Kentmere Fell Race
High up on Harter Fell
The start of the fell race in Kentmere Village
The summit of III Bell, checkpoint 1 on the race
Kentmere Village Church
The final run in being pursued by a teammate
Yet another Lake District fell race that ive longed to do but circumstances have always been against me. But this year it had been included in our clubs championships so I decided to give it a good crack. Billed in the FRA calendar as 11.9miles with about 3300ft of climbing its not an easy race and has a notoriously difficult long first climb.
Its a frantic start on the road with a one or two runners falling in the scramble. Why people fly off in these long hard races is beyond me as the field soon sorts itself out anyway but each time a starter says go it doesnt matter whether its a 5 mile race or 25mile race its always a dash to get your place.
Like I said a hard first climb and really id just decided to remove the cassete out of my brain and accept that for easily an hour or so its going to be running uphill ( Ouch).
We climb out of Kentmere Village and on to the path heading for Yoke summit which is bypassed to the left as its not actually a checkpoint on the race. III Bell which is the next summit is and I say a thankyou to the summit marshall for his services. Then next summit along the ridge isnt needed to be visited either, so Frostwick as its known is passed by on the left also. Along the technical ridge path now with Thornwaite Crag to our left but we are heading for the furthest and highest summit of the race which is High Street. I cram a few jelly beans into my mouth as I pass the metal post just under Thornwaite Crag and realise High Street is now not to far away.
Although not to far away and not that steep, High Street takes a bit of ticking off but the Trig Point is reached and finally after a long time Im heading downhill but not for too long. This is were it goes a bit wrong. Im suddenly on my own and make the dreaded wrong turn or wrong line as its known in fellrunning. I quickly have to contour across to my right as I realise other runners are passing me. I rejoin and pass them again and head towards Nan Bield pass but stupidly take another wrong line. So enough is enough and my teamate who has wisely decided to follow a local more knowledgeable runner has now caught me up so I slot in behind him and both of us really just allow him to take us the best line through the crags.
We are soon back on the path and we both thank the local runner for his services and start to pace each other back to Kentmere Fell which is the last checkpoint on the race. After the checkpoint its flat out on the descent back to Kentemere which lies far below in the valley. The run in varies from grassy slopes to rocky technical and even boggy. A bit of everything and Im on the limit as i try in vain to keep with my teammate who is faster than me on the descents. My strong point always has been runnable climbing.
All to soon we are on the track which leads back to the start field and both enter the village together on the track. As we enter the field my teammate just manages to outsprint me to take maximum championship points.
We have finished in the top twenty in the race which is good for us both and proves that if you have two teamates together it does help. A quick shake of hands and a few cups of water and its up to the village hall for a sandwich and a cup of tea.
All our fellow teamates manage to finish so its a succesfull day for the club.
Im pleased personally because its yet another new race completed and completed well. One problem I have is the blister which covers the whole of my right heel. A wound from the skiddaw race which has refused to heal up. Driving home is always hard as your body always stiffens up after being put through the rigours of a race.
My treat at home is a long soak in the bath.
All in all a good day and a brilliant fell race. Organised by Pete Bland and his helpers.