A new race route replacing the old route that used to start and finish at Bram Crag farm, a good 4 miles longer too.
Just over a hundred runners lined up at the start at Threlkeld cricket club, which included 2 club mates Kim Colinson and Andy Tompson.
The route I was very familiar with, it being the start of the second leg of the Bob Graham round as far has Helvellyn, but missing out Watsons Dodd.
I set off cautiously along the road and wasn't surprised to see Andy Tompson ahead of me (I think he is determined to beat me soon ) but by the fell gate I had got in front of him and had decided to keep tabs on Chris Upson for as long as I could rather then worry about what was happening behind me.
The climb of Clough Head is never easy at BG pace and at race pace it felt double hard. I had a brief chat with Ben Abdlenoor on the climb but told him I was too out of breath to talk, whilst he seemed to be taking it easy, jogging along.
|photo "borrowed" from NFR excellent website.|
The top was reached with me just behind Chris Upson. I was determined not to push hard and just relax and apart from some of the wind, where you had to work hard I stuck to some nice relaxed running.
By the climb of Lower man, the front runners were coming back and I was delighted to see Kim in about 4th place, looking really strong.
Helvellyn Trigg reached and I was still just behind Chris, who was perhaps feeling the effect of the previous days race by now, so I put a little surge on to get past him and then concentrated on relaxing again. Andy Tompson was about a minute behind me at the turn, which didn't really surprise me.
I now concentrated on the 2 runners about 100 yards ahead of me and it took up to the return climb of Gt Dodd before I managed to get in front of one of them, where he had slowed down to walk, I still felt ok to run. Got past another 2 runners before Clough Head and then got another 2 on the lower fields to the run in.
Finished 15th, but more important for me, a good solid run rather then a eyeballs out full on race. It was pleasing for me to finish strong.
Kim hung on to finish a fantastic 4th whilst Andy T faded in the second half (but he did do the BGR a week ago)
Mark Palmer was first man and Cath Evens first lady.
Well done to Keswick AC for organising yet another top notch running event.