400 runners covering both juniors and seniors.  Given the poor weather recently it was great to also have glorious weather on the day, cool but nice and sunny and not really any wind.

The race started off on a small tarmac path leading up to the tarn before heading off on a footpath uphill towards the Cow and Calf.  Given the volume of people it was fairly stop/start initially, and once on the footpath they were fairly muddy and churned up straight away.  Although I wanted to push the initial section I was glad of some of the enforced walking due to the narrow path and steep ascent, however after the Cow and Calf and footopath widened and levelled off there was no excuse not to push!  This easier running didn’t last long with another very steep up towards the pancake stone (only 2km in and probably nearly 175m of vert already!).  There was then a short stretch along the top with just about time to get your breath back before the route cut sharply down Backstone Beck then straight back up the other side (dropping then regaining 120m in just over 1km).  I was a bit reckless on the descent and just let gravity do its work and was able to pick off quite a few in front of me (one wrong step here though would have had very painful consequences), the following up was brutal and just a hands on knees slog.  The next stretch of downhill on rocky paths was taken fairly easily while I attempted to get air back in my lungs before another horrendous up out of the rock valley, hands on knees again!  Thinking that was virtually all of the ascent done I pushed as hard as I could for the next KM, just keeping pace with those in front/behind me before being stung with the final climb up to Badger Stone.  As much as I tried to keep running here I had to walk bits, although miraculously I didn’t loose the person in front or get overtaken from behind.  Knowing that it was all downhill from here I went for it as hard as I could and managed to pick off a few more on the descents.  What would normally have been grassy fellsides were now seriously muddy and very slippery but the new Mudclaw 300s were perfect and gave me the confidence to go full pelt.  The final run-in was as muddy as the rest of the course, but the big cheering crowd did a great job of pushing you on and over the line.

The Ilkley Moor Fell Race was unlike any I have been to previously, but it was absolutely amazing.  The ascents were real lung busters leaving you gasping for air at the top, while the descents were terrifying.  The mud, the rocks, the competitors, the spectators, the sun, and the Moor all added to a great day out and I can’t wait for the next one, roll on the 10th April and the Hooded Horse (unless I can’t wait and squeeze in the Bilsdale fell race in a couple of weeks time).  It was also great to bump into Sarah and Mark there for some fellow Strider support, but would be awesome to see more Striders at the next one 😉

p.s. two final thoughts to add.  I loved how inclusive this race (and all fell racing) is, with competitors from under 9s all the way up to Antonio the 80+ year old that I have seen at every event, and then all abilities in between.  I always had someone to follow, so no navigation needed really, but it was a really well signposted and marshalled event, so next to no opportunity to get lost/go the wrong way.

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