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|
|Albert and Tony relaxing|
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)|