Sunday, 7 October 2012

Birch Tor via a fell race!

Time for a fell race with Dartmoor Runners from Challacombe Cross, I had chosen this over an orienteering race in a particularly average forest.  I hadn't ever run from this car park before but was really looking forward to it.  After a short road run we joined the path at Lepra Cross, through Moor Gate to West Coombe,  I confess that I am not sure whether we stayed on the path or not, the Harvey's map was a little vague and it wasn't obvious on the ground either.  I was soon caught by the next starter, and together we found our way back onto the open moor.  I managed to leave him at control one as I cut in first and was quickly out and flowing nicely.  I decided to stay low as this looked the best running, the downside of this was that I had to keep pushing hard, not easy as the sheep trods were very slippery after the recent rain.  After a short climb I contoured into the valley west of the trees and out again then around the hill into two.  I lost concentration on the next leg and following the West Webburn river ended south of Hameldown Tor, having climbed too much, but picked up the path and then dropped into control 3 at Grimspound.  I decided to head north west and loop into Birch Tor (52), I managed to find trods most of the way, and kept going over the 300m or so of rougher stuff to the tor, I passed a few runners on this leg but am not sure it was the best route choice.  I headed north off the tor and looped onto the Two moors way track, still running well I had my eye on a runner I had passed as he came off Birch Tor, I like having a target on these events, it seems to keep me motivated.  I caught him at the final control but couldn't shift him on the descent and finished about 10 metres in front.  So 11km in 80min, I really enjoyed my run and felt pretty pleased with my time.

Route on Endomondo

Photos from the finish

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