This is a Yorkshire special edition of my original blog, kindly translated by Dave Woodhead
By’eck Yorksha is famous for menny things – everyone nos it’s t’best county i’ t’lan’ by eur mile. Owt ‘a’ tastes or luks reet gran’ ‘as Yorksha i’ its title – Yorksha puddings, Yorksha teeur, Yorksha Bap ‘n t’ Tour de Yorksha ta nem bur eur few. Most importantly it’s alsoa ‘ooam o’ menny o’ t’ country’s finest ivva fell runners includin t’ Brownlee brothers, Ian ‘olmes, Rob Jebb, Victorieur Wilkinson ‘n Nicky Spinks. Neya wonda it’s known as ‘God’s own county’.
Yorksha eur few weeks agoa i’d bin selected ta run for Yorksha int’ UK Inter-Counties Fell Runnin Championship – t’ ‘ighest standard o’ competition i’ fell runnin. For uz it’s allus eur girt ‘onour, nowt mecs uz prouda than wearin t’ vest wi’ t’ whi’ rose. Plus considerin t’ insane standard o’ athletes i’ wee county a’ t’ moa it’s almost akin ta earnin an international call up.
- Theur musteur bin born or li’ i’ Yorksher
- Theur mun be able ta speyt fluent Yorksher
- Theur mun be able ta run reet fast up’t gurt ‘ills
- Theur mun li’ pie ‘n peas
- Yorksha teeur mun be theur blood type
Thankfully ah tick orl t’ boxes.
‘ROB JEBB ‘AS BIN THEEAR, SEEN IT, DONE IT ‘N WON IT (SEVERAL TIMES OVER)’
Joinin uz int’ Yorksha team wor eur stellar line up o’ fell runnin superstars. our Thomas Adams wor t’ fust nem ont’ team sheet. Tom’s eur girt bloke ‘n eur gran’ bonnie lad o’ mine. ‘E’s eur regular GB international ‘n on ‘is day is virtually unbeytable, especially ont’ fasta, mooar runnable courses. T’ next nem ont’ list barely requires an introduction. Rob Jebb ‘as bin theear, seen it, done it ‘n won it (several times over). ‘E’s worshipped li’ eur god i’ Yorksha ‘n t’ shea mention o’ ‘is nem is enuff ta scare most opposition intoa submission. last bur not least are twoa young Yorkshamen whoa are t’ future o’ fell runnin. Ilklheur ‘arriers’ Jack Wood ‘n Dark Peyt’s our Thomas Saville. Jack ‘as bin winnin everythin i’ ‘is guinell recently ‘n, li’ our Thomas, is reeight much t’ real deal. Rememba thea names as thee are likely ta feyture a’ t’ top o’ race results for menny mooar years ta cum. Dis wor undoubtably ‘un o’ t’ strongest Yorksha teams i’ve ivva bin eur part o’ ‘n unsurprisingly we wor t’ pre-race favourites for team gowd.
Pictured above: A pre-race photo with Rob Jebb (L) and Tom Adams (R) (Woodentops)
The Inter-Counties Championship is an event which attracts eur ‘uge range o’ athletes FRA orl o’a t’ country. Dis race is unique int’ sense ‘a’ t’ reeight best runners FRA everee discipline can orl compete togetha ‘n t’ winna is allus someone whoa is t’ most complete athlete. int’ past menny o’ t’ courses selected fert Inter-Counties av bin mooar favourable teur t’ fasta trail or cross-country runners. ‘Oweva, dis year ‘ood be different wi’ moel eilioa as t’ chosen battlegroun’. T’ fact ‘a’ Rob Jebb ‘ed decided ta compete suggests ‘a’ dis is eur classic fell race ‘n not just eur few ‘illy laps o’ eur park. It wor eur race ‘a’ ah wor alsoa relishin. previously uz best ivva finish int’ Inter-Counties ‘ed bin 7th (2015), followed by 13th ‘n 15th. Today ah wor ‘opeful o’ a’ least eur top 10 or ‘appen even eur top 5. Ah wor already familiar wi’ t’ rahte as ah clegged it it 8 years agoa when it formed part o’ t’ British Championships, finishin i’ 22n’ place ‘a’ day. I’d alsoa teken um tahhm ta recce t’ final mile ‘n steep descent o’ Moel Cynghorian on Wednesday wi’ uz gran’ bonnie lad Math Roberts (cvfr) whoa lives i’ Llanberis. Preparation is, afta orl, t’ key ta success. ah think it’s ‘cos o’ dis reeight reason ‘a’ ah felt reeight relaxed ‘n confident a’ t’ start.
Pictured above: The start of the race (Woodentops)
‘I WOR RACIN REEIGHT SENSIBLY ‘N USIN ORL O’ UZ EXPERIENCE AS EUR SEASONED FELL RUNNER’
I began t’ race a’ eur reeight steady pace ‘n watched menny o’ t’ favourites clowt t’ front a’ pace. Ah didn’t panic. Li’ eur bi’ race ah could sense t’ others int’ pack watchin uz closely ta mek eur move. asteead, ah ‘eld uz groun’ ‘n settled intoa eur reeight comfortable speed ‘n rhythm. as t’ gradient began ta climb ah started ta fettle uz way thru t’ field, firstly intoa t’ top 10 ‘n then up ta 7th place. Ah wor racin reeight sensibly ‘n usin orl o’ uz experience as eur seasoned fell runna, ah knew ‘a’ um o’ t’ others ‘ood pay t’ price for eur fast start on such eur tough course.
Pictured above: The climb to the summit of Moel Eilio with Chris Farrell (Greater Manchester) just in front (Woodentops)
Ah felt gran’ ‘n as we approached t’ summit o’ moel eilioa i’d managed ta cop our Thomas (Adams) ‘n ah fahn’ missen i’ 4th position. Dis wor eur pivotal moa int’ race. FRA ‘eear ah worked togetha wi’ multiple English ‘n British champion Simon Bailey (Staffordshire). We encouraged apiece otha ta try ‘n cop t’ leaders – wee Christopha Smith (Middlesex) ‘n our Max Nicholls (Kent). It wor ‘un o’ those moments i’ll nivva getget, urgin apiece otha on, sharin wattah ‘n wukkin tactically despi’ bein part o’ eur different team. Ah rememba sayin ‘we can doa dis, these lads aren’t fell runners…we can bea’ ’em ont’ final descent’. Ta which ‘e replied ‘i think we need ta cop ’em ont’ climbs fust!’. ‘E wor reet. Ah wor bein reeight optimistic bur it wor t’ fust tahhm int’ race when ah rememba thinkin ‘a’ we meight actually be able ta win. Wee Christopha ‘n our Max wor clearly t’ fastest athletes, bur fell runnin is abaht sa much mooar than just pace. ah knew int’ back o’ uz min’ ‘a’ ah could descen’ quicka than anyone ‘n ah ‘ed eur strong feelin ‘a’ rahte choice ‘ood laik eur key role i’ decidin t’ fortunes o’ orl.
We continued ta chase bur it wor difficult ta tell if we wor closin t’ gap. T’ meeam thin wor thee wor still i’ seight. Ah tried ta cop uz breyth ont’ descent o’ Foel Goch as ah knew we ‘ed eur gurt climb ahead teur t’ summit o’ Moel Cynghorian. It wor ‘eear ‘a’ made uz killa move ‘n managed ta breyt away FRA Simon. We’d worked sa ‘ard togetha while naw bur ah knew if ah woontad ta win dis race then i’d need ta attack a’ um point. Ah wor feelin strong ‘n ah could sense eur 3rd place finish ont’ cards providin ah judged uz efforts correctly – theear wor still eur long way ta nip on. It seemed ta tek foreva ta finally reach t’ top, theear wor eur numba o’ false summits teasin uz along t’ way. Ah tuk eur few deep breyths ‘n composed missen afowa ah turned ta fyass t’ final descent.
‘THIS WOR GOAN BE EUR REAL SPRINT TEUR T’ FINISH – EVEREE SECON‘ ‘OOD COUNT!’
Ah began ta folla t’ leaders bur realised thee wor takin eur poor choice o’ line teur t’ botta. Ah could see ‘a’ thee wor gonneur tooa far teur t’ reet ‘n thee wor ‘eadin t’wards wha’ looked li’ an orange flag or eur marshall wearin ‘i-vis ‘appen. Ah knew it wasn’t t’ reet line bur it did mek uz question whetha or not t’ organisers ‘ed added an extreur checkpoint. Doa ah folla? or doa ah trust uz gut feelin ‘n nip on uz own way? Ah glanced o’a uz shoulda ta see which line simon wor takin. ‘E wor ‘eadin gallock. It confirmed wha’ ah wor thinkin ‘n ah sharp switched direction. Ah knew wee Christopha ‘n our Max ‘ood soon realise thea mistake ‘n ah knew Simon ‘ood be flyin daahn t’ descent li’ eur bloke possessed. Dis wor goan be eur real sprint teur t’ finish – everee secon’ ‘ood count! Ah tuk t’ most direct line bur it certainly wasn’t t’ easiest rahte. T’ groun’ wor boggy ‘n ‘eavily saturated, theear wor eur beck ta negotiate ‘n then eur fierce lahl kick up ta eur track which led t’wards t’ finish. Ah knew ah ‘ed ta gerr theear fust ta gi’ missen enny kin’ o’ chance o’ winnin dis race. Dis last mile wor goan ‘urt real bad. As ah reached t’ top ah tuk ‘un last glance behin’. Ah didn’t av much o’ eur gap bur ah knew it meight just be enuff. Simon wor naw i’ 2n’ wi’ wee Christopha ‘n our Max reet behin’. Ah gev it everythin ah ‘ed gallock ‘n tried not ta skeg back. Ah wor runnin scared ‘n theear wor still eur long way ta nip on. ah expected orl three o’ ’em ta pass uz a’ enny moa, it wor li’ bein i’ eur bad dream ‘n feelin li’ thy not runnin fast enuff. Ah wor on uz absolute limit bur ah knew wha’ wor a’ stake ‘n ah wasn’t goan roll o’a ‘n concede defea’ just yet. ‘Keep wukkin, keep sprintin ah thought…you can doa dis!!!’
Pictured above: The final sprint along the track – victory in sight! (Sports Pictures Cymru)
I clegged it as ‘ard ‘n as fast as ah uz legs ‘n lungs could both manage ‘n it wasn’t while t’ reeight last 100m ‘a’ ah knew i’d won. Ah couldn’t beleev it! as ah crossed t’ line ah could’ve cried ah wor sa ‘appy, ah nivva dreamed i’d ivva win eur race dis gurt. Ta win t’ Inter-Counties Championship whilst wearin eur Yorksha vest is jannock literally eur dream cum true for uz. It wor just ‘un o’ those days wheear absolutely everythin went reet ‘n ah clegged it t’ perfect race – cleva, tactical ‘n reeight experienced. I’d won ‘cos ah wor t’ best fell runna ont’ day, not ‘cos ah wor t’ fastest athlete. Ah fahn’ missen apologisin ta wee Christopha ‘n our Max whoa finished i’ 3rd ‘n 4th respectively. ‘Ed thee not av teken eur poor line ont’ final descent ah would’ve bin sa’ ‘eear writin abaht ‘a suited ah wor wi’ winnin eur bronze medal. Bur dis is ‘un o’ t’ menny reasons why fell runnin is such eur gran’ ‘n unique spoarts. Ta win eur race a’ dis level absolutely everythin ‘as ta nip on reet ont’ day. Aye theur need ta be fast ‘n obviously theur need ta be able ta climb ‘n descen’ li’ eur proa. Bur most importantly theur need ta be able ta choose t’ reet tactics, navigate confidently ‘n, o’ course, av plenty o’ jouce on thy side. I’d done everythin reet ‘n reaped t’ rewards. dis ‘ed bin eur fell runnin masterclass.
Pictured above: The first 4 men (L to R) Chris Smith, myself, Simon Bailey and Max Nicholls (Woodentops)
Ah wor alsoa supa suited for Simon. We’ve battled against apiece otha menny times afowa ont’ fells bur today ah felt li’ it wor eur shared victory, we’d chuffin’ pushed apiece otha ta 1st ‘n 2n’ ont’ day. Ah wor disappointed for wee Christopha ‘n our Max – thee deserved mooar for thea efforts bur assured uz thee wor ‘appy wi’ t’ result. They’re both chuffin’ girt guys ‘n real athletes. I’ve neya doubt they’ll both lern uz eur lesson i’ mounteeam runnin a’ t’ next trials race!
Pictured above: UK Inter-County Fell Running Champions 2016! (Woodentops)
In t’ women’s race ah wor suited ta see wee beeam ‘Eidi Dent (Cumbria) tek t’ gowd ‘n demonstrate ta everyone (once agin!) just wha’ real form she’s i’. Dis lass chuffin’ is destined for girt things. Run o’ t’ day ‘oweva mun nip on ta Lou Roberts (Cumbria) for ‘a amazin 2n’ place. As eur V40 she’s int’ form o’ ‘a life ‘n deserves tremendous praise for orl o’ ‘a results sa far dis year. Annie Conway rounded up t’ top 3 ta mek it eur clean sweep for Cumbrieur ‘n showin ‘a’ thee chuffin’ are t’ dominant force i’ women’s fell runnin.
Pictured above: UK Inter-County Fell Running Team Champions 2016! From L to R: Rob Jebb, Tom Adams, myself, Jack Wood and Tom Saville (Woodentops)
Pictured above: UK Inter-County Fell Running Team Silver Medallists 2016! From L to R: Georgia Malir, Holly Page, Katie Walshaw, Sharon Taylor and Claire Green (Woodentops)
Surprisingly afta such gran’ individual results we managed ta defen’ wee Inter-Counties team title which truly t’ icin on eur reeight large cake! T’ Yorksha wimmin finished i’ 2n’ place behin’ eur reeight dominant Cumbrieur. eur gran’ day for wee girt county ‘n ‘un ‘a’ will surely keep t’ Woodhead’s smilin while t’ next ‘un!
The finest day o’ uz athletic carea sa far.
Pictured above: Rob Jebb showing me how to drink like a Yorkshireman (Woodentops)
Ah may av enjoyed t’ rare trea’ o’ lampin Rob i’ eur fell race bur when it comes ta suppin ‘e’s reeight much i’ eur class o’ ‘is own. If Carlsberg made athletes…they’d be FRA Yorksha ‘n they’d be called Rob Jebb. wha’ eur legen’.