This is a long Lakeland fell race that I have wanted to have a crack at for a number of years now and just by chance this year everything had fallen into place to make it happen. The Duddon is about 18miles long with a lot of climb thrown in. Not sure exactly but about 6500ft.
It was a very hot morning in the valley and as we left Seathwaite for the long slog I was roasting. My plan was a very steady start and I would dearly have loved to crack 3 1/2 hours but in this heat it was going to be tough. The drag up to Harter Fell didnt seem so bad, Hard Knott passed by but the sting in the tale was to be Little Stand, all be it the climb up to the damm thing. I had been warned of this climb by a lady who had done the race previously and I knew that she being a very experienced fell runner that I was in for a shock. A shock it was. I shoved down that awful blackberry gel and some water but in the heat it was a crawl to the top. Most of the way up I was chewing grass. Very steep and the lady that warned me who had said " Actually Darren you will be hurting was sooooo right. It did hurt but there you go.
I reached Little Stand but did not find a very good line off it. Having to slide vertically down the rock in places and I certainly lost two or three places at that point. More reccying needed.
Wrynose Pass soon came into view and I actually managed to run up to Swirl How summit. The ridge run back to Dow Crag seemed to go on forever. I struggled onto White Pike but had a stroke of luck on the last climb. The first lady, Jane Reedy who I have raced against a few times gave me a masterclass in running up to the summit of Caw. I managed to stay just behind her and shamefully did no help on the climb at all. We came off the top virtually together and ran down to the finish. I finished in 21st position in 3 hrs 35ish.
The Long Duddon fell race. another one under the belt for me.