Curbar Commotion Fell Race

Curbar Commotion Fell Race Details

RaceCurbar Commotion
OrganiserHelen Walton
StartCurbar Primary School, S32 3XA
Distance10miles / 16.1km
Elevation1,335ft / 407m
Cost£6pre-entry / £7 on the day
RouteCourse Map
M RecordD Combes – 01:05:58 – 2017
W RecordA Hooghamer – 01:19:39 – 2017
WebsiteClick here

It was a Saturday, slatting it down and it was the morning of Curbar Commotion Fell Race. Wonderful! I set off to Curbar, leaving my partner Briony tucked up in bed for a lie in, like a normal person on Saturday morning, to run the 16km fell race. It starts at the village school heads up along Curbar Edge then south to Baslow and back to the finish line. It was October and the first of the fell races I was planning to run in wintery conditions.

Curbar Commotion Fell Race

Curbar Commotion Fell Race

It’s taken me a while to write up this race so the finer details are a little hazy but I can confirm the route isn’t short of elevation and is longer than the summer Gritstone series I’d been racing recently.

By the time I’d registered and got to the start line the weather had dried up and I began to consider the idea that I’d made a bad choice with the jacket I was wearing. I’d opted for a heavy GoreTex technical jacket, thinking that at least if it’s going to be pissing it down on the way round then at least I’ll be dry in a waterproof jacket.

We set off and headed through Froggatt woods and along to the main climb, the woodland scenery was a pleasant surprise. In all the usual pre-race excitement, I’d headed out a little fast and had to let a few runners past whilst I settled into a more comfortable pace. I’m not one for defending my position in a race and cheerfully let clearly stronger runners scoot past, usually with a grunt of encouragement if I’m not struggling too hard. I’ve only been running 15 months so I’d be a fool to try and hold my position. The final about turn that took me up on top of Curbar Edge got pretty steep.

It was about this time that I confirmed my earlier consideration that I was wearing a jacket which was far too heavy-weight for running up steep hills in. I staggered to a walk, sweating my tits off and reached for the underarm vents to try and release some of this inhumanely excessive heat. After I had released some excess heat via the vents and completely unzipping the front I felt like I could make my way along Curbar Edge.

I glanced down at my running watch to see I was 8km deep confirming I was now at around half way through the race. By the time I’d made it to the 9th kilometre I was sweating profusely, and in all honesty becoming concerned I was about to suffer a mild heart attack. I was stuck wearing this ridiculous jacket whilst running up steep hills with no where to discard it without losing it, an option I couldn’t justify. To put into context how overdressed I was a race marshal observed my predicament, kindly frowned and proclaimed ‘Blimey, you must be warm in that’, too bloody right I thought. I was convinced I was about to die from heat stroke.

On the downward ascent, after we’d reached the top of Eagle Stone I’d given up on the idea of cooling down, instead I’d decided to saddle up and see this thing through. I tried to chase down the guy in front and quickly realised it wasn’t going to be a battle I could win. After we’d crossed the finish line he must’ve clocked my additional exertion and bad jacket decision because he came over to also tell me how I ‘must’ve been roasting in that coat’.

Curbar Commotion Fell Race Results

I felt like I’d not done badly in this race and I was happy to find out I’d finished 50th out of the 199 runners, running the 16km course in 1:21:04. I’m already looking forward to doing this route again in 2019.

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