Monday, 28 October 2013

Not an Ultra but MM number 3 this year

The OMM. Third MM this year and on the absence of the LAMM my first with a partner.I had also been determined to have another go at the A class and so needed to find a new partner prepared to do this. I could not think of another woman daft enough but Andy Splatcher stepped up to the plate and said yes. Brecon would be a trek but not too bad. We had hoped to take the van but the complications for that made it unviable and I am glad they did not allow us to take them up to the event centre mud fest! I have done all my MMs with Rowena or alone (except one SLMM with Pete Carter when Rowena was injured) so it would be interesting to run and camp with somebody different. The weekend started badly with me stuck in traffic on the M6 but I made it to Andy's in time for an evening meal before we set off. We were lucky enough to arrive in the dry and managed to get the tent up, register, buy gas and sort some gear before retiring to the tent.  We sat chatting and drinking red wine until bed. Our alarms were set early for Saturday as we had a 40 minute walk to a bus, then a 30 min bus journey and a 7.57 start. As we set out following the green glow sticks we quickly gave up all hope of keeping dry feet but it wasn't raining yet. We met up with Sarah, Wendy and others at the village hall and managed to use the loo before jumping on the bus. It was damp and windy at the Storey Arms but the marshalls were in fine spirits and John A helped us to check our start time. The elite were off to the east and Pen y Fan but the rest of us were heading westish. Andy is used to using an altimeter and I am not. We wasted a little time at CP1 as the altimeter suggested we were about the correct height when gut instinct told me it was off down the hillside. Although we were both navigating we seemed to miss some route choices (I must check route gadget and see  how many went east of Fan Fawr). Almost all the CPs seemed to have marshalls today and CP2 was easy given the marshall stood on the brow in a flouro vest! The next bit took us into a more complex area and then a longer leg  back to where we had been.  Just before CP5 the two Jonnys came racing by.  Again we agreed on route choice and only later did I see a northern option- who knows if it would have been better? We certainly didn't have the legs to follow the boys on their direct route. Andy was strong on the contouring descent and now it was me hanging on. We hit some desperate tussocks just before the final patch of forest and it was depressing to think about how much time we were losing. Then we got a boost as we met Sarah and Wendy in the forest. Unfortunately they opted to stay with the fence line and we ended up in tussocks again plus the pace was starting to tell on Andy. The map said river uncrossable after heavy rain. Sarah had said she knew it and thought it would be fine and it was. WE made a pyramid but actually I have been through much worse. Don't think I agree with all the H+S messages on the map though- Yes we know cliffs are dangerous and so are rivers when they are in spate.

 By the time we were plodding up to Llyn Y Fan Fawr the wind was getting fierce and we were moving slowly- some fantastic waterfalls though. We decided not to climb up but instead contoured round. It was further but we found some good trods and had a lovely descent to CP7. By now we were out of the wind and it seemed very warm in the valley as we raced down the track to the finish. We had lost some time on Wendy and Sarah but were lucky enough to download and get the tent up just before the rain started. What an evening of wind and rain. Andy gallantly took the back of the tent and we sat/ lay talking, dozing and eating. At last some time around 9 the rain stopped and we could escape out. We made a quick dash to the toilets and then I wandered down to the results and start times. I bumped into Rowena and Sue who felt they had done OK on day 1 and also a very tired Richard D and partner who had completed the elite but were back in the dark, wind and rain. The weather got worse overnight and there were several times that I feared for the tent. Andy slept almost solidly and only awoke at the very deep roll of thunder that took out some electric supplies in the valley.  Not making the chasing start meant we had a civilised start time. We were a little early and had time to chat to Mark and Josh who were volunteering. Bad weather courses had been put in operation and we were secretly rather glad. The wind and rain got worse as the morning wore on and the wind was blowing us all over the place on Fan Brycheiniog. It was a slow start up to CP1 and I was giving Andy hassle about our pace.

The rocky limestone to CP4 had us more evenly matched and then our shortened course kicked in. We tried to stay high to avoid tussocks but it put in an extra climb so was maybe not the best choice. Near CP9 Andy gained some second wind and led the way down to the control and across to Moel Feity. We found the correct pond after passing  a couple of red herrings and then it was just a long fast run to the end. Andy is much faster than me over tree routes and very deep mud so when we hit the final forest track it was me that was knackered. We finished together and generally pleased at having had a good weekend. My ultras seemed to have given me strength rather than making me knackered (so long as I do not need to sprint) but Andy is now convinced that a 50 miler a week before the OMM is not a good idea. Still, we didn't fall out despite a difference in pace and strengths. We shared the tent in good humour and I enjoyed an opportunity to do the A class again. We lost first mixed vets on straight time on day 2 by a minute, which is annoying, but were overall 3rd Vets once the age handicaps were applied. It was great to find Bowley Scouts dishing up gallons of hot soup and then to have our meal. I had a long chat with Jonny M who won the A and we kept bumping into friends. The cold wet clothes won in the end and we were forced back to the car to change. Then came the fiasco of getting out of the car park field. Thanks must go to the lads who pushed us so we could drive down to the gate and wait our turn for the tractor tow onto the mats. Thanks for a good weekend Andy and for driving. No photos- it really was not the weather for a camera!
JUst in case anyone reading this is not already aware.... I have set up a Just Giving page for donations to NW Air Ambulance at

Sunday, 20 October 2013

No 54 R Round Rotherham 50

Number 52 was meant to be the highlight but it just didn't really happen for me. The last two weekends though have been fab. I knew I would have tired legs with two 50s on two weekends but it actually felt OK. The van drove beautifully to Dearne Valley College (the first time I have driven it more than a few metres) and I parked up still in daylight. I even had time to lay my gear out and have a brew before hot footing it to the pub to meet Nick, Andy, Dick and Mark. Having put them to shame and demolished almost the full plate of a mega stacked burger we discussed ultras and the series. By 9 ish we were back in the car park and putting up the RF flags in the dark.
Andy - my OMM partner this year
 I left Andy and Dick to the sports hall floor and retired to the van. I lazed, read and then slept well- no overhead helicopters this year. I was barely out of bed when the 6am start/ walkers trooped by. It didn't take me long to get organised, eat porridge and register.
Sarah, smiling as always
I was bothered that the sore on my left ankle would rub even though I had taped it and very bothered about my right foot as it had caused me so much iritation last weekend. Soon I was chatting to Andy, Nick, Mark and then Sarah and Andy, Jon and Shirley plus numerous others. Lorraine said Hi and I found John was actually called Fraser!

I decided against a drop bag as I couldn't figure out what to leave in it- I was carrying a spare shirt, over trousers and a cag plus more. I knew there would be food all the way round so I only needed to carry a little extra. By 7am we were gathered outside in the dawn and the flags looked good. It was not cold and we would not really need head torches for the easy first section. The fast pace at the start of this race usually scares me but it seemed OK, although I was bothered to see Dick ahead of me.

 I settled into a steady pace on the cycle track as I had promised myself and got happy when we crossed the blue bridge and hit the gravel path and puddles. I arrived in Elsecar less shattered than I remember from the last three years and was having a good natter with two blokes re Hokas etc. The bit where Fraser and I got lost one year came and went, and I couldn't figure out how the hell we had gone wrong! We passed loads of walkers between Wentworth and Scholes which is always good for morale. Keppler's column looked arther eerie in the mist but it didn't really seem to be raining on us and I felt comfortable.

Then it was a quick run down the main road and into Grange Park. The CP had been moved and we had a bit of a diversion, not sure who called us back but we put it right by running up the pavement (thanks Mr Scot whoever you are for quickly agreeing with me and not dithering). The canal section had been tarmaced and then we hit Tinsley. This has to be the low point from an aesthetics pont of view! I had another little 'lift' as some guys in front had gone slightly wrong and we caught them up just before crossing under the M1. The next section is all redeveloped although the old steps under the railway and Sheffield Parway were a bit slippy.  I hit the reclaimed land at Carcliffe feeling fine, in contrast to a couple of years ago where  my hips locked up and I felt dreadful. Suddenly there was CP2 and more food. I tracked my Scotsman relentlessly (thank you) and managed to run the whole way through to the joinery and the viaduct. We then stayed together through Rother Valley Country Park and towards Norwood. We both slowed to cross the stiles and cursed our age and what stiles did to break our stride pattern.  Then it was a quick run under the M1 again and into the CP at Harthill. It is a nice downhill run in to this CP and there are always lots of relay runners waiting for the change over. I stopped, refreshed and even went to the loo. I was here in under 4 hours and tried not to panic that this was far too fast. The next section would see the first of the muddy fields. The wind turbines poked out of the mist and the fields were a bit muddy but not at all bad and my Fellraisers gripped well (unlike on the slimy concrete earlier). We now had comapny in form of a mountain biker, it was good to have him show us the way and it looked no easier on a bike. Suddenly we had passed the airfield and were heading for the canal, over the railtracks, across the golf course and on into Woodsetts. Here I passed Martin D and his Mrs. having her first go at this race. I was bouyed up by the idea of a cup of tea and soup. They certainly know how to feed you on this race and after surviving, or not, on gels last weekend I was determined to take every advantage. I was a bit bothered that I was going too fast still but decided to keep going whilst I could and worry about that later. It was hard getting going after a sit down and food but I knew the soup and sandwiches would be a good idea in the long run. I hadn't been able to picture the next bit in my head but as I ran along it all came back and I knew it was only about 10km to the Firbeck CP. More relay runners ran by shouting encouragement and although I slowed for a bit I could now see Roche Abbey.

 This is one of the most scenic parts of the race and also means that on the strip maps you turn to the last page! I was now on my own but quite content and running at a steady pace. I was confident that I knew the way and that Maltby was not far. I declined refreshments here, perhaps a mistake but popping in to every hall adds several minues. 5 CPs and 5 minutes in each..... it all adds up. I did have a bit of a walk as I climbed out of Maltby but a bite to eat and some banter from some local rogues got me running again. Another relay lady ran by and I tried to keep her in my sight. After Micklebring I was slightly anxious about the route across the open fields but it was fine and the muddy footprints helped, as did the bright flourecsen tops of the relays runners. The rutted stoney track down to Hooton Roberts was no where near as bad as I remembered and I even overtook a relay runner here. Some mud yes but not the stream we had found previously. I did walk some of the lane after the road junction but ran once I reached the fields and descent to Old Denaby. Having been in the lead all day I had now spent a fair bit of time on my own and my motivation was a determination not to be caught at this stage. I grabbed a little to eat at the last CP and hobbled off towards the railway and canal. I heard various trains hooting but managed to reach the level crossing between two slow trains and just before the express. Being 'sandwiched' between relay ladies really helped on this last bit along the canal and river. I tried to stay ahead and then when that failed I tried to tag on. Once I had decsended the steps into Swinton I could smell the finish. The last bit along the canal, through the park, over the road... a bit of confusion as they have now paved the next bit so no wandering around bushes looking for bits of tape... and only 1km to go. It felt like I was sprinting (bet it didn't look that way) and there it was the flags, the sports hall and the tapes leading us off the cycle path and into the finish. 8 hours 21.

A PB by almost 10 minutes, first lady and 17th overall. I was very happy despite throbbing toes and right foot. I should have stuck to my original plan and made this No52! I staggered into the hall and ate. I could have eaten the shpeherds pie 3 times over and did have several cups of tea. Then 2nd lady and Emma in 3rd arrived.

 We did our prize giving and I made the trek to the van to collect my gear for a shower. In the meantime Nick, Jon, Andy and Dave C had all finished so I had a chat with them in the sunshine. The shower revived me, apart for the yelps as the water stung my rub patches!. I wandered back to the hall for a chat but knew I had to leave soon if I was to feel up to driving home. The torrential rain on the M62 was a bit scary but I made it home in about 2 hours. A great day out, and it might not sound tempting but RRR is great.

Monday, 14 October 2013

No 53 Wye One Way

I knew going back to work would be bad for me! Having been fit and well all year (except for sore throat/no voice on Hardmoors and the fractured ribs over the summer) I had suffered a cold all week.  Still, I didn't feel ill and if I had been well enough to go to work I was well enough to enjoy the weekend and run. Plus Bob had planned to come with me a do a mega bike ride. Wales is beautiful and empty but the drive down on Friday night did seem a bit of a drag. We had opted to go direct to the start and so had a relaxing, quiet and lonely night in a lay by near Llangurig. It did mean we had the luxury of a good nights sleep in the van and an hours lie in compared to those getting the coach from the finish.

The drizzle dried up over night and it wasn't particularly cold even in the half light as we registered. I scuttled back to the van to study the map- a wonderful A3 waterproof affair with checkpoints,split distances, ascents and descents etc. The coaches arrived and I went to chat with Mick Cottam and others.

 I had hoped to talk to Duncan and Dick but the toilet queue was struggling to cope and  even though they delayed the start by 30 minutes I now know some were still waiting as we set off. I am still hopeless at letting other unknown runners psych me out just by wearing the trendy gear. So by the start I was convinced it was going to be a bad day for points and I might just as well enjoy the day out and a new route. My cold was better than it had been all week and although my foot was still sore I had brand new 'Fellraisers' on. We were promised that the route had been well marked and I would say that was generally true.
The start along the lane did not go off at lightning speed and when we hit the first off road and hill I was comfortable. True I struggled to breathe on the ups but it was OK. It did not seem long at all before we had wet feet from a stream and were dashing down the grassy and then bracken covered slopes to CP1.

Then came another climb before a lovely run down to the river crossing. I had decided if my feet were dry I might go round to the bridge- I needn't have worried as both feet were already soaked, and stayed that way pretty much all day. The next 3 miles were on road but at least the views were great and the road almost deserted. I started to fall in and chat with runners going a similar pace and although we split for now we were later to run over half the race together. After Craig Goch dam we left the road and used the old rail track, so fairly flat and fast.

 The group of us pushed the pace and were soon at CP3 where I glimpsed first lady? The next section started with a stiff climb but then contoured above the forest and across the fell sides, past but not through Elan village, and on to Llanwrthwl. The day was overcast but we stayed dry enough not to worry about a cag. It was cool on the tops but we did not really go very high and the valleys were warm. I was getting the hang of spotting the marker signs now although arriving in a field of kale I did have more than a moment of hesitation. I bet the Lakes were busy but this part of Wales was almost deserted.  We passed half way and dropped down the next CP. I was now regretting packing more real and savoury food. MCN races are great but water and gels at some CPs was wearing thin. The next section looked fairly level and straight forward, which is perhaps why as a group of 4 we missed a sign and ended up by the river. Fortunately after only a tiny bit of trespassing we arrived at a lane with a bridge and were able to relocate quickly.

Nothing for it but to run back up the road and rejoin the route! It did make us more careful though. We were also pushing the pace and I was starting to dream of finding a pie shop in Builth! Instead we trotted through the park, smiled for the camera man and had yet more gels. We did again glimpse first lady. I left Builth without my pie but in good company as we set out on a very hilly section. The steep lanes were hard on the feet and quads but the grassy paths on the moor were wonderful. I was struggling but desperately trying to stay with my 3 new friends as the banter, shared food and pain killers as well as navigation were pushing us along at a good lick. We had another spot of nav bother, especially when we spotted the leading lady high up on the hillside when we could see markers low down. I felt bad but we followed our noses and stayed low. There were several arrows and even red and white tape so were sure we were OK and arrived safely at CP8 and traffic.

 Less than 10 miles to go now and pretty much flat, although crossing the A470 was perhaps the hardest task of the day. I should have stopped to take more photos as the river widened , had rapids and then big fly fishing pools but we were on a mission and I was struggling to keep up. The group was great and I am sure we all had low patches where the others dragged us along. I seemed to be the weak link but they did not complain. We crossed the river to the eastern side for the first time to enter CP9 and the job was nearly done. My foot was now screaming and I really did just want to stop and walk. The lads were having none of it. There were huge numbers of gates and at every one they insisted on waiting so I had to keep running. With a mile or so to go I came close to telling them to *** off and leave me alone  but we ran up the road from Glasbury and into the adventure centre within sight of each other. Some joker had routed us over a large telegraph pole hurdle but there was the finish, at last. 50 miles (or about 51.4) and roughly 2200m of ascent. I scraped in just before 9 hours 30 and as first lady. It was much more than I had hoped for. I owe my 3 new friends many thanks for their good humour and companionship. I am so grateful they ignored my instructions to run off as I know I would have slowed down. Suddenly I was very tired. I hoped a hot shower would revive me. It took me an age to get myself organised but it did help and then I found the dining room for an egg butty and cups of tea. Sat there chatting I spotted Bob arriving in the van. He had enjoyed his day on the bike but the wind, rain and steepness had forced him to cut his ride short. I was just glad he was driving and not me. People had long drives so the prize giving was very fragmented.

 The drive back was even more of an ordeal than the route down. We stopped half way to refuel but were home not long after 10.30. A much happier day somehow than last weekend, despite a nasty run on my left ankle and very sore right foot.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

No 52 Round Ripon Tadaaa!

Having been tired all week and with the top of my foot still sore from last weeks RAB I was not convinced about this race.

 However the forecast was good and Bob had planned a bike ride so we could drive over together. It was good to see Mark R and Sarah and Andy before the start. There were not many other familiar faces. I have not done many 'commercial' races and this one had stretched my pound per mile but they do support a charity so I relented.

 Just before 9 we were gathered in the lane and ready for the off. The organiser was rambling on about difficult bits and mud but for those of us that were new to the race it didn't really mean much. The first mile or so was very flat and fast, infact the first half of the race was really.

 We followed a little path back to Ripon and cut round the edge of the town and onto the river. Having negotiated what I thought could be tricky bits through the built up area I let the leaders go (not that I had much choice) and settled into a more comfortable pace. Even before the first CP a group of us had gone wrong. It wasn't a big diversion but we did spend a bit of time pfaffing with maps etc. North Stainton is a pretty village and even the new estate had a cricket ground and  pavillion.

By the CP I had gone from 2nd to 3rd lady. Leaving the CP and trying to regain a place I was stung by a wasp. It sounds pathetic but it hurt and was hard to ignore. I let it get to me and did not run well over the next section. I caught up with a bunch of locals but then lost them in the woods before Masham when I stopped for a wee. I found the lady again and we eventually sorted out the route. She then sped off and I was still struggling.
It was full of cars and the end of the market when we arrived
Masham was not as picturesque as I imagined. The town square was vast but I spotted the sweet shop that led us past the brewery to CP2. Martin G was on marshall duty and a kind runner gave me some anti-histamine. I set off alone and a bit grumpy- not improved when I got to a huge fields of maize and could not decide whether the path went rouund it or through it. I went through and every stalk of corn bashed my ear.
Now I have run past 2 breweries this year without going in!
The next section was a bit hillier and I felt a little better although the old lanes seemed to stretch for ever into the distance and there was more tarmac than I really enjoy. CP3 was at Bivouac and a field of Yurts. A chair was reserved for Mark R and this made me smile. I was pleased to catch up with a small group as the next bit looked tricky.

It was also good to have someone else to push the pace a bit. We passed a wierd tower ( a sighting tower used when the built some local reservoirs and pipelines I now know) and braved a farmyard full of chained up but slightly worrying dogs. There were some very rocky lanes and I wished I had tried out my hockas. The top of my foor was now very sore although on flattish tarmac or wet moorland it was better.

Over the next few miles we got more strung out and I ended up in the middle but on my own again as I crossed Skelding Moor and onto Drift Lane. The marshalls there made a great fuss of this being No52 which was nice but I lost the guy in front and went wrong again. Time to study the map and sort it out, which I did quite well and headed off to Eavestone Lake. Then came to two *h*tty farms and I went wrong again. In the end I just swore and headed across fields to the road and sorted it out from there. It meant crossing some fences and a ditch but I could not see an alternative. Thankfully I found the path to Sawley and plodded on.

It was uphill to Fountains Abbey and I was confused I could not see the obelsik, until I realised it was not that big and hidden by trees between the high wall and the church. The long driveway through the deer park is impressive but seemed to stretch for miles. I ignored the temptation to stop and study the herd of deer and concentrated on trying to run downhill to the finish. My foot was now on fire and I was very relieved to see the finish gantry. It was an odd feeling as I sat in the garden of the village hall on my own. I had done No52! I had beaten the time I thought was reasonable judging from last years results but I wasn't all that happy.

Perhaps it ws because I was on my own, perhaps it was the wasp sting that was driving me mental or maybe I was wondering what harm I had done to the top of my foot. It all seemed an anticlimax. I had left CP4 7 mins ahead of the next lady but getting lost meant she beat me 5 minutes. Fortunately it was not too long before, refulled with 2 mugs of tea, I went out onto the lane and cheered people in. The guy who gave me the anti-histamine finished (thank you) and then the young lady doing her first ultra. Mark arrived with a broad grin having taken about an hour of last years time and then Sarah arrived too. Bob arrived back having done many miles on his bike but happy at a good day out. I cannot leave it there and finish on a low so now I'll have to aim for the 61 by the end of Dec (year of birth). Bob suggested calling yesterday 51a but that would be cheating and anyway the Wye One way might be no better if my foot does not improve.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What do ultra runners do for a rest?

Enter a mountain marathon of course. So this is not ultra number 52 but a brief report on the RAB. It was based this year at Newlands Adventure Centre Stair, like the LDMT just over a year ago. It would be my third go at this and another chance to see how I coped running solo and making all the decisions mistakes myself. Bob was coming to do the race too so we drove up in the van on Friday night, registered and pottered around. The idea was an early night and a bit of a lie in to set us up for the weekend.
Saturday dawned chilly but fine. The forecast was good. Starts at the RAB are very flexible so we dumped the keys and wandered up the lane. It was already getting warmer. Within seconds I had probably made my first error and set off up Catbells with the majority even though there were more points by going along the valley floor which is what I had initially planned to do. Once up there the ridge was a delight and I headed off to Maiden Moor and Nitting Haw for more points. The views were brilliant and it was warm and sunny.  True it made the navigation easy but it was great to be out and so different to a fortnight before when the LDMT was cancelled. As I approached the next control I was forced to stop- my brand new shoes were now soaked from the bog and they had stretched. A few minutes to tighten laces were essential. I dropped to Honister feeling glad that I could race downhill without fractured ribs jarring this time. Decision time again- to go east first or not. I did and I think I got that right but sadly after Grey Knotts my haste made me daft again. I dropped to Dubs Bottom and then went up Fleetwith Pike. It would have made sense to stay high and then drop but never mind. I knew the way past Denominate Tarn and round Haystacks so I pushed on without thinking about water. Before the top of High Crag I had run dry. Oops. What looked like a nice ridge run to High Stile is of course more demanding than it appears and I was desperate for the descent to Bleaberry tarn and the search for water.
Tony heading down for water
I could hear it but not get at it, the stream was underground. I stopped 3 times in vain before the stream emerged and I was in luck. The run round and down to Ling Comb was not good- steep, deep heather and boulders. By the time I hit the lower path I had doubts about having time to collect the high pointer to the SW of Crummock Water. One scary thing about the RAB is that if you are 30 mins late you lose ALL your points. That would be far to depressing so I turned for Buttermere. I ignored the lure of the ice creams and jogged up beside the stream.  I then bottled it. I should have continued along to Whiteless Breast to collect points but instead turned towards the overnight camp and an easy run. I finished 30 minutes early and rather cross with myself and guilty for not running to the end of my time. When I downloaded I was second on the long score- well that was clearly not going to last! It was not long before I was second lady to Heather and Andrea and falling down the places as elites like Steve B collect 500 points!!!!
Albert and Tony relaxing
I spotted Bob and found he was already camped, along with Albert, Mark, Stewart, Julie, Darren, Elaine. It wasn't long before we were joined by Tony and Steve. A real orienteering and Lancashire corner. After a mug of tea and some food I strolled the field to find the Preston Harriers and the Calder Valley/ Tod people. It was a gorgeous evening and I happily wandered for ages chatting to people. Chris V came across and it was good to see him upbeat and running well. As the sun started to drop I sat cooking and eating ( I might not eat much during the day but like to make up for it when I stop). Bob was deep in discussion with Darren and planning his events for his 70th year, mainly his Munros.  Suddenly around 9 I was tired and went to bed early. I had to get up before 11 for a wee but it was well worth it as the stars were amazing - so bright and so many. I had been worried about being cold overnight and had even contemplated packing my heavier sleeping bag. I am so glad I did not. Before long I had put the silk liner to one side, taken off my socks and stripped off one top layer. The wind kept me awake but I never seem to sleep well in a tent now, must be getting old.
Those of us on the long score had to start between 7 and 8 in the morning so I was up bright and early. All those around me were on the short course and had an extra hour to lie in. It did not take long to pack and decamp- on my own and in the dry this is a slick process now. I had studied the map and tried to plan where  would go. This was possibly a mistake as I headed north on the valley floor when it probably wasn't the best option. Day 2 was tricky and I don't think anyone found it easy to pick a route that logically collected points in the same way as day 1. As I flogged up the valley below Whiteside and no fast runners came past I sort of knew I had made a mistake. Oh well I was committed now. The top of Sand Hill was windy but not cold. The control with big points to the north looked too big a drop and I didn't want to hang around in the wind. I suspect I should have stayed on the grassy tops and run to Grasmoor but I headed for Grisedale Pike. I used a tiny deer trod to avoid the summit- it was a bit dodgy in places but I survived. The control was easy but the drop afterwards to Coledale Beck was steep and in deep bracken. I was so relieved to reach the bottom that I shot off along the track up to  the old mine works. It would probably have been better to have gone towards Barrow.  I had a lovely time scrambling up by the waterfall and had seen nobody close up for over an hour.  By contrast the sheepfold below Eel Crag was busy and so was Outerside. Sail Pass looked high and far but it took less than ten minutes and I then had a lovely run down to Sail Beck. At this point I realised I would not have time to collect the two high pointers and headed back towards the finish.  The sheepfold in Rigg Beck was fine but the flog up through thigh deep heather was tough and I was battle scarred by the time I reached Rowling End. As I ran back up Causey Pike I met almost all my fellow campers coming the other way. I had an hour - plenty of time to get the control over near barrow but there were no others to get so yet again I was back early, and again Heather and Andrea beat me by 20 points. I had a chat with Richard and then Martin at the finish before ambling down the lane to download. Bob had just finished so we collected food and went to lay on the lawn in the sun. It was sociable and pleasant.
2nd Lady/ 1st Supervet (ie old)
The prize giving  showed it was a day for vets and orienteers. SROC did well with Tony first vet on short score, The Wilsons first generation team on short score and me 2nd lady/ first supervet on the long score. By late afternoon it was time to escape down the motorway and pray that the sunshine kept people off the M6. A grand weekend and worth missing doing an ultra for.