Saturday 14th October saw the 3rd Kate Burge Sea-to-Summit Race and the third year of musings in clag. The race was born after the tragic death of Kate Burge in August 2014; struck from behind whilst cycling home from work. This year it was even more poignant after Matt MacSevney, the Manx Fell Running Treasurer was killed just 9 days previously in similar circumstances. A minutes silence was held before the start to gather thoughts and summon memories; to take Kate and Matt out into the hills once again.
The tide was out making the linking of the Sea to Summit that bit more arduous. Graham Burge, Kate’s dad, blew the hooter and off they teamed down the beach, touching the water, then running away! The comedy was soon measured by the climb out of Laxey. Again flagging legs were fortified by the pipers before the fells proper and the challenge of poor visibility. Some teamed up, some preferred self-determination. The Control Points were oases, stepping stones of achievement. Especially a remote Control Point 2 marshalled by humans with jelly babies!
Runners lay GPS trails like dropped spaghetti. Roaming around, the shapes of other competitors materialising and fading. In conditions like this it’s not the going the wrong way that makes a difference; everybody did, even the winners. Success is measured by: 1) how quickly you’re able to recognise you’re off course 2) resisting the urge to fit the terrain to where you want to be 3) working out where you’ve strayed 4) taking remedial action. To do well or even complete a race like this it’s not only about running. So with 113 finishers out of 119 this qualifies as a great day.
Lloyd Taggart was beaten into second place by an impressive run by Ben Corkill. He’s been knocking on the door for some time. Is this a case of “The King is dead, long live the King?” A wild Tom Cringle came third. The women’s race was won by a resurgent Elisa Morris, with Nina Skilton (Cannock & Satfford AC) managing to find her way to second place (last year she strayed ‘slightly’ and found herself in Ramsey!). Eleanor Gawne was third.
Back to Laxey Sailing Club for tea, cake, beer, presentations followed by, Matt Kelly, singer song-writer, then the fabulous Fecktones. Fantastic moves were being thrown on the dance floor. They’re a fit bunch these fell runners.
This is a great event made that way by the spirit in which it is run. However temporary, and to whatever small degree, it helps to re-frame the death of Kate and Matt into a celebration of their lives.
Thanks to all, especially the marshals, pipers, cake and soup makers, the Civil Defence, Matt Kelly and the Fecktones. And thank you Kate and Matt for the time you spent with us.