I have been a keen fell runner for over 20 years and competed, with varying degrees of success, over the majority of those years. Fell running is such a grass roots sport and most importantly for me has a strong community which I am proud to be part of. Through the past few years, the strength of this has been so apparent and important to my family.
Every fell runner has their favourite races; mine tend to be low key, informal and, when I am fit, over tough, rocky, mountainous Lake District terrain. If not, I will go for whatever I can squeeze between work, family stuff and looking after Tess as the spring/summer months are very busy for Matt, my husband. I also love any races where you have the opportunity to take part as a team- Lakeside Gummers Howe being a total classic and the Ian Hodgson relays in the autumn.
Returning to these races after illness, and even competing in some of them through illness has been amazing and I have such powerful memories of certain events. At times, it has been quite daunting to race again, I am rebuilding my confidence and constantly adjusting to my new and shifting parameters. Whilst racing I always try to remember to look around, enjoy each step of the ‘chosen challenge’ and have a thought for my wonderful mum who died 21 years ago to cancer. Perhaps these ‘thoughts’ hold be back from being as competitive as I once was but they are part of how I race now. A serious illness changes so much.
Photos here- winning ladies team ‘The Crooked Ladies’ at Lakeside Gummers Howe June 2019. Men were 2nd team.
Hazel Robinson – close friend and Ambleside team mate.