It was wonderful to be back in Edale village hall on the 1st of March. Having missed last year and with all the hard work in getting permission, it was with a mixture of pride and relief that we were able to welcome you all to the 2019 HPM.
The media at the moment is talking a lot about ‘strong women’ and HPM this year was full of them! We had the highest number of female teams and the greatest proportion of female competitors in mixed teams. All proving themselves to be strong runners – no gender definition required!
First back in the hall were a team new to HPM ‘Penny Peg Legs’ (all male despite the name) but due to our staggered start they had a nervous time waiting for the pre-race favourites ‘Haggis on Tour’ to arrive. The Haggis’s rushed into the hall with 9 minutes spare to claim victory. This is the first time a mixed team has won HPM outright. Another feat for the super-strong Jasmin Paris to add to her list!
Very well done to The Penny Peg Legs too, a cracking effort for new competitors. Although they admitted not finding the elusive Grinnah Stones CP we let their position stand since they were a good 40 minutes ahead of the next team. Apologies to those who spent time and effort finding that checkpoint, our instruction to the marshals hadn’t been specific enough. Thanks for taking the unexpected diversion in good spirit. Apologies also to the Peg Legs that we don’t award a first ‘all male’ team trophy- perhaps HPM needs to move with the times!
With the fastest mixed team taking the winners prize our magnificent ‘Viking Horns’ trophy went to the next mixed team who proved themselves indeed to be ‘Leaner and Less Moany than 2018’ by sneaking in just under the 11 hour mark. Times in general this year were quick – very quick. Twelve hours has long been thought of as a ‘good time’ for HPM. This year more than half the field managed to beat that mark and all but six teams were under 13 hours, tremendous efforts by all.
Amongst the seven teams that clocked sub-10 hour times were our two fastest all female teams. ‘Three Blind Mice and a Farmer’s Wife’ came home in 9:36, followed soon after by ‘Does my Bum look Big in Mist?’. The ‘Mice’ were led by no ordinary ‘Farmers Wife’ in Nicky Spinks, another of our female fell legends. The team name unfortunately proved quite prophetic this year as Majka Kunicka was rendered temporarily sightless over Kinder by a medical phenomena not unknown in the ultra-running world or indeed to the HPM (Phil Cox in 2007). A frightening experience and they inevitably lost some time but the fact that Majka carried on and with help from her team-mates won the ladies trophy just shows how strong this team of women really were.
Another female fell legend to grace the HPM this year for the first time in many years was Wendy Dodds. Drafted in at late notice Wendy became the female component in super-veteran team ‘Lost Lads and a Lass’. They got within a whisker of claiming the Veterans Handicap trophy, only to be thwarted in the end by the calendar! Dave Egan of the Lost Lads celebrated his birthday on the Saturday (2nd March) but we take the age for handicap on the day of race start. Without the extra 4 minutes this would have given Dave’s team, it was ‘The Sanatogen Pirates’ who were just quick enough on their pegs to take the prize booty.
Our third place veterans team were Bowlands Vets. Led by our oldest competitor Yiannis Tridimas their handicap was reduced by recruiting a relative youngster (52 year old Mike Bourne) as a last minute replacement. Yiannis declared this to be his last HPM and although we hear said a lot in Edale (yet folk still come back) we know Yiannis to be a honest man and if it does prove to be his last we thank him for his support over the years.
We should also mention and thank The Rucksack Club- supporters of HPM since its inception and provider of both the Veterans and Ladies trophies. It was good to see them represented again this year. Although the team had to be rather coerced by HPM veteran of the Rucksack Club, Geoff Bell (another legend!). It was great to welcome Geoff and his wife came to the hall, they enjoyed chatting to finishing teams.
Our chief thanks should go to all those who make HPM possible. This year I have been greatly helped by Matt Harmon, particularly in dealing with the entries and competitor queries. Also to Nicky Spinks for help and advice to gain the necessary permissions (we’re getting ready for round two!). Finally and most especially to the students of The University of Sheffield Mountaineering Club. Their energy and enthusiasm really drive the event and make HPM so special. Let’s hope we can negotiate the same for next year.
In the meantime wishing everyone happy adventures.
We still have a few items of lost property waiting to be claimed:
Overall winners-‘Haggis on Tour’- Konrad Rawlik, Jasmin Paris, Iain Whiteside, Jim Mann
Runners-up ‘Penny Lane Peglegs’ Lawrence Eccles, David Chetta, Rory Harris, Ken Sutor
Ladies Team Winners- ‘Three Blind Mice and a Farmers Wife’
Megan Wilson, Nicky Spinks, Majka Kunicka, Lisa Watson
Mixed Team Winners ‘Leaner and Less Moany than 2018’
Neil Britton, Mark Children, Jess Richardson, Claire Nance
Veterans Handicap Team Winners- ‘Sanatogen Pirates’
Dave Allen, Jim Paxman, Steve Wathall, Dave Holmes