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Archive for September, 2014

The Lake District Mountain Trial was first run in 1952 on a fixed course from the Old Dungeon Ghyll in Langdale but in 1956 a new organising committee took over and the event became a point to point race in which competitors were given grid references for the next checkpoint as they progressed round the course. Actually the first orienteering race in the UK 10 years before O as we know it came over from Sweden!

2014 was the race’s 60th anniversary (years missed due to foot & mouth and wet weather). Dave and I have done it a few times over the last 15 years, but this is my first time while blogging! I entered the Medium course at 13.2 miles and 5200ft of climb but, with route choice via runnable ridges instead of contouring, it notched up 20.5 miles and 7000ft on the GPS!!
ViewRanger trace of the route - massive deviation from straight-line route on 1-2

ViewRanger trace of the route – massive deviation from straight-line route on 1-2

 We started at 1 min intervals from the Assembly field at Glenridding Cricket Club. We joked that, as early starters, we were bracken fodder but the 1st leg was to a col NE of St Sunday Crag, only one sensible route via path and I got there in 33 mins. Actually no bracken anywhere on course!

Next leg to a sheepfold half way down Helvellyn on the Thirlmere side, 5km as-the-crow-flies but 10km along the ridge  (down to Grisedale Tarn and up Dollywaggon etc.). A few people went direct but it looked steep, boulder-strewn and with a 2000ft descent – followed by re-ascent via Striding Edge >: I knew I’d be faster along the ridge and it took just over 90 mins to get to the control, approaching from the col between Lower Man and Whiteside.

photo (2)

Spikes in order: St Sunday Crag, Helvellyn, Raise (bad route choice!), last big climb back over Stybarrow Dodd, Brown Hills (minor spur to cross before dropping into Glencoynedale) then final climb to Control 5

Then my (few) critical faculties must have left me as I decided to use the same strategy for the next leg and went back upto the ridge north of Whiteside and almost up Stybarrow Dodd instead of contouring and was actually last on that leg!! Plus it was grim up in the clag and I needed to put my cag on.

The next leg along the NW of Greenside was lovely and an area I’d never been to before. Great running, nice and bouncy, control in a ghyll, got there 4hrs into the race and contoured across an expanse of tussock before picking up a path route to No 5 flanking around the head of Glencoyndale, again somewhere I’d never been. I was running in dob spikes and must have caught on a rock as I fell flat on the scree to the side of the path, winded myself and gashed my right hand. I lay whimpering for a minute or so then got up and walked on, later getting back into a cautious jog. At least the control was quite easy as I was well and truly knackered now!

There was a 4km path route to No 6 and what did I do but fall over again adding a 3rd cut to the same hand. Will confine spikes to orienteering only as I did get on well with them on the 1st half of the race! From the last control at Lanty’s Tarn there was a taped route back to the Finish in 6hr 3mins (winner 4hr 14) and a welcome chilli from Podium Catering. Got a nice 60th Anniversary Mountain Trial tumbler which has to be worth the 2 tumbles!! It was a great race, I need to be more flexible in my route planning strategies in future though. And wear my SpeedCrosses!

Dave was a creditable 3rd in M50 on the 18-mile Classic race, here he is finishing & enjoying his free post-race meal from Podium Catering.

photo (1)

photo (2)

And my wounds…

photo (3)

The battle scars of all the good times … with apologies to Soft Cell!

Results and RouteGadget available at: http://www.ldmta.org.uk/news.html

Next post – Round Rotherham 50 miles Oct 18th. Fixed route & folks to follow! Happy days for a plodder who doesn’t like decisions!!

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