Sunday, 16 June 2013

Ennerdale Fell Race 2013

Saturday 8 June brought another Ennerdale Horseshoe and a good turnout of runners in the sunshine. I didn't  have much of a plan apart from getting round and hoping to at least match my average time of about 6 hours.

It wasn't to be. They had extended the cut-off times again which meant I could take it easier in the early stages and it was nice to see Joss Naylor on top of Great Bourne the first checkpoint handing out encouragement/abuse (he commented on how I didn't have a sweat on).

I followed some good lines up to Haystacks though deciding to go right around Seat was a bit of a mistake without a recce since I ended up clambering down some scree - I didn't head right enough. After Blackbeck Tarn I began to suffer and felt like I was going backwards; every climb from then on was a struggle.

I got to Pillar about 20 mins before the checkpoint closed and had a drink and a sit down, taking the opportunity to clear the scree from my shoes and socks. From there it was a slow plod over the easier ground to the finish. I met a large group of Achille Ratti members near Scoat Fell going the other way who were supporting someone on their BG who seemed to be going well.

There were very few other runners in sight by the time I had passed Haycock. Mark and Pauline were heading up there to take pictures but they were well gone by the time I arrived. There was forestry work going on in the woods before the final climb; it was a novelty having to clamber over all the pine trees.

I don't know how I got up that last climb and 6 hours was well out of the window but I managed to trot down the final descent happy that I had managed to get round.

Relaxing before the start.

...also fueling.
At the start with much of the route ahead.

Albert and Tony at the off.
On the approach to Red Pike, thanks to Paul Dobson for taking this one.

Albert climbing Haycock.

Ian on the final descent with Pauline chasing.

Albert got tired waiting for me at the finish!

Feeling worse for wear at the finish.
Maybe I didn't drink enough, maybe I was suffering from the last 2 long weekends or maybe I just haven't put enough work in this year but I can't complain. 3 great weekends of running on the trot in great weather and even better company.

Thanks as usual to all involved in organising the event! Thanks to Mark & Pauline as well for the support (and for driving Mark!).

Some more photos on Ian's Blog and Mark uploaded some here.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Duddon Valley Fell Race 2013

My first Duddon and it was tough. My right leg had been giving me some trouble since the recce last week so I was a bit apprehensive about the race. The forecast was good though so I just planned on taking it easy and getting round in one piece. Mark was thinking about doing the short one but he wasn't fully recovered from a bug he had on Thursday.

The Finish behind the Newfield Inn.
Signs to follow through the woods to the start. Mark took lots of photos after the race started; his plan was to drive up to Hardknott pass and take photos of the race but he spent so long playing with the camera he missed all but the last 5 or so runners!
At the start still smiling

Heading for the finish over 4.5 hours later and not feeling too great.
Quite a long run out to the first climb but the views were lovely. The climb up Little Stand was just as much of a shock as everyone had said it was and I was regretting not taking a camera along with me. Great descent to meet Mark by 3 Shires stone too but by the time I had passed Swirl How I was getting cold and couldn't run as I felt I should have been so it was a struggle from then on.

Caw was very deceiving and the air was blue at one point where I was almost looking for the summit marshal as I crested what turned out to be the pikes before the final climb and realised how much of the route was left!

I was happy I got round, it's a classic route. Thanks to all involved with putting the race on!

Buttermere Horseshoe Recce

Bank holiday weekend saw me heading up to the lakes with Mark for a trot round the Buttermere Horseshoe. I've got an entry for the race at the end of June so we spent a day looking at various options.

Mark posing above Whiteless Pike while we enjoyed the view.
Studying the options on the map.
After Honister Mark started to get tired and by this point nearing the top of Gamelin End he was a bit fed up.

Around High Stile later in the day.

 It's a corker of a route I just hope we get weather like this on race day.