Thursday, 30 June 2011

Hope Wakes Fell Race

There are not that many fell races in the Peak District now that I have not done but the Hope Wakes Fell Race was still on my to do list. Maybe it was that I have run there so many times or that I just missed it. Well I nipped up to Hope after work and registered. I love these midweek fell races in the Peak as you tend to see the same runners each week. Its almost like a family. You have the banter with team mates and runners from other clubs and then battle like mad and then have the banter after the race. Week in week out it goes on until the nights draw in again then the midweek races end.
I had a great run, deciding to take it easy for the first mile as I knew that the climb up the backside to Win Hill Top is steep. By the time I had reached the climb I was feeling good and could just make out the leaders. I ran all the way up apart from the last few metres to the trig point at which point it was literally a blast down. Ive blitzed down that section to the farm dozens of times so I floored it. A quick run down the track to Hope and into the finish funnel. Another good run and I managed to get a prize as well for coming 1st Vet40. The record for the race was broken by Stuart Bond of Dark Peak who had parked next to me in the field and I told him well done and that I would keep trying to catch him(not).
Pennine had some great performances and the free flapjack, 65th year tee shirt was most welcome.
Its actually a Tee Shirt you can use.

I Looked about the same as this fellow after the race

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Riber Fell Race

Last night I finished work and went up to Lea Green for the Riber Fell race. Now I have gone wrong on this route before. Even though its fairly local I dont know the route very well. All was going okay and I was in 4th place but around a quarter of the way into the race the front three runners carried straight on instead of turning right along the track. I duly followed them and that was the end of that. I retraced the half mile that we had gone wrong and carried on around the route. A battle with the lad who was with the front three gave me a decent workout but to be honest when you have taken a wrong turn your head goes. On a short race you cannot gain back the places. A blast back to Lea Green and then a walk with Badger who I swear was laughing as I entered the finish funnel.
Never mind next year I will try again. Thats fellracing. Thats why it says LK on the entry. ( Local Knowledge required) and NS ( Navigational Skills needed).
Maybe I should have looked at the map

Monday, 20 June 2011

nice setting

How cool is that for a setting to do your rollerwork.
Most of us are stuffed up inside the garden shed or garage amongst the junk and stuff.
Its got me thinking about making a level platform for the roof of my shed. Now there's a thought.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

4 pints and a lovely view

Well maybe it was three pints. The last time I drank in the Wasdale Head Inn it was perfect night. The 3 peakers kept yomping down from Scafell Pike and you could count the headtorches coming down. The beer and company was as usual the best and if Im honest this is my favourite pub. The 3 peakers just make a quick stop off literally never learning anything about the Wasdale Valley. The place fascinates me and everytime I go there I learn something new.
Happy Days

Edale Country Day Fell Race

The last time I did this race it was very hot and I have bad memories of trudging up to Ringing Roger. This time the weather was better and I had a better run although I could still feel my legs aching from Duddon. I wasn't going to do this race as I had cycled 70 odd miles the day before but I decided I had to do it. It was a huge field with about 300 runners and I was on the limit coming off Grindslow Knoll summit. A mad dash down back to Edale saw me in 9th place and another 1st vet 40. The heavens opened and it rained for the rest of the day. A drink in the Nags Head after with a bite to eat finished the day off a treat.
Incidentally for the people who think that you get cash prizes and money for doing well in these races well thats not what its all about. My prize for Sunday was a bumbag.
The real prize is being able to run and race in the mountains and hills with like minded friends.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Long Duddon Fell Race

I had been thinking about this race for months. Last year I ran it for the first time but had no idea what the route was and I knew I could go faster. Route knowlege is a huge thing in Lake District fell races. It takes years to build up a picture in your mind of each route. This year this one was a Championship race so all the top runners would be there. Navigation wouldnt be much of an issue either as it was baking hot and clear.
The problem with the Duddon is the lack of water on the route. Certainly on the way back there is nothing at all. I had decided to stash two bottles behind a rock just above the Three Shire Stone on the Wrynose Pass which turned out to be a very good idea.
We set off at a frantic pace, why I dont know as 18miles and 6000ft does not need a rapid start. Anyway as we climbed towards Harter Fell I fell over and straight away could feel my quad muscle in my right leg was agony. By the time I dibbed I could barely run. The plunge down wasn't pleasant and I had to pull up and watch the race leaders pull away. I thought there and then I would be walking to the road at Hardknott. More and more runners passed me and my teammate Dan came by and asked if I was okay. After a few more seconds I decided to hobble on. I reached the flatter section which starts the climb to the road and my leg seemed a little better. By the time I got to the road I could jog a bit faster and just thought carry on and see how it goes. The climb up to Hardknott and then the drop down towards Mosedale Beck was one of he hardest times that I have had on a fell race. The climb up Little Stand was actually easier as my leg seemed to go better on the ups. I topped out Little Stand with a runner from Borrowdale who got us a nice line off the top which actually turned out to e the same one I had taken the previous year which at the time I thought was rubbish.
Flying down to Wrynose and the leg had definatley started to get a bit better. I opened two gels knowing the bottles were only a few moments away and finished them as I got to the checkpoint at the road.
A quick search under my water rock produced two iced cold drinks which were the most welcome sight I had seen on a fell race for a long time. I now knew I would be okay. I downed one bottle and stuffed it in my bumbag and just kept sipping the other one as I ran. A nice little line under Carrs Crags courtsey of the lad from Borrowdale and then just up and over to checkpoint 5 which is Swirl How.
Dow Crag and White Pike came and went but I then made a slight navigational error on the last part of the route before Caw. I had gone into the crags and had to do a spot of scrambling which cost me 3/4 minutes before then climbing up to the final summit checkpoit of Caw. I dibbed in and then flew down towards the finish field in a tad over 3 hrs 11mins and 27th place which in a championship race left me very happy.
If it wasnt for losing time with my leg and a few minutes through route choice errors I would have been well under 3 hrs 10mins.
Ah well maybe next year.
A fantastic race, very hot weather, cracking routebut really needs recceing.

Three Shires stone and Swirl How summit