It’s not unusual for Fell Races to have odd names… ‘The Trunce’, ‘The Trog’, ‘Old County Tops’, etc. The Golf Ball race is so names because of the strange huge golf ball like communications tower new Loveclough on the northern tip of Rossendale. It has noting to do with golf, but as with most fell races, it takes a bit of balls at times.
The route itself looks uninspiring when you think of the topography round here; it’s not the Lake District of the Peaks, and to be honest, there’s no massive summits, but it’s a classic Pennine short fell race, with 1228 feet of climbing over the 5.5 miles.
This is the third time I’ve run the Golf Ball race; last time was in 2005 when I was 8th. I finished 13th last night, 45 seconds slower in 41:23. Very slightly disappointed but not too much – it’s reminded me that no matter how much I run I need to race more to be good at racing.
What amazed me though was it’s the first running race I’ve done since I got my new Garmin 305 GPS and Heart Rate Monitor. Just glancing down at my heart rate throughout the race made me ralise how I seem to run bang on the limit all the time. The result is that accelleration, or indeed any kind of pacing strategy is unachievable… I’m literally recovering and just getting by all the way through. (see image left – the Heart Rate is red on the graph – the green is the terrain (Heart rate hardly drops at all whether climb or descent).
The Google Earth KMZ file front he Garmin is here for anyone who wants to look at the course.