UK Cup Race 9

LOC National Event

The penultimate UK Cup weekend took place over a rather warm couple of days in the Lake District. Sundays race saw a return to Holme Fell, having not been used for a major event since the JOK Sprint was there 5 years ago. A minor problem with the car parking, due to a rather narrow and bumpy entrance into the field did not spoil the enjoyment of the event, and everyone in the lively assembly area was buzzing with excitement at the sheer thought of setting out onto the challenging fells. Times were expected to be long, and many people set off on the elite courses equipped with energy gels, jelly babies and water-carrying devices to help them on their way, even with the drinks points located on the course.
The mens and womens elite courses had a total of 15 identical legs, including some short legs involving fine-o early on, a vast section of the long legs on the fell top, as well as some intricately detailed legs at the very end of the course.
There was a general consensus that the climb given in the details was vastly wrong, and from my own calculations, the M21E actually had nearly 1km of climb (though that is red-lining it). This proved to be too much for many early starters with a lot of early retrials, making myself the leading Brit for quite a while. However, the times started getting quicker, and it was not until GB Junior Scott Fraser finished that we had a decent time, which kept him in the lead for nearly half the day, and was enough to put him in 11th place overall and leading junior. But soon enough the GB seniors proved their worth, and local lad Ed Nash flew into the finish in an impressive 91 minutes, with just four runners starting after him. Soon after the trio of Jez Edwards (who Nash had already overtaken), Nick Barrable and Dan Marston poured into the finish, Dan pushing Ed down into 2nd, with just Matt Crane and Jamie Stevenson to finish. Jamie surprised everyone when he came into the finish, not least because he came in from a different direction from all the other top runners, but he had done enough throughout the course to take his second victory of the weekend, this time by a margin of nearly 2 minutes.
The womens race proved to be equally exciting, with GB Junior Alison ONeil setting a superb benchmark for the seniors to follow, and in the end she finished in a fantastic 4th place as leading junior. Whether or not the women gained from having many similar legs to the mens elite course remains to be seen, but with Jo Stevenson posting the =19th fastest time on the mens course for the longest leg on the fell, the men may well have been helped by the women in some cases! This was one of Jos six fastest splits, and were it not for the long leg up to the top of Holme Fell where she lost nearly 10mins it could well have been a double win for the Stevenson family. As it was, she still finished in 8th place, and allowed Helen Winskill to take victory by 1 minute from Heather Monro, completing her first classic race for some time. Hannah Wooton made up for her mispunching the day before by completing the top 3.



Overall standings for the UK Cup after 9 out of 11 races

1. Ed Nash 275 (6 races)
2. Matt Speake 249 (6)
3. Matt Crane 245 (6)
4. Nick Morgan 242 (6)
5. Andy Etherden 224 (6)
6. Oli Johnson 211 (5)
7. Jez Edwards 208 (6)
8. Nick Barrable 203 (6)
9. Allan Bogle 202 (6)
10. Jamie Stevenson 197 (4)
11. Neil Northrop 188 (6)
12. Andy Kitchin 188 (6)
13. Patrick Walder 183 (6)
14. Dave Godfree 182 (6)
15. Roger Goddard 169 (6)
16. Martin Stepanek 165 (6)
17. Duncan Archer 163 (6)
18. Rob Baker 161 (6)
19. Murray Strain 158 (6)
20. Dickie Wren 156 (4)

1. Helen Winskill 288 (6 races)
2. Hannah Wooton 269 (6)
3. Sarah Rollins 263 (6)
4. Kim Buckley 259 (6)
5. Jenny Whitehead 254 (6)
6. Claire Ward 251 (6)
7. Mhairi Mackenzie 246 (6)
8. Helen Palmer 245 (6)
9. Rachael Elder 234 (6)
10. Laura Daniel 216 (6)
11. Janine Hensman 211 (6)
12. Gillian Godfree 209 (6)
13. Aislinn Austin 203 (6)
14. Jenny James 201 (6)
15. Pippa Whitehouse 198 (6)
16. Heather Burrows 196 (6)
17. Alison ONeil 188 (6)
18. Christine Currie 170 (6)
19. Jo Stevenson 159 (4)
20. Karen Heppenstall 151 (6)

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