Friday, December 23, 2005

The Beginning

During the 2003 and 2004 I ran a few fell races trying to make the transition from a strong long distance walker to a long distance fell runner. These races confirmed the quantum leap in fitness neccessary would only be achieved with specialist advice, encouragement and support.

Fortunately, I live near Horwich and while the town has been synonymous with the railways since the mid-1920s there is an athletics club that was, originally part of the Railway Mechanics Institute, Horwich RMI (Horwich RMI). Horwich RMI is a club with a considerable pedigree in fell running. In the 1970s, Mike Short became British fell champion on two occasions. In so doing he rewrote the record books by breaking countless course records in most of the classic fell races of Britain. In addition, Paul Murray, Norman Matthews, Tony Hesketh and Steve Jackson have all been national veteran fell running champions. Horwich RMI also host a race that is held dear to the heart of the people of Horwich and the surrounding area. On Easter Saturday crowds gather along Lever Park Avenue to await the spectacle of the Rivington Pike Fell race, one the oldest established fell races in the country.

Rivington Pike Fell race (2003) was the first fell race I had run since school (in 1970) and so, really, only Horwich RMI would do - I joined in late 2004 and started winter training.


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