The Borrowdale trail half marathon : 10th July

13.1 miles
1,260 feet

My 2nd successive year at this race. Last year I came 3rd, so I had high hopes again this time. My training for the Lakeland 100 had been going well and I was feeling fit, if a little tired from high mileage.


The day was overcast and on the verge of raining all the time. But perversely, it was also warm and humid. So the rocks were slippy and it was a touch on the warm side once working hard. Never mind, as they say, it's the same for everyone.

Instead of a 25 minute walk around the eastern end of Derwent water, same as last year, I chose the boat across. I think it just adds a bit of adventure to this race. After docking I had A bit of a warm up and then we were off. Straight up a little slope. To the horror of some that had gathered at the top of the slope waiting prior to the briefing, before being moved down. I settled into what turned out to be a fast couple of miles. During the first few miles whilst opening gates and dodging some semi startled walkers, a guy went off the front and constantly pulled away. A lady runner also went off the front and slowly pulled a gap. Up to about mile 4 I had settled into the back of a pack of 4, a lady, 2 others guys, and me. Then I felt a stitch start to gather in its menace. I decided to ease off the pace a little, whilst hopefully still hanging onto the 3 runners ahead. On a  mile of road another guy past me, making me 7th place. This was not going to plan.


My mind was awash with thoughts of how strong I must have been last year, compared to how feeble I feel right now. I had to run smart, this wasn't just a case of going at a hard push all the way. I was going to have to listen to how my body reacted to the climbs to maximise this far from ideal situation.   As we left the road and started on the easy slopes of the climb around Castle cragg, I was surprised that I straight away past one guy. We then had to wait as the leader of the pack struggled to open a gate, after what felt an age, (probably actually only 40 seconds) we continued on the steeper slopes.

I had a good climb and past all but the lady. The stitch now a distant memory, as I pushed on. On the descent to Rosthwaite I overtook the lady to move into 3rd place. The flat run through Rosthwaite was awkward, as was the rest of the course from here, due to the slippery rocks. Apart from making the rocks slippy, the frequent rain showers were welcome to cool us down. At the start of the long climb up to Wattendlath, the lady and one of the guys were right behind me. By the top  she just sneaked past. But on the first small rough descent I overtook her to regain 3rd.

I then pushed on, never looking back. Thinking if I get overtaken they will have deserved it. I always thought that I would get a look at 2nd, but probably not 1st, I never got a look at either. It was made tricky anyway as we were now overtaking a fair few of the 13k runners that had joined the course after setting off 30 mins behind us on a shorter circuit. By the flat 1.5 mile run in, I felt that I was set in 3rd and eased off the pace a bit. Crossing the line I was pleased with 3rd overall and 2nd male, but not pleased at how much I had to manage my pace. Still it was a really enjoyable run out around Derwent water.


150 finished the race. Oliver Smith won in 1:40:07. I finished in 1:46:45.


Clougha Pike Fell race : 18th June

5 miles
1,260 feet


A nice day for my local fell race. Not my best effort at this race, and a quality field meant I finished 23rd out of 116 in 46,22.

The Old Counties Tops race : 21st May

35.2 miles
10,171 feet

This was the fourth time out of the last 5 for Bill and I. This really is a brilliant race. As Bill said "the T-shirt was earned this year". This is one of those rare races where you have to complete the race to get the t-shirt; I like that Ideology.

The day was to start with periods of showers, and was fairly cool and cloudy for the 8 am start. Bill and I progressed well to Helvellyn, on the descent I noticed Bill was a bit more tentative. I waited for him a couple of times, but we both rallied on the next climb up to Greenup edge. As we approached the col the weather turned ugly, and light rain became heavy severely wind blown rain. Straight in the face it felt extremely uncomfortable and cold. I said to Bill that it was the first time I'd considered dropping down stake pass into Langdale, for the quick, no t-shirt,  way back. We toughed it out and ascended to Sca fell pike well. On the decent Bill got cramp in the same precarious craggy spot as last year. At least the weather had improved.


From now on it was just a case of getting to the finish. We had a long refuel on the lovely sandwiches at Cockley beck, plus on departing a slice of Wynnes chocolate brownie was a fantastic desert! It was  a bit of a trudge up to Coniston old man. This is a tough climb, and I felt for Bill, as I took it easy, then waited enjoying the views whilst taking some photos.


We descended the Old man fairly well, and made up a few positions on the run in down to Langdale. That weather earlier on certainly meant that everyone that finished earned their T-shirt. Well done to good friends and fellow Bowland fell runners, Steve Cliff, and Yiannis Tridimas on winning the Vet 100 category.


Bill and I finished 38th out of 93 in 9.37:56. Paul Tierney and Matt Reedy won in 6.53:51.

The Howgills Trail 26 : 15th May

26.3 miles
3,672 feet

This was my first try at this race. The route is an up and over the high points of the Howgills out of Sedburgh, dropping into Ravenstondale, before a less steep and easier up and over back to Sedbergh. The first part is on familiar training ground, and  It was a nice day for it, not too hot, but sunny. Prior to registering I bumped into Michael (curly) Irving, for the first time since the Grand Tour Of Skiddaw race. It was good to catch up, and note his unusual warm up technique of having a cigarrette prior to the race. Still, it seams to work for him.

After nearly missing the start due to queuing with the Howgills 13 runners (set off 10 mins later) for the toilet, we were off. The first 2 miles are a steep climb unto Arrant Haw. I climbed ok, probably in the top 7 or 8, but felt I was working a bit too hard. I eased back after the summit and continued at a steady pace. Unlike a lot of fell races this had a lot of swing gates that had to be opened and shut yourself. It really does slow down the momentum, I would guess in total that there were about 30 in total. Apart form this slight frustration I felt my race was going ok. Just before half way I caught and chatted to last years winner for a while. after the halfway CP I pushed on and left him. On the long climb I was struggling a touch but managed to keep running up most of the road. Then kept a decent pace on the trail down to Cautley, and the 2nd CP.


Not long after this I felt the fatigue. My lack of appetite was beginning to bite. In the last 2 miles I really slowed to a point where 2 passed me and I just couldn't respond. I trudged to the finish, feeling a bit disappointed. At one point, 5 miles earlier,  I was running in 3rd, and with the guy that came 3rd. Still it was a good day for a nice race. Not sure I enjoyed the sheer amount of gates to open on the  route though.

I finished 6th in 3.55:06. Allen Smalls won in 3.39:13.

Buttermere trail race : 17th April

10miles
590 feet


A really nice day for this beautiful little loop around Buttermere. This was my 2nd consecutive year. I felt I had a decent run, and fished in a similar time to last year. Albeit the conditions were a bit better. On the run in towards the finish I closed in, then ran alongside, a guy for the last mile or so. I tried to save a bit for the inevitable battle as we neared the finish. Just as I was about to up the pace, he did. this continued until about 200 meters before the line. I then dug in to keep with him, and with 50 meters to go managed to just about out sprint him for the line. I was never ahead of him except for the last 5 meters. It proved worth it as I ended up with 3rd place because a lady won the overall race.



I finished 4th out of 173 in 1.13:43. Heidi Davies won in 1.11:29. Cracking effort from her to win the race overall!

The Trans Gran Canaria race : 4th March

78 miles
26,000 feet

Wow what a seriously tough race. It's always difficult doing a long challenge or race having never set foot on the route (Paddy Buckley 2007 for me) . Especially so when the ground is unexpectedly very tough. But recceing a race that's 1,800 miles away isn't too practical. Although the race winner did actually make a trip out to do just that, proving how useful reconnoitring is!

The race name would suggest a bisecting line across the longest line on the Island. But in reality it starts on the North West coast, and zags in land up and down towards the islands high point of Pico de la Nieves then heads due South to the finish in Moleneras. The race is point to point so a bus journey to the start line is required for the 11pm start. For me this entailed a 4 mile taxi ride from Playa del ingles to the finish at Moleneras, to catch the bus. Luckily I met with Matt Neal , Steve Rhodes and their friends, to while away the time on the 90 minute bus journey. One of these friends was top UK fellrunner Kim Collison. It was good to hear some of his plans, and aspirations for the race. But on this bus journey I felt a bit of indigestion. Tthe first time I had felt like this 5 days into my 2 week stay, bugger.

On our arrival at Ageate, Matt Neal being a veteran of many of the previous editions of the TGC, knew there was plenty of time to "relax" in a local cafe, prior to the 11pm start. So we had a chat and a few brews. Me not having any money meant I stretched their generosity a touch.


After a while we left and found a carnival atmosphere of runners and supporters all filtering through the queue for the start. A confusing scene, but exciting, given the general enthusiasm for this race. A DJ was whipping up a frenzy on a very loud PA system. Whilst I was trying to remain calm, as I know it's not a good idea to waste energy on anything at this point.

Finally the countdown and we were off streaking up the first 4,700 feet climb. I would go on to give a detailed description of the race but feel it's not worth it. I absolutely loved the race, the atmosphere, the organisation, and the way the locals really champion it as a big day for the Island....But I had a bit of a shocker. I started well enough, but on the 2nd climb I felt I needed the toilet, the indigestion was having its say. After this I never felt quite right, and didn't have much of an apetite.


I tried to just get on with it and enjoy it. The combination of extremely rough trails and a brutal course, along with my weekened state curbed my enthusiasm bit by bit. Even the daylight didn't really lift my spirits. A bit of drizzle at dawn meant putting my jacket on, whilst doing this I took a photo at the CP.


At this point I was still on for my sub 20 hour target despite feeling a little off. I, along with most left a drop bag at the base of the last climb at Garanon. Most of the climb is completed at this point, with about 3,700 feet of ascent and 6,400 of descent left. I had a good rest here and when I got back up my legs had stiffened up. I can never remember this happening in all my previous ultras.

I just got on with it and my legs freed up a bit as I crossed the road just before a long line of Ferraris. On the steep climb to the high point of the island at Pico de la Nieves I felt increasingly tired. This was the signal that sub 20 hours was now extremely unlikely. The damage was too great, I was too brutalised by this course. On the descent I kept stepping aside for other runners to pass (some on the 80k and marathon , some not) , I felt this would be my strong point. It would have been, despite how rough it was, but the course had beaten me. I was now on "survival get to the finish" mode. The heat was noticeable as I dropped height  towards sea level.

As the sun was fading I trudged through the remaining checkpoints as best I could. Feeling a bit pathetic I reached the finish, in just enough daylight to avoind needing my headtorch. A little convoluted up and down the road in front of a cheering crowd and I'd finished. Not pleased with my effort, but pleased to have done such an amazing race.

After lounging around in the expo centre, I could hardly walk enough to get in a taxi back to the hotel. My idea of walking back, was now just a pipe dream.




I may return next year. But to do the marathon distance. Which starts at the drop bag point. It would fit in with a holiday a bit better, and i would struggle to get enough specific training done for a course this long and brutal.
Matt Neal finished  298th In 24.38:10.  Steve Rhodes finished  320th In 25.11:53. And Kim Collison finished first Brit in 20th  15.45:39
I finished 132nd out of appx 800, in 20.36:28. Didrik Hermanson won in 13.41:48, simply awesome.








Bleasedale circle fell race : 20th Feb

4.8 miles
1,385 feet

A very wet and boggy race, with wind on the top fell section from Fairsnape to Parlick, made for a tough race. The leaders seamed to skip over the boggy parts on the low farm sections early in the race. Then rapidly disappear into the low cloud on the steep climb. I on the other hand, felt like I was trudging through them. Still despite the tough ground and strong headwind on the high section, I managed to set a PB by 11 seconds. So a decent enough effort.





I finished 15th of 95, in 44.01. Sam Tosh won in 37.05, pushed all the way by Bowlands Chris Arther, who was a narrow 2nd.

The JWK Lancaster Half Marathon : 1st November

13.1 miles

Tried for a sub 80 mins clocking. But couldn't quite hold the pace. Still I managed to get a course PB by a massive 7 seconds. Ill take it.

I was 13th out of 616 in 1 hour 22. 35. The winner was Ivan Acereda Pascual in 1 hour 12. 34.

The Ennerdale trail race 25K : 18th October

On the day the results were. I finished 3rd out of 118, in 1 hour 56. 56. Jeremy Fellick won in 1 hour 52. 56 and Andrew Baxter in 2nd, 40 seconds behind Jeremy. I say on the day, because as I type these race updates 7 months (I really should keep on top of them) later in May, I now know that I actually won the race. My first win, not that anyone knew it on the day,

So to that race. My 3rd effort at it, 4th and 3rd being my previous results. I felt like I had finally got over the stomach bug that benighted me for about 4 weeks. Finally I felt that I had a race in me. I started steady feeling  that building into this race was the best way due to the course being mainly ascending on the way out, and descending on the way back. The back section however has a few technical sections which require a bit more energy and effort.

My race went well, and to plan. I set off in about 6th place then by the turn back at Black Sail hut after 7.5 miles, I was up to 4th. Not long after the turn back I moved into 3rd. Whilst descending to the first technical single track I noticed a distant runner crossing a bridge over the river Liza to my right. He was off course and moving fast going down the very fast track that we had come up on. At the time I assumed he was a local lad spectating, or just having a run, albeit a fast one. This point in the race normally has a marshal, this year there was just an arrow pointing the way. You approach on a wide access track which dips and bends slightly left, anther track branches right, the direction is straight on down onto a small single track path thats rough and technical and lasts about 1.7 miles. It is a good 4 minutes slower than either of the other 2 options.

I continued pushing to the finish, but saw no one in my race that I could catch. Still I was happy with 3rd again. A few days later I looked at the photos and noticed that the front 2 are not on the set taken near the top end of Ennerdale water. Suspicious as to why, I e-mailed the photographer as he seamed to have a very complete set of photos. He said he hadn't missed anyone. So I contacted the RO and we surmised that they must have followed each other on a track that goes behind where the Photographer was stood.


nearing then end on anglers crag

Fast forward to the Old Counties Tops race last weekend, and a discussion with my running partner Bill, about Strava Flybys (a way to look at any members GPS trace in a  race) led to him saying that he thought that I was 2nd in this race. He said that one of the guys ahead of me went down the wrong side of the River Liza before cutting back over around Ennerdale water. So on returning home I checked it out. It turned out that it was the race winner that went the wrong way. I had no trace for 2nd. I contacted the recognised winner on the day Jeremy Fellick, and he said that on looking again he now realises that he had indeed gone the wrong way, but knew nothing about it on the day, and innocently claimed first place. He also added that the 2nd placed guy had been close to him, and had followed him the on the wrong route. So both should be disqualified. As I was the first person to complete the course, I should be confirmed as the winner. I have e-mailed the RO, and am waiting for their response.


the trophy i should, but don't have

I feel happy, and a bit gutted about it. I think if they had gone the correct way, it would have been a close exciting race between us. We will never know. What I do know is that I have won a race at last. Or should I say 7 months ago, at last.

The Isle of Man Mountain Ultra : 3rd October

31.2 miles
8,600 feet


I love this race. The whole deal of getting a ferry from Heysham on Friday afternoon and returning on Sunday evening, makes it feel like a holiday with a race in the middle. Thats why this was to be my 4th year on the spin doing this race.




Unfortunately the fall out from feeling ill for 2 weeks, after the Lakes Sky Ultra meant that I just didn't feel ready for this. On the ferry and even during parts of the race I felt that I just hadn't quite recovered enough, I figure I was maybe about 90% fit. I gave it my bet shot, but felt like I was holding back and not descending very well. This all caught up with me near the end. I really struggled during the last 5 miles. Reminding me of my first effort at this race back in 2012 (6:20). I am pretty sure I will give it another go in 2016, as I still feel that I haven't had the race I think I'm capable of yet.




I finished 11th out of 73, in 6 hours 3 : 38. Tom Cringle won in 5 hours 18 : 24.

The Lakes Sky Ultra : 12th Sept

33.6 miles
12,647 feet

I tend to fair better in races with not too much climb, and also not too many very steep ascents. This race was neither of them, and subsequently, far outside my comfort zone. I liked the idea of doing the first ever Lakes Sky race,  and also of the ideology of the race. That being to not need to route find, but to go over some very rocky technical ground by closely following marker flags.

Unfortunately it was a bad forecast for this inaugural race.  It was to be left to during the race for the race organisers to make a decision on weather we were going to climb over Pinnacle ridge or not. it was sensible, as this is a very difficult scramble in the best of weather.

Amassing on the start it was wet and windy, most had donned jackets and running tights. We set off into the low cloud and rain. Whilst running the ridge up to Fairfield the considerable force of the wind and rain could be felt. It was seriously  bad for a race of this length. I carried on grinding some sort of pace. onwards and upwards to Helvellyn, Swiral edge and Striding edge. Which were interesting in the wind and rain. Normally on a fell race, or even a trail race, it is prudent to find the easiest way to negotiate such ground. This flipped that on its head by forcing you to follow the flags over all the rockiest and trickiest ground on any ridges. It was certainly interesting running/ walking over the very pinnacles of Striding edge in rain driven by gale force winds.

descending to Kirkstone pass.
Due to the adverse weather, and to my relief, we missed out Pinnacle ridge.  I carried on at what felt like more of a grinding, than racing pace. On reaching the last CP at Kirkstone I started to feel tired. The lack of my training on this type of terrain starting to tell. The route up Red Screes was not favourable to my now weak state. Straight up the steep side would not be my first
choice. But following the red flags is the rules. At least the weather had improved. I carried on just behind the 2nd place woman (Beth Pascall) and was relieved when we finally popped out at the summit. I seamed to gain some fight from here and ran pretty well, passing one or two on the run down to Ambleside, and into the finish. This is a seriously tough race, and afterwards I got a severe stomach bug that effected me or about 3 weeks.

I finished 10th out of 56 in 9 hours 17:51. Erik Haugsnes won in 7 hours 16:51

The Grand Tour of Skiddaw 29th August

44 miles  (48.4 for me)
7,180 feet

I had never done this race before, so a few weeks earlier I had a look at some of the route.  The route is essentially an 8.5 mile out and back to a long, 27 ish mile, circuit. The circuit includes a long climb up and over Skiddaw. Starting and finishing at Dalston School it forms a lollipop shape (Strava map). I only reconnoitred the circuit, and unfortunately I made an error after Peter house Farm during that recce. So felt that I had learned little about that area of the course. This wasn't a good omen. I was also going to trust that my memory of that circuit, and my ability to reverse the unrecced out bit, would get me home when the field was more strung out.



Race day was bright enough if a little chilly. But nice enough running conditions. After a nervy, short warm up we were off out of the school grounds and heading for the first CP at Caldbeck. This being at the end of the out and back, is also the last CP before the run to the finish. As we ran out of the 
school and down the by the river Liza, I stook to my strategy of setting off nice and steady. The other part to my plan was to follow runners that looked like the knew the way until the part I had recced. This worked out ok there was a good few 
of us setting off at a fairly fast pace following the river through the flat, then rolling farm fields. I began to close and pass a few of the ones that set off faster as they eased back a little. I kept my pace steady and by the first CP, and after a few doubts over the correct way, I was with a group of about 5 others. All men as i had now passed the 2 leading woman. A quick stop and we all set off together on the gradual then fairly steep climb to high pike. We all ran together for a mile or so then separated out. As the ground got steeper i pulled away from them to get a view of Micheal Irving about 300 meters ahead and Ken Sutor a further 400 meters ahead of Michael. I gradually closed up on Michael on the climb and subsequent short descent over the far side of High Pike. On the slightly undulating run  towards Skiddaw house i finally caught up with him. He was running at a good pace, so we ran together chatting for a while. To my surprise Ken was the leader of the race. Whilst running in the group earlier, i hadn't much idea of where the leaders were, and thought that there may have been 1 maybe 2 in front of Ken. Michael and being in 2nd and 3rd places was a boost to know.
We arrived at the next CP at Latrigg car park together, I made a quicker stop and just decided to get on with the biggest climb of the race up to the summit of Skiddaw. I left Michael and decided being in 2nd felt good so pushed on well up Skiddaw, to reach a very cold windy summit and ring the bell at the top. The marshals just nodded at me from a cairn such was the icy feeling of the wind. As i descended i got the feeling that i was building a handy gap and feeling strong. I was a bit worried about route finding as i was now totally running on my own. I knew Ken was a strong runner who was at least 20 minutes ahead so I now knew that if i was going to finish 2nd i was going to run the rest of the race alone.

I really enjoyed running down off Skiddaw on my own but not long after reaching the valley floor I Made a small mistake. Whilst going through Peter House Farm after about 30 miles. I carried straight on and meandered through a wood near a stream, rather than turning right through a field. I Maybe lost about 5 minutes. Then after the last CP I set off out of the CP and turned left instead of right. I didn't twig until I saw a sign for Keswick. Maybe an extra 2 miles distance and 18 minutes extra in time. I Retraced my route back to the CP to find out weather anyone else had gone through. The CP Marshals clapped as I arrived for the 2nd time (well 3rd but you know what i mean) at Caldbeck. Embarrassed I informed them that it was me again, and I was just checking if anyone had been through. I also checked with them as to where I should have gone. I was informed that just Ken Sutor and I had gone through, twice. So I cracked on, and tired in the final few miles. The guy in 3rd , Michael Irving, caught me, but after hearing my sob story he gracefully gave me 2nd. I think I may have got him in a sprint. But it was a nice gesture, to help appease my annoyance. Thanks to him, top guy. I suppose I have to be happy with 2nd whatever. Even without my errors I wouldn't have got near Ken Sutor. A deserved winner.

At the prospect of getting to meet the living legend that is Billy Bland, I decided to travel home then back the next day for the prize giving. It was great to get to chat to him about his fantastic fell running achievemens. He seemed fairly modest about his amazing BG record. Saying that it about the best he could do, hinting at the fact that he thinks it is beatable. It was a great way to end a great race. I'll be back next year, to hopefully go the right way and beat that time.

I finished 2nd out of 82 in 8 hrs 15.11. Ken Sutor won in 7 hrs 17.49.



Me, Ken Sutor, Billy Bland and 3rd placed Michael Irving.

The Prudent Riverside Half Marathon : 16th August

13.1 miles

Set off fast, got slower. knew a PB was out of the question. Walked a bit 12 miles in, struggled to the finish in 1 hr 24.04 in 8th place out of 124. Tom Charles won in 1 hr 10. 04.

PBs and placements don't really bother me too much, although it is nice to feel I've done well. What is important to me is to feel that I've run well and done my best. Unfortunately this was one of the races where I just unraveled and felt I had had a poor run.  Maybe too many races too close together.

The Lakeland 50 : 25th July

48.5 miles
9,000 feet


To date I have completed 3 Lakeland 100 races. This race is a circuit of 103.5 miles, so starting and finishing at the same place, Coniston. This year I decided on a different challenge, and as the 50 starts at approximately the half way point at Dalemain. The added novelty being that a coach ride to the start was required, and that it was then a run home. Or to the campsite anyway. Its always nice to run point to point like this.

It was a hot day but my problems were largely down to my sausage bun at  breakfast not agreeing with me. I started off fast on a hot day, and with high hopes of finishing at the sharp end of the field.  But by the top of High Cop (the first big climb 10 miles in) I realised this was to be a very unlikely outcome. I had to do something that I really don't like doing, and thats go way off the trail and find a place for a "comfort break". 5 minutes later I was back on my way to the 2nd CP at Mardale head. I felt a bit ropey, but hoped it may pass. It didn't. By the time I reached Mardale head CP I needed to make good use of the Portaloo. I seriously considered retiring here, but thought my discomfort may pass. So after a long break and some food, that I hoped would provide more energy than breakfast, I headed on up the tough climb of Gatesgarth Pass.

Although I never needed a "comfort break" again, I had other issues caused by my previous episodes. I felt lacking in energy and had to stop maybe 10 times to stretch out cramps in just about every muscle in both my legs. The first time being at the start of the little climb just before Kentmere. I felt instant clenching pain in both my hamstrings that reduced  me to embarrassingly writhe about on a grass verge. Cursing and grunting must have been an odd sight for all the competitors passing me. Then Debbie Martin Consani (went on to be 2nd Lady finisher) passed asking if I was ok, I said yes.

But really meant no. But what could anyone do, apart from carry me to the finish line.  So I carried on and accepted my slowness, and muscles vibrating into spasm now and again. Sometimes I would stop for 20 seconds, other times for 2 minutes or more. But I must have stopped 15 plus times. Its hard to say how much time I wasted with this, but i would say at least 30 minutes. Plus the amount of time moving slow; that is harder to estimate. Before the race I did feel that I was in the shape to go well under 9 hours. Thats the main disappointment.

Towards the end I felt like I could run a bit better, but I still had to stop for a little stretch now and again. When the little vibrations in various muscles felt like they were going to clasp into spasm, it felt sensible to stretch them out before they really grabbed. The feeling of racing had long gone, and I knew my time was going to be a long way from what I was capable of. But I toughed out a very bad
day, and took a bit of joy from that.

I came 25th out of 615 in 9 hours 38:09. Jayson Cavill won the race in 8 hours 04:24.

Whilst at the race I realised that they now hand out a plaque for 5 Lakeland 100 completions. As I have done 3, it is incentive enough to get 1 nearer to it next year. So I'm up for the Lakeland 100 in
2016.


Paul Tierney near the start, in about 8th place. He went on to win the Lakeland 100 by over an hour. Proving its not a race for a fast start. No photos of me as I didn't consider them worth buying. Best to try and forget my first Lakeland 50.
Finally got around to adding the photos from races.
This is one of my favorites that I took earlier in the year  near the top of a Fairfield, with an unknown runner approaching.


and another on the same day near the end of my Ian Hodgson Relay route (most of) run. at Threshthwaite mouth.


Photos to follow.

Now that I'm upto date on the races I've done, I just need to add some photos ASAP.

Lancaster 5K race series #2

Sat 27th June

3.1 miles
As flat as you get

A simple flat fast course. A lap of Salt Ayre Athletics track, then an out and back partly on the cycle circuit, and partly on the cycle path down the river, then a lap of the Athletics track to finish.

In summary..... Start. Look at watch (5.00 mm) too fast, slow down (5.30mm) should be ok. Field strung out in front. Too far back, breathing too heavy. Push. Overtake a young lad then a few more. Someone shouts 5.40 1st mile, they are about right. Approach Half way "runner coming" cyclist leads the front pack. Sharp turn back down the same path. Breathing hard, blurs as runners behind going to the turn. Trying hard. Breathing hard. Shut up legs. (5.45 mm). Slowing down. Push ignore the watch. Hope I can keep it going. Around the Athletics track. Trying to keep it together. Push. One last effort. Finish line. Where is it? Has someone moved it? No it's there. Utter relief. Stagger to the infield and pour myself onto the grass feeling knackered..

No idea why I do 5k and 10K races, they are definitely the most painful.

I was 21st in 17:37 out of 118. Robert Hodgson won in 15:14.

Clougha Pike fell race

Sat 20th June

5 miles
1,260 feet

A misty drizzly start to the day meant a very low turnout of 37 for what is a great, tough little race, and the one most local to me. I look at it everyday (when visible) from where I currently live. So after missing it for a few years, I felt I must do it this time.

As ever the start was fast and immediately uphill on the typically rough farm fields. The mist created a strange atmosphere and nothing looked particularly familiar. After about 600m fellow Bowland runner Sean Bolland passed me puffing like a steam train (he maintained it well finishing 4th). I held about 8th position as we climbed clear of the farm fields and onto the open access land and finally the summits rocky ridge. It was on the ridge where I felt the pace and, to my surprise, had to walk some of the steeper  little ramps. It was a poor ascent, things could only improve, they did a bit. Chris Balderson passed me here and I used him to try and force some sort of pace to the summit. I followed Chris on the tricky little, flagged descent. Still in the mist it made it awkward to keep on track. As the fields flattened out I made a move and managed to pass Chris and 1 other. I just held on to run at full pelt down into the finishing field. I finished 7th in 45:01 and Anthony Dalton won in 40:55. Bowland fell runners made up the next 7 places after the winner!

The Windmill race (Caton Moor)

Sat 13th June

9.7 miles
1,136 feet

Part of the Caton Gala, the trail race is a mix of road, trail, farm fields and some open fell. On mainly slight inclines up to the Windmills and a gradual descent back down to the gala field. Apparently a few years ago there was a race associated with the Gala, but for whatever reason it stopped. This year was to be a new race based on a fairly new wind farm. Essentially a looped up and down to the wind farm on Caton moor.

The race start was fairly steady on narrow winding paths that lead out of the residential are of Caton, we then crossed numerous farm fields and many styles (something we would have to do on the way back) before meeting the road and the start of the loop up to the Wind-farm. It was a cloudy but humid day. On the long grinding uphill road section I began to get very hot. The lead 4 had strung out ahead with fellow Bowlander Mark Chippendale building a lead at the front. But I was pushing as hard as I dare. About 2 miles up this section the eventual winner passed me, showing its about measuring your effort!

As we left the road to join the trail around the back of the Wind-farm there was a water station, I poured most of it over my head. It helped a bit. After a quick loop of one of the Windmills we defended down the open fell, before joining the road we had come out on. For me it was then just a  case of holding on. I made no impression on anyone in front. I managed to hold my position to finish 5th in 1h:07:38 out of 85. Harvey Lord won in 1h:04:32 overtaking Mark in the last 1 mile through the farm fields.

Borrowdale Trail race

Sun 7th June

13.2 miles
2,036 feet


Really enjoyed this one. Maybe I'm more of a trail runner than road or fell? There is 3 options of race distances,the Sca fell pike marathon the Buttermere trail race (half marathon) and the 13k. Registration for all 3 was at the Keswick side of Derwent water, the race starts were on the Catbells side at Nicol end marina. This meant a half hour walk, or a quick boat journey across, which is the option I took. It's a nice quirk of the event. The only problem I had was that the Sca fell pike marathon set off at 9am, our race was 11 am meaning all the car park spaces were gone, so I parked in the main Keswick CP, costing £7. Ouch.

There was also a triathlon on at the time from the same field on the shore of Derwent water. This  added to a really nice atmosphere. After a quick ferry crossing, and a short warm up we were ready. Conditions were warm but pretty much perfect. A short briefing and we were off on this extended horseshoe loop of Derwentwater. It is a rolling course on mainly good trails with a few gates to open, and a few road sections. There are 2 main climbs at 6 miles to Castle crag col and at 8 miles out of Rosthwaite up to Wattendlath.

The start was pretty swift and straight away 3 men pulled clear and extended a gap of about 200m in the first 2 miles. I was running with a guy just in front and one right on my heels. This was the case up to the first climb up to Castle crag col. One of the lead 3 had slowed a touch and we caught him on the climb, the lead pack was now a duo about 300m ahead. On the descent I pulled out a slight gap on the 2 now running with me. They the caught me on the flat section through Rosthwaite. On the longest climb up to Watendlath I pulled out a gap on them, they began chatting behind me and formed a pair to take on the climb. I knew I had a bit left and started thinking about the 2 in front.

On the rolling trail around Watendlath I sterted to get a view of the guy in 2nd. On this more technical trail I started to close in on him. As I was about to overtake the water station came into view, so I held back. I took some water he didn't and it took me a couple of miles to close back up. By this time were overtaking some of the slower 13K runners and the trail became very narrow. After a few hundred meters of feeling held up I tried to overtake. But I went through a gorse bush that had a bramble draped through it. This scraped my leg as if a lion had swiped at me. Still I had got passed. I then worked hard, too hard, to get a gap. By the time the downhill trail had flattened out I figure I was 50 meters ahead and now in 2nd. Unfortunately I felt drained, my legs felt heavy I felt like I had made my effort too early. I knew it was only a matter of time before Rob passed me to regain his 2nd place. With about a mile to go he did, I was more worried about the possibility of losing 3rd place. Luckily we had a fairly good gap and even though I felt slow, I was never really likely to lose 3rd place out of 112, and 1st V40.

I won another rucksack (identical to the one from the Buttermere trail race) and some Mountain fuel sachets and a bottle. Happy win that. My time was 1h:41:32, Rob Downs 2nd was 1h:40:47, and the winner was Russell Parrington 1h:40:19.