Unfortunately, at the time of writing, it looks like the Tigger Tor is the only one of the annual Totley AC series races to be run this year. The others in the series (the Totley Moor, the Tiger’s Trail, the Exterminator, the Two Turtle Doves, and the Blackamoor Chase) all having had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus. However, even though the end to the fell running season looks like it’s going to be a bit of a non-starter, at least the start to the season got off very well with the annual Tigger Tor race from the Sheffield Tigers RUFC on Hathersage Road in Sheffield.
After a couple of weeks of mild, settled weather in the run up to the 35th Tigger Tor fell race I was quietly expecting the best, however, as the day grew closer, the forecast changed. The past few years have given us a ‘bit of everything’ and that’s not far off what we had on the day. However, the weather was clear and dry as race started just after 10am, and Greg Hopkinson was the first back of the 372 finishers in 1:11:44 setting a record on the new route since Oxstones was made out-of-bounds a couple of years ago. Philippa Williams was first lady back in fourth overall position, crossing the finish line in 1:14:31. But within a couple of minutes of her arrival, with the majority of the runners still on the moors, the weather turned, the rain arrived, and the temperature started dropping.
Besides two short mandatory road sections at the start and finish of this race, this BM category race is not marked. Rather, runners make their own way around the 11 checkpoints in chronological order. However, whichever route you take, you’ll get a mixture of not only tracks and paths, but also sections of marsh, bogs, heather moorland, and couple of stream crossings. Although we’d had a period of dry, settled weather leading up to the race, the peat moorland holds on to water, and the terrain on the day was cold and boggy underfoot. This was also compounded by the rain and then sleet that began during the race. Fortunately, visibility stayed good allowing the runners to take in the stunning views from Higger Tor, Carl Wark, and Burbage Edge over the Longshaw Estate, Stanage Edge, the Hope Valley and the Eastern Moors.
The weather, however, didn’t stop the legendary Mick Cochrane getting back in a stunning 1:48:27 to win the M70 category and Totley AC’s very own Tony Whitehouse getting back in an amazing time of 1:33:17 to win the M60.
Special thanks also to Don Longley, who although is no longer the race organiser, is still involved and continues to help out with the race he established 35 years ago.
There was a fantastic turnout on the day from some of Totley’s finest and some amazing results. And special thanks, as always, to the amazing team of volunteers – the lifeblood of the club – who gave their time to make sure this event could go ahead.
Totley AC results for the Tigger Tor 26th January 2020