Race reporter: Kenny Richmond

A week past on Saturday saw 18 Shetts head down to the Peak District for the 2019 FRA relays. This is arguably the best hill running event of the year, with over 200 teams and some of the best runners in the UK battling out over four legs of energy sapping, muddy and tussocky Peak District Hills.

The event centre was in the shadow of the magnificent Derwent Damn (seen below) – a damn that may have been strong enough to contain several hundred thousand cubic metres of water, but not strong enough to contain a flood of controversy that was to hit the Shetts later in the day…..

The relays were over four legs of either solo or pairs, with three legs marked out with an optional route to follow if wanted (although there were some interesting route choices that could be taken if brave), and a fourth ‘nav leg’ with maps handed out at the start. Each team has a dibber to record going through checkpoints. The dibber is important, must not lose……..

Three Shetts teams made the long trip down, with a good number staying in a ‘luxurious’ cow shed the night before:

Shettleston Select: Liam Johnston/Ross Cruickshanks&Iain Pender/Kirsty Coombs&Bryony McLeod (showing some tight knit running below) /Victoria Leiper

Shettleston Vintage: Walter Henderson/John Connaghan&Kenny Richmond/Bill Breckenridge&Stephen Winter/Peter Mackie

Shettleston Class of 19: Mike Deason (showing us his downhill prowess below) /Tom Owens/Ross Gollan/Alasdair McLeod/Jethro Lennox/Robert Simpson

So, how did the teams do? Shettleston Select (our mixed team) came in a creditable 113 overall (and 5th mixed team) – with Victoria wearing a brand new pair of shoes for the event (controversial??).

Shettleston Vintage (the mature/vet team) battled to 21st (and 4th Vet team) with Peter also managing to finish this year.

Shettleston Class of 19 (our senior team with our big guns) came into the finishing field in second place (Robert running the anchor leg clearly keeping a level head), stumbled and fell in the mud but still managed to cross the line in third place (still a medal winning position)…….wearing Peter’s number (another story) but minus a dibber…….which had been ripped off 100 metres back and was lying in the mud……

Cue the bursting Derwent Dam of controversy, cue #dibbergate, cue the disqualification of Shettleston Class of 19, cue no medals……

A technicality in British Athletics rules meant that despite no cheating, and the Class of 19 going through all the checkpoints, no dibber meant no finish. Dark Peak A team (who came fourth but bumped up to third) were not complaining, but the race director was not for changing his mind – Class of 19 were out. Respect though to Dark Peak A who we think didn’t take their bronze medals in protest.

On the positive side, the Class of 19’s disqualification (and the DQing of at least two other teams) bumped Shettleston Select and Vintage up the overall rankings a few places. Every cloud and all that 🙂

Some great individual and paired runs with everyone being kept on their toes on the day.

A special thanks to Dark Peak for hosting such a fantastic event and giving the runners a real taste of running in the Peaks.

Full results can be found here: https://www.sportident.co.uk/results/DarkPeak/2019/BritishFellRelay/

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