Friday, 22 June 2012

Great Lakes Fell Race English Championship

The Great Lakes was tough. The weather was pretty bad and I knew it would be a hard day on the fellside. The race takes in some big summits. Bowfell, Great End, Scafell Pike, Scafell and on and on. Navigation was going to be a problem but I know the route to Scafell pretty well having done it numerous times. The run back from Slight Side to Pike O Blisco would be the tricky bit.
I tend to look at hard rough weather race days as opportunities instead of worrying about going wrong.
The only problem was I was running this race on the back of Ennerdale and Duddon, but this being an English Championship race which I am attempting this year, it had to be done.
I set off with about 20 bearings and managed to get to Scafell okay. Funny but I actually remember feeling pretty good coming off Broad Crag.
By the time I reached the climb to Scafell a small group had formed and I had some pretty good company.
We hammered it to Slight Side and plunged down the gully. The swollen River Esk was a raging torrent and being small I crossed with a group of four and we helped each other over the river.
Blisco took some reaching and I was getting weary coming off the top. The final descent was a sliding down on my butt affair. It killed me and I jumped in the river on my own barely just managing to stay upright. A short run to the finish and I had managed twelfth place. Many of the stronger lads had gone wrong which made for some unusual finishing positions.
Pennine had a great turnout and we had some brilliant performances.
It was an epic day but I have learnt that on bad weather days when the clag is down many things can happen.
Great organisation by Ian Barnes and his team. The helpers and marshals deserve awards for being out in that weather.

Nice photo of me by Paul Dobson

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