Posted: 12/10/2014 at 21:39
ON 7 and CW - top GER time for different reasons
Race Jase - glad you got what your campaign deserved, seriously impressive time!
For those interested, a report from yesterday..........
So I'd seen the forecast which didn't look great but also not too bad at the same time. Wind was forecast down, great but low cloud forecast which can make things interesting on a route like langdale (and most fell races to be fair). Became evident on route through the lakes that it was going to be very mixed with some valleys in sun, others thick with cloud and rain.
Assembled at the start near the front this time compared to last year where I held back. The route heads along a bridleway for about 3/4m before the first climb and I decided if go off harder to avoid the rush. It worked well and was in about 10th (had no intention of staying in 10th mind, lol) but I think I overcooked things a tiny bit as I was hanging on up the first climb which never feels great in any fell race. Dug in on the second section of the climb and in all both parts of the climb took about 20-25 mins of properly on the limit stuff...tough going, pretty grim actually, haha We were enveloped in mist at the top and some decided on taking a compass bearing to the second check point. Suddenly mist clears and we're off running on the "flat". My Clubmate caught me up and to be honest I was struggling in the boggy section, just totally saps your energy. It's long arduous and mentally ruins you. I watched Mark go off ahead with a group and just tried to limit my losses.
Hit some firmer paths and a long grind up to 3rd checkpoint at Esk hause and the climbing legs returned and I caught Mark and the group up. Following 3rd checkpoint there's a horrendous trodd under Esk pike which has mud, holes, lethal rocks, basically a nightmare but I was getting into a bit of a groove now. We finally moved onto the final ascent from Ore Gap across to Bow fell summit, runners emerging from all over in the mist. Off Bow fell summit me and Mark took a left and I led us off bow fell and we seemed to make up about 10 places on other runners, top going.
We followed a couple of local lads under crinkle crags on a really tricky section to navigate but then realised we both knew where we were going too. We were joined out of nowhere by another 6-8 runners and we all climbed up the last crinkle to the 5th checkpoint. There's then a long, long descent down to the final climb but I was starting to struggle now and watched the group pull away including my Clubmate. Decided to hang on and not force it too much and save myself for the final climb. It worked and I caught a Mark at the base of the climb and started to move past him up the final climb which is a real slog coming at the end of the race. I wasn't really that fussed about beating him, I was just trying to push it without going completely into the red.
The mist had cleared the final summit of Pike O Blisco and the final summit checkpoint and we latched onto a group for the descent. This is technical and difficult on tired legs and easy to go the wrong way so I was glad to see a few ahead to have ppints of contact. I led me and Mark down then let him come past as he's a naturally better descender. He was about 20 seconds ahead of me and nearing the final steep section he took a nasty fall. I checked he was ok and carried on after he said he was cut but ok. Made it down with two other runners to the final checkpoint and turned left to prepare for the last downhill section preceded by a flat but rocky path.
There were two runners ahead and I couldn't see the finish in the valley. I don't really know what happened but I think moved from one path onto another I just didn't see a rock and full on tripped. Probably a case of being tired/switching off slightly