Sunday 10 July 2011

Wasdale Fell Race

21 mile/9000ft

Well it doesn't get any tougher then that.
21 miles, 5 summits and 9000ft of climbing over some of Lakelands roughest/highest ground.

Did I under estimate it.... yes.
Did I think I was fit enough to do it .....yes.
Did I set off too fast, after been told by much better runners then me, to take the first 2 hours easy.....yes.
Am I a numpty.... you bet!!!

I lined up on the start line with club mate Sam Ware, my plan was to run with him for as much as I could.
We set off with about 266 other runners and the climb up Whin Rigg was a lot longer then I thought it would be.... bloody map deceives me again.

Once up on top tho and its good running and I follow Sam, who is following a Dark Peak fella.
Clag caused us all to stop when DP guy stops and says we missed first checkpoint.A quick discussion and 5 other runner streaming past and we off again. Maybe a minute lost but no need to panic, still 19 miles to go.

The run down to the valley floor and the heat its you again.

Running easy and chatting effortlessly to Sam and I'm enjoying it. The run to Greendale is soon done and we are met by Joss, who is handing out water, Sam thinks about a autograph but I remind him that we in a fell race.
The Screes

We climb Seatallan together and Sam says is legs are dead (he did a 9hr fell run on Wednesday). Secretly im pleased, it means I can keep up with him. I tell him to get some food and drink down on the climb and he be fine when we reach the top. We are chatting away, with DP runner just behind, when out of the blue Sam decides to start running again. I know its too early for me but foolishly I set off with him.

We soon catch Paul Nield up of Bowland and we reach the second checkpoint. Sam is first to dib and by the time we have registered our dibs Sam has done a full circle of the summit, unsure of the way off. This amuses me greatly.

The run over to Pilar is a long slog and im in a group of four who seem to be running easily, this is where I should of backed off and took it easy but foolishly I kid myself I can keep it up.

On the climb to Pilar and Sam has got a good minute ahead, Paul and DP not far behind me.
The top in clag and Paul has gone a different way, DP looks a bit unsure and I show him the grassy line off but within 5 minutes we out of the cloud and he whizzes past me.

I stumble down to Black Sail Pass and get a bottle of Peter, who had carried bottles up for Ellenboro lads.
While im getting my bottle Paul runs past along with 2 other runners, I set of again but soon realise im knackered, thirsty and hungry. I walk when I should be running. I fill my bottle up at the stream crossing, I walk a bit more and drink. I have a gel and a jelly bean, but I only have a stinger bar which tastes disgusting, why did I not stick with the triad and tested Eccles Cake that works so well for me..... oh yeah thats right, the day before the stingers were half price....idiot!!

I somehow find myself climbing Gable. Half way up I stop. I look around and see a fast approaching group coming towards me. I don't care. I stand there admiring the view, savouring the last drops from my bottle.

Somehow I reach the top and I think back to 2 weeks earlier, when me and Sam raced each other to the summit. No chance today, I'm thinking of jacking in.
Nick Ray overtakes me on the descent and gives me some encouraging words and persuades  me to keep going, that I have gone too far and its only a short ridge run back.
I know he's lying but its enough to keep me going.

I carry on getting passed and at Esk Hause I suffer cramp in both quads, agony.....I'm f**king hating this now.
The cramp goes and I try a light jog, I hit a stone and stumble, cramp again. Walkers looking at me must be thinking "what a loser" and im thinking the same. Antoher runner goes past.

Scafell Pike reached and its all downhill, first third on rock and boulders, a nice 300-400 yards on grass and the remaining down Lingmell Nose, which if your fit and well is a delight. When your legs have gone, its agony. I lookup and the view of Wastwater is fantastic, but looks a along way away. A quick glance at my watch and if I hurry up I can get back under 5 hours.

I do, with 20 seconds to spare and in 38th posistion. I vow never again.

other eden runners were

Kim Colinsin an amazing 5th in 4.16
Sam did superb 4.38.
Olly 5.22 (well not quite eden yet)
Jon Toombs was lucky and got timed out.

Rhys Findlay- Robinson and Joss Naylor

Tea and cake and more cake and all of a sudden its been a good race and next year maybe, just maybe I will remember my Eccles Cakes.

Ben Abdlelnoor was first man and Hazel Robinson first lady.

 Ian Charters was running and as well as taking some stunning photos, also got in on the prizes.
spotlight on IWC


ultra collie said...

bloody well done stu..some going

ultra collie said...

bloody well done stu..some going

sbrt said...

Quality write up Stu.

All the best Steve (sbrt)

Dale Jamieson said...

A maze ing. Now I must give this a try some day ;-)

Bob said...

Great write up, well done. That's my mind made up about that race - no way I'm doing it this year ;)