Monday, 23 August 2010

Sedbergh Fell Race

The Sedbergh Fell Race is a real tough route. The Howgills provide the setting for the race and they are a deceptive set of fells which command respect. You cannot take this race lightly and I personally think its as tough as Borrowdale. It says 15miles and about 6000ft of climb but it just feels more runnable which takes its toll. I set off steady and took my place just behind the leaders. The first climb is steep to start off then tapers for what seems like ages. Arant Haw is the first checkpoint then a sharp left and blast down the fellside looking left with views to die for. We plunge down to Chapel Beck were I grab a drink then instantly start another steep trudge up to the summit of Castley Knotts which is checkpoint 2. A long pull over the bottom of Brown Moor with Whip End to your left and then we are on the narrow path which is quite technical in places and care has to be taken to not fall. At this point I remind myself that its a bloody long way to go and eat two shot blocks to get some energy inside me. We hit checkpoint 3 at a stream junction and I start to follow a local Bowland runner who takes a different line to the other runners. Ive an idea where he is heading as it mentions this option on the race map. He takes a big effort to keep with him but we eventually pick up the other runners and hit the main race line again. I think the detour saved us a minute or two. We descend to Langdale Beck and I throw myself in the river and drink as well. The climb up and out to the north part of Hazelgill Knott is grass chewing stuff. I have all on to keep with an Ambleside runner and I literally concentrate on his Walshs and tag along to his heels. The drop down to checkpoint 4 is a welcome sight. The stream at checkpoint 4 at Bowderdale sees me having another drink and I dunk my head with the cool water. The next part of the route I have already told myself I am running all the way and I do manage it. The map says 2 miles to Calf summit and I dont think I walked more than 50 yards of it. Perfect terrain for me. I catch the Bowland runner again and we must swap positions at least ten times all the way back to checkpoint 6 which is Winder summit trigpoint. We balst back down to Sedbergh and the Bowland lad just beats me but I am happy to finish well up the field.
What a race.

The run back to Calf summit. A long way. You can see the tiny stream junction behind me far behind. The map says all runnable and I just about did.


  1. just looking at that uphill photo fills my thighs with lactic acid!!
    good work :)

  2. as tough as Borrowdale? Nah. At least not for me.
    Borrowdale 2010 in 5:14
    Sedbergh 2010 in 3:02