Wednesday, 21 September 2011

3 Shires Fell Race 2011

Saturday morning saw us off to Little Langdale in the pouring rain to run the Three Shires fell race. Parking this year was again from Hodge Close quarry and the road to the quarry was flooded in various places.

As usual Pete Bland was there, this time in the car park.
Albert, Tony and Mark before we left for the start.
I found it sorely tempting to stay in the pub once we had registered and not bother with the race, there was still a huge queue for numbers by the time the race was due to start and the weather wasn't looking too inviting.

By the time everyone was ready I just wanted to get going so I could warm up. We all had a rudimentary kit check (they just checked whether we looked to have a decent bumbag/rucksack - it's always nice to be trusted) then we were off down the lane. Usually I start a little too close to the front on this one - not one for all the bumping and queueing that goes on further back. Nobody was going to ford the beck this year it must have been nearly chest deep!

It always seems much longer to the start of the first climb than I remember, it was still raining and the paths were like streams in places. The climb up Wetherlam is a bugger; as usual I had judged the conditions wrong and put my helly and thicker waterproofs on so I was getting far too warm . It was a nice surprise though for the clouds to clear as we got higher towards the summit and it stayed that way pretty much for the rest of the race.

I struggled most of the way round, all the climbs seemed tiring and the whole route was very wet and slippy. I enjoyed the descent from Blisco to Blea tarn though, this being the only point where I managed to pass a few people.

Passing Blea Tarn. Thanks to jellybabyfairy for taking this photo.
I filled my bottle from the Beck at the bottom of the climb up to Lingmoor and stuffed the rest of my food down but it didn't help much with that climb.

Struggling up Lingmoor. Thanks to Sport Sunday for the photo.

It wasn't long before I was over the summit and on my way down to the finish, not a bad descent but I missed a few of the short cuts through the bracken. Albert was already at the finish so after washing my legs in the beck and having my pastie with a cup of tea he dragged me back to the car to get warm and wait for the others. The sun even came out once or twice so I took a couple more pictures:

Looking out towards Wetherlam (in the distance) from the car park.

Across Little Langdale to Lingmoor Fell.

As usual thanks to everyone involved with putting the event on; I finished in around 2h52m so a little slower than my best but considering the conditions I should be happy. I was glad to get round in one piece, there were a few tales of cuts and broken bones after the finish; hopefully nothing too serious!

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