We seem to have a bit of history with cheese races...
This week, following on from 2019’s Myerscough 10-mile cheese bomb race we had the Blacksticks Blue 10K, with a wedge of local cheese for all finishers. The race starts at the local primary school in the pretty village of Whitechapel with bacon barms (insert local bread roll name here) available, James Sutcliffe made full use of the offer before and quite possibly, during the race while supporting Sarah and her fellow rams as well as providing photography services on course.
Much was made of the elevation profile here beforehand but there is nothing much here that any Ramsbottom runner would describe as a hill and the downs are all runnable without being so steep as to make you hold yourself back. That said it certainly “undulates” reaching its highest point at the 5k mark by Beacon Fell Country Park on quiet but not closed rural roads.
Give or take a couple of short ups, the final 5k is a steady slope down to the finish in the village where the first real signs of support appear close to the school. The race is well supported by local clubs with runners from Preston, Red Rose, Burnden, Accrington, Blackburn, Trawden and others joining the biggest single club turnout from Rammy.
First female and male home for Rammy were Sarah Sutcliffe and Tom White with times that eclipsed their 10k’s from 2 weeks ago at Wray.
It has been fantastic to see John Hall back at races, John’s presence always lifts the mood and he was briefly suspected of being up to no good when his namesake won the V75 race but it’s unlikely he would have got away with that one.
The solitary prize went to Lesley Heyes who won her age group with a time of 45:47.
The week’s other race activities started at Quarry Bank trail race where Jane Emanuel ran the 4.5-mile multi surface race around the National Trust country park.
Midweek action continued up at Clowbridge Reservoir where Diane and Lee Ford maintained their ever-present records at the trail series.
On Saturday Paula Pilling finished 2nd in her age group at Lakeland Trails 10k from Staveley on a steep scenic Cumbrian course. Anthony Metcalf and Rick Madden both took on the 18k event.
A little closer to home, gluttons for punishment Sacha Fox, Eve Hart, Matt Hardy, Dean Corrie and Geoff Proctor took part in the Marsden Moors marathon paying a mere £12 for the privilege of traipsing up and down those places you look at from the M62 and think “one day……”.
Beverley Dobson was in Northumberland for the most northerly English parkrun at The Pastures and there was strong contingent of Rams at the anytime club champs parkrun at Peel.
Not race related but it was good to see Danny Clarke back at it after injury. No doubt he will soon be terrifying guide runners again with his incredible pace.
Finally, it was good to see some club representation in the Lake District where Sam Booth supported John Kelly’s outrageous record-breaking achievement in completing the Wainwright fells and peaks in 5 days and 12hrs. The support from the wider long-distance community including previous record holders and competitors marks this sport out as a shining beacon of true sportsmanship.