Only a short trip down the M6 for this tough, challenging fell race. The last time I did this was in 2008 when I suffered stomach/cramp pains for 24 hours after it, which I put down to the effort I put in and not quite being fit enough.
Four of us made our way down with Steve Angus following us for his second fell race of the year, after I cheekily told him it was a good all runnable course (well the last 2 mile is).
Stevie B, who is in resurging form, which can only be put down to his wife's Jackie's "special flapjack", was full of the usual "im only out for a jog", but im used to his mind games now, and knew he be keen to put me to the sword.... again.
A quality field of 101 started and I soon found myself running behind Ian Davis of Keswick, who was also making a rare appearance on the fells after injury had kept him out for 6 months.
Steve Angus was always just ahead and I was trying hard to keep him in my sight, it was feeling like hard work though.
On the first climb it started..... yakerty yak. I had forgotten how much Steve likes to talk and it soon was feeling more like a mad house rather then a fell race, im sure he had Stevie B singing at one point!
Only made one bad route choice where it maybe cost me a minute, but it was enough to get Steve Bennett and Paul Nield make some ground up on us.
|Me, Stevie A,StevieB and John Nichol|
The pace picked up and we were soon on the horrible climb of Blease fell where along with the 2 Steves we made good progress and could see Sam about a minute ahead. The top reached and its all down hill to the finish back in Tebay. I ran most of this fairly hard and worked well with Steve A ,picking off a couple of runners.
|Blease Fell Summit with the M6 below|
Onto the finish field and Steve Angus beats me by 3 seconds, and by doing so securing 20th positon, but with no complaints from me, he was in front of me most of the way and deserved it.
Steve Bennett followed us in maybe a few seconds behind. Sam finished less then a minute ahead of us and Eden runner to be Olly Bloomfield finishing just behind us. A very enjoyable race.
Oh, did I say I beat Steve Bennett......