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.

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