|Smiling marshalls- thanks Elaine|
We arrived very early on Friday afternoon as Bob was on parking duty. He had decided not to run as the Pillar course was too much as like the Klets you have to get them all; not a score event. I wandered around chatting, bought some new shoes from Pete Bland with vouchers I had accumulated and offered to help if need be. There were heavy rain showers and I retired to the van to eat a big meal and check my kit. The forecast for Saturday was for lots of heavy rain and it was chilly for July. I registered early, spotted some friends and then went to the van for hot chocolate and bed.
The forecast was correct although I was lucky and did at least get to walk to the start in the dry and even more important was able to mark up my map in the dry. Lying on the fell in the rain trying to plot checkpoints from grid references is not the best start to a weekend MM. The start was at the top of Park Foot campsite; exactly where Rowena and I started our first KIMM back in 2005. I marked up my map quite quickly and managed to overtake Digby by 8 minutes (it would not last). The order for the first few seemed obvious so I ran off. The first was about 8km away on the other side of Loadpot Hill. At some point I found I was running at the same pace as Haydn and it was nice to have company. Digby came racing past and Bill J shouted hello. By CP4 I was almost at Kidsty Pike but low down on Ranadale Beck. It was now very wet and cascading down my jacket. I could not decide whether to drop to Mardale Head or climb to High Street and then descend the rocky ridges at Blea Tarn. I will never really know which was the best option. The weather and chance of Haydn's company meant I went down. We then climbed with Phil, who was on 'Pillar', to our control on the rocky terrain between Blea Water and Small Water. Next stop Branstree and an out and back from the Gatesgarth Pass area. I knew where the next CP was as I had been given it before on a different MM; a cave below Kentmere Pike. The following two controls were cruel; half way down to the reservoir, up almost over Mardale Ill Bell and then down again to a sheep fold (somewhere near the reservoir I pulled ahead of Haydn).Yet more climbing followed on the way to Thornthwaite Beacon. I had planned an out and back to conserve height here but it took longer than I hoped to reach the control near Grey Crag so I dropped to Hayeswater and then had to climb The Knott. My legs were now complaining big time and I could not keep up with Scott who I had met as we started the descent. It was a lovely run from the stream below The Knott to Satura Crag but I got carried away chasing Scott. We both descended too far on a nice grassy path until I realised the mistake and shouted. Another climb, and this time unnecessary. The final control below Angle Tarn was easy enough, but the site of a mountain rescue as we passed.
|Patterdale M Rescue at work|
|Look better than I felt even after food|
The on and off rain didn't tempt me to lie outside or to socialise for long. It was nice to have Josie, Tony, Albert, Darren, Rowena and Jennifer to chat with and we watched two mountain rescues and helicopter evacuations from the same spot near my last control.
|Josie dressed to party in the rain|
Sunday dawned bright and clear with a forecast of no rain. I put on wet socks so that I had two pairs on to cushion my feet and then struggled into damp shorts much to Albert's admiration. Having collected my control descriptions for the day at 6.30am I had marked up my map, eaten breakfast and was ready to go by 7.30.
|Packed up and ready for action- didn't need the cag for long|
|Boredale Hause and the 'gentle' incline path|
I was shattered but managed to keep my humour at the kit check. Bob then kindly filled my water bottle and took my stuff back to the van while I got food and cups of tea.
|Bob kit checking a winner|
|Prizes and volunteer rewards|
We also raised over £700 for Mountain Rescue before people drove home and this will increase after gift aid and the SLMM add to it.. A great weekend yet again. Thanks to the RO, planners and all the marshalls.