Round the Resers – Race Review

Well it’s been over 5 weeks since my last successful race and 2 weeks since creaking out of Liverpool Marathon. My back isn’t great, but this week I started doing a little bit of running knowing that I’d entered the ‘Round the Resers’ 5 mile trail race.

Round the Resers – preamble

This is a local trail race. Set in the stunning Longdendale Valley the course is, essentially, 2 laps of the reservoirs at the United Utilities plant in Tintwhistle.

Despite being a small fundraising event (Pancreatic Cancer this year), it is very popular. The small car park was practically full when we arrived an hour ahead of the start time as several hundred runners met to run this 5 mile race.

I’ve done the race once before, in 2015, although I wasn’t injured then!

Having entered the race some months ago, and that I’d offered a lift to a friend, I decided I’d come along ‘and have a jog around’. Great plans etc.

Before the race

Round the Resers – cost & benefits

The event is fabulous value at £12 and is well organised, marshaled and timed. In previous years the first 200 finishers got a mug. This year, everyone got a technical t-shirt.

Round the Resers – organisation

I arrived for registration and collected my race number and T-Shirt. Although it is a very popular event, a small number of on-the-day entries are available.

I couldn’t hear any of the pre-race briefing despite not being that far back.. That aside, the marshaling was top notch although there was only a single water station at the start of the second lap; easiest to organise, but it was a rather sultry evening and perhaps a second station could have helped. That said, it kept the mess near the access road. And, it was £12 and only 5 miles. Again, really small points.

Round the Resers – the route

The race starts on the access road, just down from the junction with the main road. At the bottom of the access road is a trail path directly ahead and the first dam to your right. The race goes out along the dam and ultimately returns along the trail path.

As the route crosses the (unsurprisingly level) dam it joins a trail path on the other side. After faffing around a bit on the level, and doing a short downhill section it starts to climb. It’s not a long climb but it’s a good pulse-raiser. In fact, after the initial steep bit, it levels out mostly but continues to climb. As the second dam approaches, the route gently drops down to meet it. On the opposite side, the path zigzags back down to the water level on the opposite bank. It’s mostly on the level until reaching the first dam. The loop is then repeated with the finish being at the point the access road meets the dam.

It all looks something like this:

Round the Resers – route & elevation

Round the Resers – my race

In injury mode – go steady, enjoy this scenic run

Sadly, nobody thought to pass this message to my legs who were in race mode.

From experience last time, I kept to the right side at the start. The race begins at the top of the access road alongside which there is runner parking. So if you’re on the left hand side, suddenly your half of the road disappears. I started further back than I might have done due to wanting to take things steady. And I managed that for almost 100 metres I reckon. Then I started to weave through the pack ahead of me who were going slower than my legs had dictated I was. We were off. And in race mode.

The first hill seemed to be a hammer blow to a lot of runners ahead of me although due to the number of people there it took some dodging around. I went into race mode and managed to get some clear space to settle into a steady pace. With the hot evening, and the lack of enough to eat or drink during the day, I wasn’t that well prepared! Anyway, I digress.

In race mode, pursued by Janet

I caught up with a couple of others from Stockport Harriers on the flat mile to the end of lap 1. For much of the second lap I was running on my own, which is better for me as I don’t try to do anything stupid like catch up with people close by. I was aware that ‘Janet’ was not far behind me (4th female finisher) as she seemed to have a reservoirs-worth of fans cheering her on!

As I went along the last mile which was predominantly flat, I overtook some of the tail-end runners who were completing their first lap.

I finished in 34 minutes 14 seconds which was over a minute faster than my 2015 time. Given the injury, and the heat, I’m happy with that!

Round the Resers – Results and Photographs

The photography was organised by APN Sports Photography and here’s the link to the site. At £1.50 for a hi def digital photo, it’s a really good price.

Round the Resers 2017

Race results are here.


It’s a great local race, friendly to all levels and abilities. At £12 it’s not breaking the bank and it’s a lovely place to run.I know last year the midges (they love standing water – and eating people) were a pest to the runners, but no problem in 2017.

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