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Archive for September, 2017

We last ran this race in 2014 and found it quite tough, so this year we acted our age and entered the Short class, as a pair. This was 14.5km straight line distance, with a worrying 1350 metres of climb – the height of Ben Nevis! The forecast was double raindrops all day and Buttermere was looking inviting …

general view

But on the upside, the Start was in a huge barn!

barn

Dave at Start

Off we trotted at 9:01, a few hundred metres up to map-issue, manned by my brother who got some good pics!

up to map issue

leaving map issue

The first leg was up the side of Robinson, via any one of three compulsory crossing-points on the ridge, and down to the checkpoint on a stream bend in Little Dale, 45 mins. Then it was over Hindscarth, flanking Dale Head to the SW, the checkpoint a tarn on High Scawdell, a hill (or rather, a flank of Dale Head) that I’d not been on before. It was unpleasantly wet and windy on the descent to Honister, but not too cold fortunately!

map

No 3 (the southern tip of the trace) involved the traverse of a boulder field below Raven Crag – twice, as the optimum route to No 4 involved a dog-leg. The traverse below Grey Knotts seemed to take ages, but it was an easy checkpoint at the junction of the path and an abandoned tram line (2 hrs 44 mins total).

altitude graphOur strategy to No 5 (south end of Blackbeck Tarn) was to contour then climb, as the GPS trace above doesn’t show the crags that were on our race map. We took a bit of a duff –but safe – route choice to No 6 via the tourist path over Haystacks, which was quite rocky, so we lost a bit of time here, as some rivals got to Scarth Gap before us. Then it was a quick descent back to Gatesgarth Farm, finishing in 4 hrs and 8 mins. Actual distance was 19.4 km (compared with 14.5 straight line) and 1347m climb (exactly as advertised). Altitude profile above, showing the dip at 2 hrs when we crossed the road at the top of Honister Pass.

Podium Catering had set up in the barn for the post-race meal of chilli n taco – most welcome!! John got another photo of us …

chilli

We’d had a good day out on our Short course, but we heard when we downloaded that runners on Long and Medium had been called in from a manned half-way checkpoint due to the bad weather. Some speedy folks managed to finish before the decision had been taken, Results here.

On the way home, my brother texted that we were 3rd in the pairs class and had won a voucher for Pete Bland Sports : ) A big thanks to the race organisers, especially all those taking numbers at the checkpoints in all that rain. We’ll be back next year – Short is just right!

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