Monday, 11 October 2010

Langdale Horseshoe Fell Race

Okay back to Fellracing. Well I did do the Ian Hodgson Relays but cannot find my pictures. More on that later.
This week was the Langdale Horseshoe Race which is another lakeland classic race that I have never done. This was to be a special race but at the start due to various problems I just didnt have the head for it. You know one of thoise days when its so easy just to think, ah I will have a plod round.
The race is a simple affair. Blast up Stickle Ghyll, round to Thunacar Knott, down to Angle Tarn and up to Esk Hause shelter, over and up to Bowfell summit, dash down to Crinkle Crags and then over again to Pike O Blisco and back down to the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel which is were you started. Oh and take in the bad step as well.

At the start it was a mad panic dash and I was slightly behind the usual suspects. This kicked me into gear and I ran most of the way up Stickle Ghyll apart from the top part. The run over to Thunacar Knott and down to Angle Tarn I know with my eyes shut. I ran up to Esk Hause shelter and started the traverse to the climb to Bowfell
when I turned my ankle and shouted a few choice words as the mistake was made because I looked up and tried to steal a view back towards the Langdales.The weather was sublime, clear and sunny and one of those very rare days that you sometimes get in the Lakes.
I topped out on Bowfell with a couple of other runners who I knew where more knowledgeable than myself for the next part of the route through to Crinkle Crags so I kept with them and they took some excellent lines, which shows you that recceing and local knowledge is a massive bonus in these mountains. I live to far away to recce each race so I will freely admit I sometimes have to follow a local. Its not easy though and sometimes if you blink they are gone. I did write down all the bearings and route information before the race but in the end didnt need them.
Now all was going well until we eventually arrived at the Bad Step. Safe to say I fell down it and landed very badly. God knows how but I suppose its all the falls that Ive taken over the years but I just shot up and carried on. My right foot was on fire but the finish wasnt to far away and well what else was the option, retiring, certainly not. It would take something serious for me to not finish a race.
I winced in pain as I climbed Pike O Blisco but all to soon that run down to this finish came and the clocked stopped at 2hrs 22mins. If I hadnt have fell I maybe could have done under 2hrs 20 but that will be a target for next year.
A brilliant race even if my right foot isnt good at the minute and my back is also aching from the fall. But hey the groin strain I had before the race seemed to wear off.
I stayed the night in my van in a layby below the Langdale Pikes under the stars watching the satelittes going across the sky. Oh and I managed Pie,Chips,Peas and Gravy from Ambleside.


  1. it's a brilliant route isn't it. can't believe nothings broken, it's quite a drop! hope you're on the mend...yet another decent time, well done :)

  2. This is a very challenging trail..
    Congratulations on your race.

    --five fingers