Monday 16 April 2018

#CountryKids FRA Junior Championships Blacko

Country Kids

On Sunday my son and I travelled for just over an hour to Blacko in Lancashire for the 2nd of the Fell Running Associations Junior Championships. (First event was at Todd Cragg in Ambleside). We arrived in plenty of time as we knew parking was going to be an issue (it did result in total gridlock in the village!). This also gave us time to walk the course and check out the obstacles and let me decide on filming points.

We actually got lost walking the route as we were so early they hadn't flagged it out (the landowner wanted it all done at the last minute). However we did manage to discover the bog of doom and how many stiles they would have to climb (4 in total but 2 would be repeated):

Looking at my strava recording I can see where we went wrong but it wasn't easy to see on the ground:

The first two races were taking a slightly different route which had no mud but an awful lot of hill. I positioned myself on the hillside with both cameras and enjoyed the sunshine whilst waiting for the under 9 runners to get to me. Bear in mind some of these are only 6 years old:

For the under 11s they had to cross over a ladder stile and go right to the tower. So I had to clamber over the stile to capture their race (tricky to do with cameras and tripods...). It was worth it to see them close up though:

Then I had a mad scramble to get anywhere near the under 13 race as I had to go over 3 stiles and I only just made it to capture the start up the lane. Once they had all passed me I moved further up the course to capture them coming back down the field. They are so speedy there isn't too much time to get to another position. They all looked like they had been mud bathing on their return:

My son was one of the unfortunate few finishing outside the points again although he wasn't last. The downside of filming is that I don't get to photograph my son in action. Luckily other parents have shared their photographs of him in action:

I had time to get to the bog before the under 15s came storming up the hill. There were some painful looking falls in this one but amazingly everyone survived to finish the race:

I kept my vantage point for the final race in which both under 17s and 19s were racing. This was a tough race and a couple of runners were brought back down by the mountain rescue. They are a tough bunch as you can see from the film:

The next event is in Malham and I hope my son gets a chance to get onto the points table this time...


  1. Great that your son joined in this time, my kids love it but I haven't been brave enough and as such none of them have done the adult course yet. Maybe one day! Mich x #Countrykids

  2. I had to be brave 4.5 years ago when my daughter wanted to do the full one for her 10th birthday!

  3. Coombe Mill (Fiona)17 April 2018 at 21:59

    I must say it looks pretty high up for a junior course! They are scary if you are not good with heights, but it is so satisfying to complete them. I have only done it on holiday in France, it terrified me both times but I loved it too. Well done your son, it looks far from easy.

    Thank you for sharing wiht me on #CountryKids


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