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Lakes 42 2019 – updated 25 April

Loadpot Hill

It looks like this was a glorious day for a race.  Karen Nash has written a race report, and you can read that below, or on her blog.  The photos in Karen’s report are hers, apart from the ones takes by Toney Donnelly.   First home was Josh Wade in 7:05:08, second was Alexander Beaven in 7:14:18, and third was Andy Berry in 7:32:39.  First woman home was Sabrina Verjee in 8:23:20, 11th overall.  Second woman was Hayley Evans in 8:52:20, with Michelle Hetherington third in 9:26:21 (just in front of Karen).  The results are now up on the Open Tracking website.  There is a handful of updates from the version of the results I posted here previously: I’ve update the leaderboard to match those changes.

Angle Tarn

The Runfurther leaderboard has been updated, and you can find it here.  Remember, you’ll only appear on it once you’ve run at least two races.  It’s early days yet of course, but it looks like we could get a more competitive women’s competition this year, if things go on the same way.  Hayley Evans and Caroline Oldfield are going well, and if Sabrina Verjee runs four counters she’ll take some beating.  If you know any of the greyed out runners, please encourage them to sign up for membership.

Next race is the Calderdale Hike on April 13th!  You can find Nick Ham’s photos on his Flickr site – as usual I’ve borrowed some for here.  The Helvellyn photo was taken by Toney Donnelly.

Looking back on the climb to Hevellyn

Karen’s race report (it all turned out well in the end)

We drove up to the Lakes on Friday after a few hours of indoor climbing. First stop was Keswick to collect box loads of Mountain Fuel from our fab sponsor Rupert Bonnington. Sunbathing with a coffee on the common above Askham completed the afternoon.

By 6 we were down in the car park and putting up flags and banners. The display boards were up and spot prizes from all our sponsors laid out along with free mint cake from Romneys. Registration opened early so that job was ticked off too.

After pasta in the van it was back inside to socialise with other runners and volunteers. Great to see Matt Neale and Hisayo both wearing their Northern Traverse hoodies, as I was. Nick eventually arrived after a long boring delay on the M6 due to a lorry fire.
My self doubt grew and grew overnight. I knew I had not really run much due to our NZ travels and also our ski trip. I was praying that time on my feet would count for something and that the first 52 miles of my NZ dnf race would help. Running for 3 hours on Thursday was probably not the best idea in retrospect and I had a sore toe.

By the time I went into the hall as the sun was rising I seriously doubted my chances of a respectable time and was resigned to battling it out to finish. At least the forecast was good, there would be good company and it is a fantastic route.
Well before the 6 am start I moved outside to see how warm it was. Decided to start in cag and gloves but as I suspected they were not needed for long.

Josie at the start

I tried to go slowly at the start; not easy as people sprint up the lane, through the village and out onto the moor. Past experience has shown me that if I go to fast I will be walking by the cattle grid. It helped having Richard Lendon, Carmine and others to chat with. Richard I haven’t seen for year and Carmine was having a training run for the Dragons Back.

Across the common and heading for Loadpot Hill I was still feeling like I was rubbish but the views were at least now letting me enjoy myself. It is always interesting when the field splits and runners take their preferred lines. I saw Josie. Tony etc head off towards the trees but soon enough we were back together again.

Alwyn crossing the common in the early light

I am not sure that there is much in it. The sun was coming up, the mist and low cloud was atmospheric and I was going at a pace where I could chat. I was pleased to be with Josie, Tony and others. It gave me the mental boost that I needed. Matt Neale was also close by so the company was excellent.

From Loadpot Hill the grassy running is a joy. There was one dodgy moment where I almost followed a group heading off south, god knows to where. I shouted them back and I think we all made it to High Street.

Oh heck, we go over those next

Joe had wired the self clip to the trig this year after the theft of two years ago. This CP has a little out and back which I quite like as you get a chance to see the front runners and then also those who are just behind you.

Josie and Albert (photo from Toney Donnelly)

The next section is straight forward and I know it well. A few little lumps and rocky bits but mostly a good path. Barney was running with a friend who was new to ultras but a fast runner. We stuck together over the next section and I showed him the lovely grassy short cut after the Knott which not only cuts the corner but saves your feet from the gnarly track.

Back in geography teacher mode I explained what an isthmus was- the next self clip was by Angle Tarn on that feature. Then it was off to Side Farm and greeting the first of the day’s walkers coming the other way. We joked about refusing to look up at Place Fell as we neared Boredale Hause; it would be the last beast of a climb later that day.

The path down was being repaired making it even worse than usual but I arrived at the CP unscathed. I topped up water but forgot to pop inside for any food. Nevermind, I has some bars and some Mountain Fuel jelllies in my sack.

Steep slopes everywhere- its a tough route

My foot was sore from the descent and I expected to hobble a bit towards Patterdale. I must be getting better at ignoring it because I made good time and could soon see Matt just ahead. I used him to pull me along and up the Grizedale path.

Sometime around now I must have decided I was racing after all as I stopped taking photos. It was also damping us from the low cloud. Then Tony appeared and we climbed together debating which route to take from the tarn. Spotting the tarn itself was not easy in the low cloud but we both wanted to cut across and avoid the rocky path down the beck. We climbed a bit more than ideal to avoid boggy ground but on the whole got a good line all the way to the bridge before Wythburn. Hearing the cars on the main road was our aid to navigation – no map and compass today. I spotted Michelle ahead and wondered if I could catch her. (I did and was ahead for all the next miles until we were heading back over Askham Common. She beat me by 2 mins in the end)
Wythburn had good food as well as water. I tipped in magic powder and grabbed loads of cheese, crisps and dark chocolate to fuel me up the monster climb to Helvellyn. It goes on a bit this climb and I needed a jelly too. I stuck to the tourist path as I think it is easier and just as fast as the OCT line.

Helvellyn (Toney Donnelly)

Nearing the top it was back into the gloom of low cloud and it was cold enough to put my gloves back on. The path was busy and so was the route to Little man and onward.I was pleased to get off the high top and to be running and climbing to the last self clip before the descent to Glenridding.

Whiteside (Toney Donnelly)

The big zig zag path is OK but the grassy direct line better and kinder to sore feet. Then there was the decision of straight down the road or the field path and track to the campsite. The road may be quicker but I wanted to save my feet. Catching runners at Side Farm we decided there was nothing in it. Here I got a big surprise as Martin T appeared. He is usually some way in front of me but had got disorientated in the gloom at Grizedale Tarn and done a bit extra plus wasted time sorting it out. He didn’t hang around long and was soon powering up the path to Boredale Hause.

Up and up and up some more. Last big climb

Refuelled by more real food and a jelly I felt reasonably good here and was pleased to be ahead of Michelle and just ahead of Matt. I paid for it later though. Clambering up the rocks to Place Fell trig I got pain under my ribs and started to panic that the hernia/diaphragm issue was about to happen. I took some time and it went away. Meanwhile Michelle was off and running. We were on the home straight now and I even started to look at my watch and work out possible times. From Martindale it should be all runnable and I did try my best. Michelle opted for the high route which we now know is slower but she caught me again as we climbed to the common. Matt also caught me and the two of them had kept more in reserve. I was pleased to run all the way from the last path junction, down to the cattle grid and down into the village. I was chuffed to get 9hrs 28 (4th woman and 2nd Vet W) which is only 10 minutes slower than my PB from two years ago. I had anticipated a slow slog and perhaps 10hrs 30 at best. So 2019 running is now going better and I am feeling more positive.
Post race recovery at Nav4 events is wonderful. A choice of 3 homemade soups, real bread, huge slabs of cake and as many gallons of tea as you can drink. It was cosy in the hall so I didn’t even bother going to wash or change.Instead I spent the early evening chatting and welcoming back the next 40 or so runners and signing up new and returning Runfurther members.

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