Three Rings of Shap - 2010 Report and Results
Results for this year's Event can be downloaded here -
REPORT ON SIXTH THREE RINGS OF SHAP - 19/20th JUNE
It seems hard to believe that our first Event took place five years ago, so fast has time passed! The original format has endured largely unchanged from Year 1 though with small refinements and, hopefully, improvements. Our ethos continues to be defined as – ‘give the punters what they want’ – and to have as few rules as possible. If this means coping with occasional hiccups like the couple who did their Rings in the wrong order – then so be it.
Entries were very slightly down (9%) with 130 starters out of 148 entered. This number seems manageable given our resources though we are willing to be tested a little further if necessary. The general trend is for people to enter as late as possible though entries on-the-day were manageable at ten this year. The use of Sportident’s on-line-entry system is proving invaluable with more than 50% of entrants using it. It was also nice to have an increase in the number of locals entering at least one Ring with promises of some doing more in the future.
The now familiar pre-event panics of planning, organising man (and woman) power, cooking, baking and general food collecting and preparation took place as normal and, as ever, success is dependent on attention to detail. The customary gathering of Friday overnighters in the Hall brought together the usual mix of new and old-timers guaranteed to generate a friendly and anticipatory atmosphere.
The weather leading up to the Event weekend had been fine and sunny though rather on the warm side. It was with some relief, therefore, that the Saturday dawned cooler and overcast with a moderately strong northerly breeze. Conditions were clear on Ring 1’s tops giving excellent views and reports ranging from frozen fingers to refreshing breezes – the latter attributed to more hardy northerners! No rain fell throughout the Event and the weather gradually improved with a warm and pleasant day leading into a gloriously sunny evening. For those lucky enough to walk through the night conditions were perfect with a cloudless sky and magnificent dawn giving pin-sharp views.
As usual the majority of contenders were satisfied with one (65) or two (39) Rings and coping with their culinary need was made much simpler this year by an increase in the number of stalwart ladies who were willing to give up their Saturday preparing and serving food all day and night – not to mention the endless clearing and washing up.
Given the benign conditions it might have been expected that a higher proportion of those electing for all three Rings would convert. For some reason this was not the case and only 23 of the 54 in this group eventually did so. This percentage (43%) is considerably lower than last year’s 57%. As this is one of the yardsticks by which we judge the Event it was slightly disappointing but, of course, the enjoyment and satisfaction of those taking part is paramount. Two Rings of around 40 miles is a jolly good day out by most standards and there is an increasing tendency for many to elect solely for this – especially Ring 1 then Ring 3. The recent Scottish 100 was only three weeks behind us and was certainly a factor for some in not completing the full 100 K.
From Year 1 it quickly became obvious that the main challenge of the Three Rings is the mental fortitude required to drag oneself out of a warm and comfortable hall a third time often into a dark and sometimes cold and wet night. As this challenge was completely unforeseen at its inception the Law of Unintended Consequences could have been invented for this Event! Over the years only 88 have completed all three Rings at least once with pride of place going to Phil Musson who has been with us on all six occasions.
Records are made to be broken and they certainly were this year - by local lad Iain Kelly – who romped home in 11 hours 41 minutes; some 40 minutes faster than Colin Travis’s previous record. Colin, himself, came in some 20 minutes later also well inside his previous best. Marie Doke was again the first lady home in 15 hours 35 minutes (though outside her 2006 record of 15 hours 3 minutes). All 23 of the 100 K finishers were amazingly sprightly at the end with an array of fast times particularly impressive for the majority who completed for the first time. The final two came in well before the 26 hour deadline allowing tidying up and closing down to proceed in good order.
Amazingly there were no major crises this year – no angry farmers or terminally lost contenders, no major injuries or complaints and plenty of compliments about the Event. All of which positives have persuaded us to go again next year – Provisional date 18th June 2011 (3 weeks after the Housman Hundred!).