Monday, 28 April 2014

A trip down south (well the south Midlands anyway)

The plan was to make Runfurther more inclusive of all of the UK, not just the north. It is hard to chose races without knowing the area and what the organisation is like but I think we did a good job with this one. It felt odd to race on Sunday but at least Evesham is not too far from a motorway junction. I drove down on Saturday evening trying hard not to think about how friends were doing at the Fellsman.

 I had a short walk and found the town hall and a bit more of a walk to suss out the bridges and river. Then I fell into bed and pushed the poor weather forecast from my mind. It worked until about 5.30am when I awoke to rain hammering on the roof of the van. I turned over and tried to hope that perhaps the rain had come early and the day would be dry.

Before 8 I was at the town hall and met up with Emma and Dick. We found a way to put up most of the RF flags, handed over RF prizes to Kurt and were all registered in plenty of time. We quizzed Kurt about shoe grip... and then probably made the wrong choice. It had been very wet overnight.  After a short briefing and warning about horses we trooped off to the start by the river where a bike event was also starting. It was dull and cloudy but dry!
 The start was fast and furious through the park and out of the suburbs into countryside. Already it was getting warm and I was regretting my 3/4 tights and extra layer. I should have realised I was going too fast when I could keep Nigel A in sight but it was very runnable and the first 6 miles was mostly lane or track with no significant hills.I made my first nav error here as I was distracted by an enormous Newcastle United flag. Fortunately I only ran about 200 yards. The villages were pretty and even quaint.
Then after 7 miles or so we headed for the first hill. It was a blessing because the valley floor was sodden and as the soil is clay the paths were slippery as heck.
Time for a bit of banter on the uphills
We did a huge loop around Bredon Hill with amazing views over the flood plain and lots of ancient earthworks too.
 Dropping down to Overbury I paid for the early pace and had to walk for a bit. At least I got to admire the beautiful picture post card village.
In the next village I met the little VW camper van for the first of many  times. The family were completely bonkers and cheered us all madly; they were great. The next section was a bit grim after the rain. The paths through the rape seed were slippery and clogged my shoes until it felt like I was running in platform shoes (memories of Round Rotherham).
We then has another diversion up  a little hill, (well it looks little on the map!) before heading to cross a road  and crossing more fields to lead us to the main escarpment.Langley Hill is only 274m but after the early pace it felt bigger and people were starting to suffer. In Winchcombe I left  one guy with cramp and another changing his shoes.
I had been eating quite well but kept running low on water. This is very unusual for me and kept catching me out all day. Winchcombe was half way or  just over so that was a morale boost.
Emma reeling me in as I knew she would at some point
The route was fully marked so I had left my maps in my sack and could not remember the next bit. In my mind we climbed and dropped and headed for Broadway Tower. Well we did eventually but it was a long way off. After the remains of the Abbey at Hailes, and more shouting from the camper van) we climbed past another earth hill fort before dropping all the way to the valley floor again. A field of horses got very excited and galloped around us with hooves going everywhere. Stanway was another pretty village with lovely grassy parkland and Stanton was even more picturesque.
Here we climbed  and then dropped again. Kurt must be some sort of sadist. In the next section someone had removed a couple of the markers and it caused a few minutes of worry. It was also at a point where a shortcut was possible. We picked the correct line and were rewarded by more markers very soon. It was good to know we were on route even if it seemed to be taking us away from the Tower that we could see on the skyline. The next climb was energy sapping and seemed to go on for ever.
The last big hill over and done with
Fortunately the CP at Broadway Tower was the best and I even got a cup of tea. Then it was- yes you guessed, back downhill to Broadway and across many many fields to Wickhamford. On the section the wheels came off good and proper. I was hungry but had eaten well and felt queasy and my knee was sore. Hopefully not a new injury. The two lads that I had run with from Hailes caught me back up and then overtook me. Emma caught me just before the last CP and encouraged me to run with her but my body would not play. I jogged and walked the best I could and tried to keep her in sight. Only 3.5 miles how hard can that be! I normally manage to get some sort of second wind when I know the finish is there but not today. I must have looked a sorry sight as I struggled up into town from the bridge and aimed for the town hall. I dread to think what the photo will look like.  Emma and I sat cheering in the next runners before moving inside to scrape off what mud we could and be presented with our prizes for 2nd lady and in my case 3rd lady and !st old lady.

The wooden medals we all got are lovely as is the technical T shirt. Prizes were courtesy of RF and I ended up with two and a set of wooden coaster as a vet prize. We had two mugs of soup (and I could have eaten more) and time for a chat with other runners and the RO who was very friendly. Then it was time to pack away the flags and contemplate the long drive home ready for work in the morning.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

All the northern Wainwrights

It seemed annoying to drive back down the M6 but we needed to do it. Then once things were all sorted and the forecast was good we were able to drive back again. I did toy with the idea of asking for a late entry for the Viking Ultra but it would have been a rush and it will still be there next year.
When Bob texted Darren to keep him up to date with progress a joke was made about doing all the Wainwrights rather than just a big day from each book....... ummmm , maybe.
It was Bank Hol weekend so we needed somewhere quiet. By Fri late morning we were free to travel. A plan was hatched- to finish the northern book. Souther Fell and a some repeats in the afternoon. Binsey in the evening and the rest on Saturday.

We parked at Mungrisdale in glorious sunshine, crossed the river by the pub and we were off. The fellside was incredibly dry as we headed up through the dead bracken.In no time at all we were on the summit and sitting in the sun admiring the views. It seemed a scandal to drop back to the van so early so we continued round to the col above Mousthwaite and up the valley below Scales Tarn. It have us great views of Sharp Edge and we met very few people.

 Bob wanted to go to Bannerdale Crags again and admire the edge and then it was a wonderful run down the easy path on the side of Tongue. We had a pint in the pub and sat in the sun for a while to let the afternoon traffic disappear. then we drove round to the Uldale area and had an evening stroll up Binsey.

 It was bigger than it looked and gave great views back into the Skiddaw range. We had two overnight parking places in mind and were lucky to find both deserted. We parked near Longlands, cooked and went to bed. The lane was very quiet and I did not hear a single car until we were up in the morning.

A route to include all the tops that were left was going to involve a couple of out and backs but it was new to us and we didn't mind. In fact I want to go back and run on the area which was grassy like the Howgills. We started off along the quad bike track and headed for Great Cockup. I went direct whereas Bob would have looped round by the track. It was warm in the sun and we were soon shedding layers. Then we dropped down and up to gain Meal Fell, a funny little lump that stands out in its own.

We split to go up Great Sca Fell as I went direct and Bob followed a path to the col and then up the side. Now we were exposed to the wind it was chilly and some of the layers went back on. The next bit was unclear. Should we go up Knott and then east to pick up the Cumbria Way or just go east via Iron Crag? There was no obvious trod but it was downhill and we/I headed for iron Crag and just before it we picked up a trod over the summit and towards Great Lingy Hill. The trod vanished every now and again (how does it do that?)  but the heather was short.

The Cumbria Way was huge and led us easily up High Pike to the big cairn and stone seat. Shame it was too cold to stop long. We also met our first fellow walkers of the day here. It was busier than this area generally gets but much quieter than much of the lakes as we only saw 12 people close enough to talk to the whole time we were out. We reversed our steps down High Pike and then set off over Mitton Hill and Carrock Fell. I am glad it has been dry because this must be a bog fest most of the time.

Carrock Fell itself is an interesting lump with lots of rock and the earth remains of a fort. I was freezing now though and not keen to stop.  We headed back west in search of some warmth and shelter to stop and eat. By iron Crag it was more sheltered and I sat in the heather for a picnic. Then it was try to follow a trod and return to Great Sca Fell. Once there we found more paths than we needed and it was an easy jaunt over Little Sca and out to Brae Fell.  There are more paths on the ground than on our map so it was a happy surprise to find a path contouring the head of Charleton Beck and leading nicely over Lowthwaite Fell and Longlands Fell and back down to the van. After a quick drink and rest we set off to capture the last two Wainwrights in this book.

 The only issue was finding somewhere to park the van. As we drove every lay by and verge space was full, it didn't bode well. Our free parking was all taken but we got a space at the Osprey / Dodd Wood site.

The undulating path at the edge of the forest kept us safely off the road and we were soon flogging up the hill side behind the Ravenstone Hotel. Most people were coming down after their day out but we didn't meet more than a dozen. The Edge is a wonderful ridge but after our morning walk it was hard work. After about an hour and a half we were on Ullock Pike.

One Wainwright left.  We carried on up the ridge and repeated Long Side and Carl Side before descending down and down to the forest tracks at the back of Dodd. The path wandered a bit but the felling was a bonus as the views were fantastic- Bassenthwaite, Derwent water, all the Grisedale/ Grasmoor tops, Cat Bells to Robinson and the Helvellyn ridge.

We sat and congratulated ourselves on a job well done before and easy walk into the woods and down to the van. The cafe had just closed but we made our own and sat in the sun as the car park gradually emptied.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

2 great days in the lakes

Bob planned some big days out using Wainwrights. To match his 70th he decided on the 7 books- a day for each which would include the highest peak and at least 9 others. ie 7x10.
The Wasdale circuit was fantastic(8 April)- bit of a weird route but it was his planning and he isn't as quick to spot fell race routes as me. I let Bob leave and then settled to my breakfast. It wasn't long before I was out of the van and chasing after him.
I took his old poles as an experiment- should I buy some for the UTMB? I hadn't quite decided whether to stick to his route or do my own thing but it would be nice to keep him company. We met not far before Kirk Fell climbing up a slippery red gully. Then it was off to Great Gable and Green Gable. It was too cold to hang around on the tops and although some tops had cloud each one we came to cleared and gave us great views. We headed over Brandreth and modified the plan as we went. Grey Knotts and Fleetwith Pike were binned and we shot off for Haystacks.

 It was boggy and the path wanders around a bit and but was here we met the first groups of walkers. It was a fairly big climb up to High Crag and then High Stile. This time to cloud did not quite clear but we still got views down to Buttermere and entertained ourselves spotting old RAB control sites. After Red Pike and a quick appreciation of Bleabury Tarn we decsended to Ennerdale. We started across the fell side but by the time we reached the stream there was a small path. It felt tropical in the valley bottom but I was sure it would be chilly once we climbed to the ridge.

 After only a minor faff we found the concessionary path up to Caw. It was cold and windy- I now had on everything I had with me, over trousers, hat, waterproof gloves etc. The ridge to Haycock and Scout Fell is beautiful and it was empty. We did the short out and back to Steeple and remembered Chris getting stressed at the idea some years ago.

Then it was decision time- over Pillar or down Wind Gap. Bob was tired and said down, but if you are ever in doubt I'd opt for over Pillar and down Black Sail. Wind Gap was steep and loose, then boggy at the bottom. Still we were back with plenty of day light.
Looking back to Wind Gap
It was good to be able to accompany him on one of the 7 books. As for the poles- well I am not a convert and don't think I will be using them much but I could see and advantage in keeping up a rhythm going uphill and saving the quads a bit on the descents so I think I will ask for some very light ones for my birthday.
Not just one book now I get to go with Bob on book 5 and 6 as well. We drove up to Braithwaite and found the ideal parking spot.
Ideal in that it was quiet, flat enough to sleep and right at the start of our path. It was chilly at first but I was prepared for walking not running today- more clothes and more food.
Grisedale Pike is big but it didn't take quite as long as I expected and the views were amazing. The wind was cooling but no problem and the sky was clear.  From there the drop and climb to Hopegill Head was easy and the out and back to Whiteside didn't take long. I spotted where I slipped on the DH memorial race- it looked so dry and easy today.
We spent a few minutes admiring Buttermere and the peaks of our last adventure and then it was back and over Sand Hill, even if it isn't a Wainwright. We could not see others on top of Grisedale so we dropped to Coledale Hause and started the climb up Grasmoor. This took longer than it should due to numerous phone calls from Matthew who had found the exhaust was falling off the car. Mobiles kept cutting out but eventually we were all happy. From Grasmoor we dropped and went out to Whiteless Pike and although an out and back it was a great little ridge with fantastic views. We also bumped into some ultra friends out running.
We turned and came back over Wandhope and then Eel Crag. It was busier now but that was hardly a surprise on such a lovely day. We were using our old RAB maps and it was fun spotting where controls had been as we headed over Sail and then Scar crags. By now it was warm enough to sit in the sun and eat.  The trip to Causey Pike only took a few minutes and then it was off down the boggy path and up to Outerside. Barrow would make it number 12 for the day so off we went. The path off Barrow would take us too low and to the wrong end of Braithwaite so we went back to barrow Door and then went cross country to regain the big track that leads up to the mines at Low Force. It meant we finished with a stroll along the track in the sunshine and then a brew in the sun at the van.
We moved the van having given up on any attempt to park in Keswick.  Arriving at the car park behind Latrigg it was very full. We squeezed in and watch walkers, bikers and para gliders going out and coming back. It was good to have an hour or so lying in the sun with a coffee and a book. Once everyone had cleared off we mover to a level spot and settled for the night.

Day two would be cooler, cloudier and windy but dry. First top was Lonscale Fell which seemed to be ignored by most that were just heading for the big tops. From Skiddaw Little Man we dropped and contoured to Carl Side and then Long Side.
Skiddaw No70!
The wind was freezing and I stopped to put another layer and gloves on.  The path from Carl Side tarn up Skidda was was steep and loose but thankfully quite short. We stopped to admire views and register how big Grisedale Pike still looked then it was off down to Bakestall. As we followed the fence we remembered a day many years ago (23?) when we cycled past Skiddaw House and pushed our bikes up Skiddaw so we could ride down the bridlepath. 
After a discussion on route choice we opted for the direct ascent of Little Calva via the fence line. It was steep and eroded but it got the climb out the way and I think faster than the big valley track. It was, as the map predicted,  boggy but we both had seal skins on so who cares. The ground to Knott was damp but easy going without too much climb. Debate. Where next? Great Sca Fell and others looked invitingly close but we still had Blencathra etc to do. Looking for an easy line off Knott and towards Bowscale Fell was not easy.
We found and lost a trod, contoured on an old water course and then yomped down the heather to the River Caldew. Next difficulty was crossing it. In the end we gave up and waded through. The route up Bowscale took for ever. It just went up and up over a convex slope that kept promising to end. From there the going was considerably easier across to Bannerdale Crags and then up to Blencathra itself. Sharp Edge looked imposing and there were tiny people silhouetted on the skyline. We both confessed that the drop off for a BG did not look inviting. We had considered Blease Fell and dropping off the end but it was going to be steep.
Sharp Edge in the background
Instead we saw we had stacks of time and plumped for Mungrisdale Common.
Mungrisdale Common
We found the BG trod  which is now quite a wide boggy path and despite Wainwrights warnings about an inconclusive to we found a cairn and checked the altimeter. 12 Wainwrights done, time to head for the van. A trod led up safely to the bridges and it was only a short climb up onto the Cumbria Way. We contoured below Lonscale Fell in glorious sunshine and arrived back at the van tired but happy. It was too cold to sit outside that evening but the sun streamed in through the windows. Bob was tired and insisted that tomorrows walk might be a bit too much. In the end the weather decided it- VERY windy and cloud on the tops.
We shopped in a near deserted Keswick and came home having checked out a parking spot just south on Dunmail. Oh Bob did go out and do Latrigg before breakfast too. Only One more Wainwright book to do now... unless Bob decides to do all the other tops as well.

Calderdale Hike

Not a number this year just the next one in the RF series. I had offered to take the flags and banners so needed to be there early. It seemed a bit odd sleeping in the cricket ground all on my own for a race that did not start until 9am but I had a very peaceful night and was well rested. I ignored the first organisers to arrive and got up shortly after 6 to find Andy had just arrived.

 He set up inside and I started on the flags. It was an easy job at this race with nice soft flat grass only feet from the van. It would have been even easier if I had remembered the mallet. Fortunately there was an ice hammer in the van, fortunate for me that is but perhaps not for those sleeping nearby! All was organised and proper before the first walkers left at 7. It wasn't long before Nick, Dick and Emma arrived too along with a number of other friends.
Nick- proud in new vest and RO

 It was good to see Mick P again- although sadly he dnf with a bad stomach. The race route changes every 3 years so this would be the last time on this route. I think I prefer the previous route as this one has at least the last 5 miles on road, mostly down and then with a sting in the tail. I couldn't decide what the weather forecast meant and opted for comfort- long tights and thicker waterproof (possibly because I remember how terribly cold I got on L42 a week ago).

Looking around we were dressed for all seasons- some with even more than me and others in shorts and little more. I made a determined effort not to set off too fast but got sort of dragged along by Pete and others. I knew it would be a hard start  and before Steep Lane I was suffering. I backed off quickly and things improved enough for me to overtake Pete before Cragg Vale. Mick C on the other hand was out of sight. I concentrated on getting to Stoodley Pike and reassured myself that it would be one big climb out of the way.I thought I was running down to Lumbutts church at a good pace until a couple of kamikaze blokes shot by. I could see a group of runners ahead and recognised some, perhaps I could wind them in by the main road or the CP at the golf course. I grabbed a sandwich and set off in pursuit.
The answer was almost...  I ran from there to Mount Cross on my own and it was quite nice. It probably meant I didn't push as hard as I should but the views as you run along the hillside are superb and I always wonder how many thousand pairs of feet it has taken to wear away the old flag-stones across the moor. As I arrived at the CP I caught sight of the group ahead and it cheered me up. I grabbed a banana and quickly followed them up the road. As we hit the moor I realised they were not running. It was boggy but I didn't care. I was experimenting with my new seal skins (possibly not a wise thing to do in a race) and I had dry feet. It was drier than sometimes, which really isn't saying much.
 By the CP at Hoof Stones height I had caught them. Having spent time receeing a good line from here across the moor I was a bit irritated when the RO asked us all to stick to the path or fence line but I did as was asked and reeled in another two runners. I was feeling better and starting to enjoy myself now. There were a few drops of rain but then it stopped. The track at Gorple Gate and on towards Widdop pounded my feet but it wasn't long before we arrived at the CP and another sandwich. I didn't stop and ate as I jogged down the road. I can never figure out which is best: to stop, eat, drink and recover or to keep moving.
 I reckon 3-5 minutes at a CP is hard to claw back and so I try to keep moving, especially if I know there is an uphill where I can walk and eat. Heading up Walshaw Dean I could see more runners ahead and realised one was Mick C.  I never know which was is quickest here although having watched carefully on the Howarth Hobble and again today I think there is nothing in it. As we left the reservoirs I ran with Mick towards Withins Height.
Hoof Stones CP
 The flag-stones here extend all the way down the moor now and although I would prefer for them not to be there it does make it an easier run. I had no idea who the runners were ahead but slowly wound one or two in. The girls at the ruin CP were very cheerful and I set off for Tom Sell's seat to meet more friendly faces coming up the path towards me. Dave W gave a cheery hello and so did the families at Bronte bridge. I was slightly worried about finding the trod to cut the corner next and in my panic followed a runner. We had turned off too early and ended up yomping over tussocks and heather losing a few minutes in the process.  For the next minor route choice my mind was already set and I knew I was going up the lane and down the fields- anything to avoid the road.
Flagstones from Walshaw to Withins Heights
Next is the big track to Top o' Stair. It is hard work so I ate drank and stomped.  By the bridge at Grain I had caught the runner and recognised him- we had run this section together on the Hobble too. I am full of admiration as he runs every uphill all the way but then slows and I catch him on the flat or downhill. Just before New Bridge I spotted Helen- she was walking and suffering from a sore pelvis. Sadly she had to pull out, I would never have caught her otherwise. I had a quick cup of tea and another banana before wishing her a quick recovery. The next section to Pecket Well was a bit vague in my head but it all came back to me as I ran. Here I caught Carol and her friend and shouted directions onto the moor. There was no mist and the air shafts were there as a good guide. Againa couple of drops of rain but it came to nothing. I didn't quite get the ideal line but it was OK. A new gate confused me and I descended too early but is wasn't a disaster and only added a coupl of hundred metres. The group of us ran together to Jersusalem Farm. After the short sharp rise at Booth I knew it was down and down for the next few miles. It should be easy but after 34 miles ot so it didn't feel it. Fortunately I had comapny and it motivated me to push on. They gained a few yards on me at the road crossing but it was OK as I had a plan so long as they stuck to the footpath by the railway. They did. So I did a quick about turn and shot along the road. Running with them I would show them the way and where to turn off. Going on my own I had a chance to beat them if I ran hard. This was where I had overtaken Graham last year and that made me smile. I wasn't running hard when I passed Steve F and his dogs but I stoped hard up Styes lane and focused on the chuch. A momentary panic at the top- could I remember the back way in? No, too risky so I ran round and up the driveway. I had hoped for 7 hours but had to be happy with 7.04. It was 14 minutes slower than the last two years but I really enjoyed myself after the first couple of hours. I did beat Carol by a couple of minutes- they had struggled with where to leave the rail/canal path as so many do. I felt OK and wished I had pushed a bit harder earlier. At least we beat the rain that soaked some of the later runners. Nicky S won the ladies and although I was second I was over 40 minutes behind her. I sat drinking numerous cups of tea, eating and chatting. It is what I love about these events, so many friends to talk to. I decided to forgo the unisex shower this year as the van was just outside. Just before 7 we had Nick, Dick and even Andy back too. Andy had set of with the runners but walking to try to allow his stress fracture more time to strengthen its healing. We dropped down to Sowerby bridge for a committee meeting and then back up the hill to take the flags down at about 8.30pm A long day but fortunately not a long drive home.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


I started plotting the CPs for this onto my map sometime last week and my first thought was where on earth is Wythburn church? And then the penny dropped! a huge descent to Thirlmere just to climb all the way back up again. Joe F is a sadist. The next big decision was whether to stay at home in bed and get up at some ungodly hour or travel up on Friday night and try to sleep on the village hall floor (the van was being used as Si base for an orienteering event). I prayed I would sleep on the floor, and I sort of did. Those who snore badly should have the manners not to book a space on communal floors for sleeping. It was 5am all too swiftly but at least we were greeted with tea and porridge. Tony, Albert, Andy and Josie arrived at this point and when I realised how early they had needed to get up the floor didn't seem such a bad deal. I found it was Annie who had come in very late and settled on the floor next to me. Shame we did not have more time to catch up on gossip.The forecast had said some rain showers so the next decision was how light to go. I got this wrong! I ditched my waterproof gloves and my heavier cag. Luckily I did have fairly thick long tights on and grabbed a windproof as an extra layer at the last minute.
Beds away and time for the off.
By 6am we were assembled in the back room for a short race briefing before we trooped out to the crossroads for the start. Next dilemma. I need the loo. Should I go back in or start and pray the urge goes? Wrong decision and before the Cockpit I had to stop and watch a steady stream of runners pass by.Tony, I am going at steady BG pace not racing shot off into the distance. It was a struggle getting going over Loadpot Hill but at least up to there we had a view.
Should listen to mum- Red sky in morning.....
I arrived at the CP and found I had lost my tally card (as did many others) so I gave Stuart my number and punch my race number instead. I made a bit better progress over Red Crag and High Raise and even managed to pass a few people. As I climbed High Street Tony, Josie et al were on their way down. The top was not a place to linger and I used the group I had caught to motivate me to run harder to Angle Tarn. I knew where this CP was as we have used it on an orienteering event. Some guys overtook me on the rough stuff but I did gain a few places. It was here I suddenly realised that the steady rain had soaked me through my windproof and my camera was in an outside pocket.
Not sure if the damp has got to my camera but these seem fuzzy
I took one last photo and stowed the camera. Running towards Boredale Hause I spotted Andrew Leaney and friends out for a walk- he wondered what event it was. Then it was down to Side Farm. I am a bit of a woos on rocky descents now but kept a decent pace and was not overtaken by more than 2-3 men. At the CP I grabbed a banana and set off grateful that the track was not under thigh deep water today. The rain was worse and I put my cag on ready for the Helvellyn tops. Peter and his mate caught me as I was eating and we stayed together almost to the tarn. They were going down the rocky path whereas I hoped to find the trod over Willie Wife Moor.  I think I must have dropped too far before turning as I didn't find the trod and the contouring with a series of steep gullies to cross soon made me divert back to the main path. I tried to cross the stream to cut the bottom corner but it looked a bit deep. I had lost a little time but not too much. As I caught Peter we were joined by Stuart as we ran along the permissive path to the church. After a brief hello to Gaynor at the CP it was up and up  and up some more. I had a tuna wrap and a finger of fudge. One of the Nav4 guys was on his way down and warned of yuk conditions at the top and to beware of the cornice.  I knew the cobbled path did an enormous loop south so opted for the direct ascent and after what seemed an eternity hit the path near where it branches for Nethermost Pike. It was cold, wet , windy and vis was about 10 metres. I should know better but was just keen to keep going and be able to drop to nicer conditions. Peter stuck with me from the trig point CP and offered the use of the compass on his garmin. In my heart I think I knew that we were going too far west and when we continued to drop I knew it for sure. Damn. Nothing for it but to climb back up, find the summit of Little Man and check more carefully. If it had not been for the warning about the cornice I would probably have stayed closer to the edge in the first place but hey ho. Second time round it was so obvious and I set off for Whiteside with enthusiasm. By now the vis had cleared enough to see some distance and I was out of the worst of the wind. I made good time down into Glenridding and caught up with a bemused Stuart. He had stayed longer on the cobbled path and overtaken me during my detour.  He was good company and we ran the next chunk together. The Side Farm CP was very welcome and we stopped for a hot tea and snacks. I had been worrying about the best way to attack Place Fell. Boredale Hause was a long detour so we compromised and went up near Rooking Gill. It wasn't fast but we climbed steadily into the murk. Once off the rocky stuff I was keen to get moving and by the path fork at High Dodd I recognised where I was. A grassy ramp led down to the valley and a bridleway joined us up to the lane.  I tried to tell myself it was not far now; lies. Martindale church was deserted bar the self clip and I shot off to Howtown. I did turn and look for Stuart but there was no sign. I later found he had taken to more scenic bridleway through Mellguards. I checked my watch. 10 hours was now impossible but maybe 10.30? I did try to make myself run but just couldn't keep going. I shed some layers but that didn't help and just wasted more time. I was on my own and could not see anyone up ahead to set my sights on. Before the Cockpit the sun tried to come out and my windproof started to dry out. The last 3km should have been easy and were mostly downhill.  Once past the rather miserable looking ponies I did up my speed but by then it was too late for a time of even 10.30.  Albert etc were changed and fed but I sat and chatted while Albert collected me cups of tea. I started to chill off and went in search of the shower. I couldn't make the ladies work so snuck into the men's. Bliss- hot water and I was clean. Joe came to tease about my lost tally card and nav error on Helvellyn.  I suggested tyvex O cards or Si was the answer to the former. Fuelled by Nav4 soup and cake I was ready for the drive home. I should have stopped to take a picture of Askham and the fantastic rainbow as I left but my camera was buried in the boot under piles of wet muddy gear. In Lowther Park I spotted Paul W clearing up after the Born Survivor event and stopped for a short chat. Their entry had been almost double that of the L42 and I cannot believe so many people would pay upto £79 to run 10km albeit with a few obstacles thrown in. Shame not to have taken more pictures but a good day out regardless.