Last weekend’s Christmas Cracker race went with a bang for Simon Bailey of Mercia Fell Runners. He kept his balance and composure to win on a slippery Sunday (17 December) morning.
This 8-mile race is an annual favourite organised by Staffordshire Moorlands AC. The route includes a section along the Roaches - a rocky ridge near Leek on the edge of the Peak District. However, the recent snow and ice resulted in hazardous conditions in this area and with safety of paramount importance, meant that an alternative route was needed. Instead, the organisers switched to a 5-mile lap around Tittesworth Reservoir.
Simon Bailey led from the outset and his fell running background proved to be very useful as he powered his way around the Reservoir and across the finish line. John Dance of Salford Harriers was next to finish followed by Philip Sale.
Salford Harrier Hayley Kutter went one better than her male teammate to become the fastest lady. Michelle Willcocks of Sutton in Ashfield Harriers was second with Tracy Dean of Staffordshire Moorlands AC in third.
Entries were up from last year with over 200 runners taking part in the 2017 race, many of whom wore fancy dress which is an integral part of this event. Prizes were awarded for the best costume across several categories along with those for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female plus age category winners. In addition were team prizes and a King of the Mountain trophy for the first runner to reach the trig point at the top of the Roaches. There were special edition socks or a bottle of beer for every finisher and a hot drink to thaw out.
Check out lots of
Photo courtesy of Bryan Dale. Check out lots of great photos of the race at Bryan's website.