The Bleasdale Fell Race

27th February
5 miles and 1250 feet

Ian and I had a good run out at the Bleasdale circle fell race. It was cold and clear with not much wind. The route is a nice simple horseshoe starting and finishing at Bleasdale, it visits Fair Snape then Parlick and back to the finish through the farm land. The snow on the ground that started at the level of the farm buildings made the run, probably, a couple of minutes slower. As I came to the flatter part off Parlick I was in 13th place (researched after the race) but I suffered a bit near the end and 3 guys overtook me. I thought the finish was further away than it actually was. So I saved something to try and recover the places but it was too late to use it. Never mind 16th was a good result, my time was 47.09 a bonus was that I was 3rd counter for Bowland for the team prize. It was my 2nd team prize, 4 bottles of Fosters is not to be sniffed at. Ian finished 30th out of 71 starters on 52.28. The winning time was 41.34 Chris Smale.

The First Lakeland 100 Recce Keswick to the Old coach road

6 February
21 miles 5,500 feet

Due to all the snow recently, we, that is Ian, Will and I, had decided to shelve the original planned trip to recce part of the Paddy Buckley round in Wales and instead go the Keswick for a low level recce of the Lakeland 100. I am taking part in the race in July and part of the challenge (as well as covering 100 miles and 23,000 feet ascent) is navigating the course. So I felt a need to get to know the route better.

We set off out of Keswick on a perfectly clear if chilly, day. We made good progress and only made 1 serious error, when we overshot the right turn whilst going down the valley towards Great Calva. Apart from that and a little confusion when crossing the A66 at the wrong point, it all seamed straight forward. But as I kept reminding myself, this would be a night section.

On the way towards the Old coach road near Clough Head, we met two BG contenders both on a recce. We decided to join them on their ascent of Clough Head and over to Great Doddd. It was a good excuse to finally get up on a top and leave the recce route. That is the only problem with recceing this route (the Lakeland 100) it tends to go over passes rather than the tops. We enjoyed the more normal levels of elevation as the views opened out over far lakes, Great Gable clearly noticeable in the distance. All had lines of snow capping their tops. A few photos and we left 1 contender to complete his run from Keswick via Skiddaw, Great Calve, Clough Head and onto his awaiting family on Raise. We turned back with stuartAnd left him at the bottom of Clough Head, where we proceeded to run back along the old disused railway lines back to the car at Keswick.

We ran at our own paces. I made quicker progress than Ian and will. After about 10 minutes Will came in then we drove to pick up Ian who made a wrong turn and ended up at a petrol station. All in all a cracking day and my first experience of a new challenge that lays ahead for the summer.