Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Trying to decide on a favourite MM is not easy. I love the LAMM for the Scottish wilderness and more extreme hills. I perversely like the OMM for the worst October can sometimes throw at us and I am growing to like the RAB as I try to get my head around score events and running solo. I like the SLMM for so many reasons: always an easy drive from home, usually fantastic weather, meeting up with so many friends as competitors and organisers.... and in recent years for daring to go solo and do the Klets. This responsibility and independence is a challenge, along with carrying all the gear. I am usually the only woman mad enough to try and this year was the second oldest person. At some stage I may have to give up, but not yet.

As usual we had agreed to help with parking and we were glad it was sunny and dry as we headed for Patterdale. The parking was split with cars for campers near the assembly and camper-vans and Saturday cars in a flatter field across the road. Being in charge of just the vans on Friday night meant a very relaxed evening, although we did not see as many people as usual. At 10.20 we turned off the radios with the final message from me being "Can we go to bed now David?"

With long hours of daylight in July the start time was a civilized 8.15. Plenty of time for breakfast, toilet and chatting. I actually set off with Bill J but knew I was unlikely to stay with him for long whereas Steve W and I played leapfrog all day. The first 5 CPs were in a logical order and apart from a bit of a blip at the first I was quite happy with my navigating. This lulled me into a sense of false security, especially as I was quite familiar with the area of mines at the top of Greenside.  I was so busy trying to decide which order to do the 4 controls on the western side of the ridge that I failed to notice how folded my map was. I knew how to get to the CP at the ski tow.....  and then it dawned on me that the runners ahead had disappeared. Oh ****. I had failed to see the CP on the dam below Catstycam.  Furious with myself I shot off to do the loop of controls as fast as I could knowing that I would have to re-climb the main ridge, drop to the control and climb out again. How could I have been so stupid? I was adding 700m of climb and about 40 mins but at no point did I consider just leaving it and being dnf. Once out of that control I was at least high on the main ridge with short grass and good running unlike the eventual winner who tried to traverse the western slopes lower down. The final descent to the woods on the A591 punished the quads but I made good time and overtook several people. I downloaded, laughed at my splits, collected the milk and went to put the tent up. Lots of chance to chat with Pete, Lins, Chris V and Chris BH, Roy, Jim plus so many more. Before I got very worried Bob arrived. A long day and cross with himself for a mp. By mid evening the rain arrived along with midges so we scuttled into the tents. Fortunately by morning the rain had stopped although the cloud level was very low. I lay in the tent and planned my day. Only one control was really odd and I decided it had to be done fairly early as an out and back. Missing the chasing start meant a big queue in a midgy valley but we soon spread out and by the first CP I was alone. I knew where the next two were as the routes crossed my path yesterday so that made for easy nav if not easy running. By the time I reached Grisedale tarn my legs were tired and I changed my plan. Why? Lesson- stick with the plan made after an hour of study. Do not change to one made in oxygen debt. Dropping to the stream below Ruthwaite Lodge and then climbing Deepdale Hause I added yet more distance and the need to cross close to the summit of Fairfield twice. My original plan was shorter and missed climbing Fairfield at all. As I left Deepdale Hause I found myself alone again and when I dropped to the deep deep valley south of Great Rigg the only people I met were coming the other way. I ran alone for the next section and only down in Sleet Cove did I have company again, this time with people on different courses going in all directions. The ridge on Hartsop Above How seemed to have more sub peaks then the map showed and I looked for the control too early. The last CP was cunningly hidden through some open woodland but not hard to find.

I finished in warm sun content that I had completed another Klets. Despite the foolish rethink I had moved up places today but failed to beat Steve W overall by seconds. As only female that was no challenge so I was pleased to be 9th overall and 3rd vet on handicap.

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