Saturday I did the 3 shires fell race, 12miles and 4000ft of climb. It starts in Little Langdale and visits the tops of Wetherlam, Swirl How, Pike o Blisco and Lingmoor. Three of the 4 tops I had not been on before so Friday night was spent taking bearings with my map of places where I was most likely to get lost.
I normally go quite fast at the start of a race but on this occasion I hung back a bit and settled into the middle of the pack.
The first big climb was Wetherlam and runners started going up the hill side in all directions. 80% of them went up at the first chance they got but I noticed a Keswick runner ignore them all and carried on up along the track a bit, so did I, but at one point I asked myself why in case I lost sight of him ,I would of been lost 20 minutes into the race. Luckily I kept him in my sight and we soon caught another 6 or 7 runners up and eventually got to the path again where the rest of the runners were, I think I made the right choice because we were ahead of other runners who were previously ahead of us.
The climb went on a long time and I was really feeling it, its been a while since I have climbed anything steep and by the time we got to the top I was relieved.
From the summit the running is good and I should of pushed on harder, but with not knowing what lay ahead of me I opted to run at a pace that felt OK, but even at this pace I took a fall on a grass bank, I blamed the fell shoes that I had just purchased from Pete Blends van before the race with the studs sticking in too well.
Before I knew it we were at the 3 shire stone and on to the easier climb of Blisco, which went well but I was aware of a big group coming up from behind so I really did push on up to the summit where I topped out with Gavin Thomas of Kendal who showed me the line down to Blea tarn. (showed me maybe is the wrong words, I followed him)
Once at Blea tarn its only Lingmoor left and whilst Gavin had got ahead of me by about 50 yards I was joined by a Dark Peak runner and a Rossendale runner for the climb, but at this point I was struggling so I faffed about in my bum bag for a drink and by the time I had sorted myself out the 2 other runners were well ahead of me, leaving me to navigate myself of the top.
With my map out I ran along past an old sheepfold or something and then started to descend, but it didnt feel right so I climbed back and ran a bit further until a Settle runner caught me up. He assured me was on the right line and we ran down the zig zagz ( not sure tho if that is the best line tho ) and to the finish together where I cheekily out sprinted him.
Rick Lightfoot won the race.
Good race and with a decent recce maybe I could knock a few minutes off my time, which I think was about 2.20 and 45th position.
5 other Eden runners pitched up for this with Kim Colinson finishing a fantastic 9th.
|Eden after the race|
athletes in action
On Sunday I did the Dalehead fell race, 4.5 mile and 2210ft of climbing.
Third year I have ran this and this was the wettest yet. Set of with good intentions but soon became apparent that I was going to struggle and when I finally reached the summit decided to hold position and not loose any more places...... Until Pippa Maddams(who was watching at the bottom of the fell) gave me a right bollocking and told me to start running and I would catch the 2 runners in front, I caught one but the other beat me by a second..... the same dark peak guy who was in front of me at the 3 shires the day before.
I think I finished 15th with a 123 for Borrowdale and Jim Davis.
Monday I biked 13 miles.
Wednesday we recced leg 2 of the Ian Hodgson again.Thursday I ran 6 hilly road miles.
Below is a link for my Flickr where some photos of the Dale head fell race can be found