Thursday, 17 November 2011

Watch out, watch out, there are Pendle witches about!

It's the Full Tour of Pendle on Saturday and the advice from 'the locals', is to bring plenty of spare pins.
Illustration of Pendle Witches from William Harrison Ainsworth's 1849 novel 'The Lancaster Witches'
Here's the sorry tale about a runner from Halifax from a previous 'Full Tour' (circa 1612)

'About twenty minutes before the race, Alizon Device encountered John Law, a runner from Halifax Harriers and asked him for some pins. Safety pins are frequently needed for magical purposes, such as in healing – particularly for treating warts – divination, for love magic, and for attaching numbers to vests, which may have been why Alizon was so keen to get hold of them and why Law was so reluctant to give them to her.
Some pins yesterday
Whether she meant to borrow them, as she claimed, and Law refused to go into his bumbag for such a small transaction, or whether she had no intention of giving them back after the race as John Law's son Abraham claimed, is unclear. Approaching Ogden Clough, Alizon saw Law stumble and fall, he managed to regain his feet and reach a nearby inn.

Initially Law made no accusations against Alizon, but she appears to have been convinced of her own witchcraftly powers; when Abraham Law took her to visit his father a few days after the incident, she reportedly confessed to casting a spell on him and asked for his forgiveness.' [Source - The story of the Pendle Witch Trials]

Pendle Hill by

The Race
  • It's 16.8 miles and 4830 feet.
  • There are 11 checkpoints to visit all over the great brick of a hill that is Pendle. It always amazes the runners, when they get their big band of bread tags (one for each checkpoint) at the beginning of the race, that they are ever going to get shot of them all. But they will. 
  • Finish times last year ranged from 2:27 (James Logue from Calder Valley) to 5:10 (I feel I cant name the 'lantern rouge' without permission!)
  • Lloyd Taggart has the record at 2:11:00 (2007) and Angela Mudge for the ladies in 2:36:28 (unbeaten since 1997)
  • Race starts at 10:30 on Saturday - we'll bring you the results as soon as we can - (via Twitter @fellrunninbrief - which will also appear in the top right hand corner of this page)
Last year's top ten

1. James Logue - Calder VFR - 2:27:34
2. Tom Brunt - Holmfirth H - 2:30:31 64
3. Paul Thompson - CleMH - 2:34:36
4. Matt Nuttall - Blackburn H - 2:36:08
5. Stephen Brock - Keighley & C - 2:44:46
6. Nick Charlesworth - Wharfedale H - 2:45:12
7. Mike Nolan - Dark Peak FR - 2:45:45
8. John Sutton - Blackburn H - 2:45:52
9. Mark Russell  - Salford H & AC - 2:45:52
10. Tim Edward  - CleMH  - 2:46:02


1. Lynne Clough - Chorley - 3:07:56
2. Molly Ralphson - Trawden - 3:08:42
3. Tamara Hird - Wharfedale Harriers - 3:11:31

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