A good turn-out of 422 runners were greeted by strong winds and driving rain. Climbing up the first ascent of four into the clag the anticipation was that visibility would be next to zero over the top, but by the time we reached Badger Wells the cloud suddenly lifted, just as the wind did the same. A quick pace round Churn Clough reservoir was followed by the second climb towards Fox Holes then the precipitous descent down the appropriately named Geronimo, a 1-in-2 drop followed by a 1-in-4
climb. As we were climbing up onto Pendleton moor shouts started to go out for the front runners, now some 5km ahead. The race meandered down towards check-point 5 before abruptly turning right up to Mearley moor, a 2km long 1-in-3 climb back to the top. Now on jelly legs the grade descended back to Barley; the final climb of the full tour having been lost to ensure everyone returned safely before the anticipated arrival of storm Abigail.