At 5.30am, a group of intrepid explorers headed off in a hire car for a day of driving, broken up by a classic fell race in the Lakes.
Roll on 10.50am, and we arrived at the destination in one piece despite one 10 mile diversion followed by a 20 mile diversion due to poor driving (sorry guys..you were very patient with me!).
The heavens opened in true lakeland style, and in the true northern style of grin and bear it, we were kept outside the small registration tent in the deluge awaiting our kit inspection…hat,
gloves, waterproofs, food, compass, whistle..they were also very particular about counting everybody out and back in due to a death by hypothermia a few years back. This is serious fell
running territory, the only others out there being scraggy sheep and well clad walkers.
The start was, well, up a hill. After a few races and a fair amount of training in recent weeks, I felt strong. That was a mistake. It was a class field. I hadn’t done enough of this sort of training… even 1 ½ hours on the Long Mynd on Wednesday hadn’t prepared me adequately.. or I hadn’t recovered adequately. I got ambitious overtaking on the first fell and went into oxygen debt.. normally my lungs feel fine, the legs struggle. I felt sick and out of breath and on the top, I lost all the places I had made up. Slow down, Paul, or you won’t make this one.
When we hit Causey Pike, most of us must have been grasping at the heather. I was not enjoying this. However, I stayed on heels in front, then pretty much overtook all those I had been jostling with, and one or two more, so was recovering.. a bit. At least there was only a bit of clagg to deal with, as the rain stopped just before we started. Lots had decisions to make regarding clothing.. I think Tom D and Gary G ended up with more on than they wished for, but this is one thing I did get right.
Up and down, the hills kept coming.. 4300 feet of them, and about 9.5 miles long. The long descent was described as a classic one, but the jury was out. I actually started picking up on the way down and managed to walk off the fell ok without falling over. Before that, I think I actually said I was never going to run again..in my head, so nobody heard. In a sort of Steve
Redgrave way, of asking to be shot if he ever contemplated it again.
Worth the trip, very much so, and thanks to Tom Davies for arranging this…let’s get more out next time! My quads are still recovering, despite the ‘ice bath’ in t’beck. The company in the car was good and made the journey shorter.
Position 77 Gary Pearson 02:06:09 M45
Position 125 Paul ColleyDavies 02:25:26 M50
Position 127 Toby Newman 02:26:35 M Non Croft but valuable member of this team
Position 163 Gary Gunner 02:52:06 M70…the only in category, I think.
Position 169 Tom Davies 03:05:42 M65