Sun 29th March
This year I decided to enter more trail races. By racing at Ennerdale the last two years I have discovered that I enjoy them. I think because a lot of my training is on the roads and flatfish terrain they suit me better then fell races. So after a long a recce a month earlier (from Stair in Newlands valley over Robinson and back over Robinson and Hindscarth) I discovered that this route is very tricky underfoot for the first 5 miles and the final 5 miles are slightly more undulating but easier underfoot.
Race day was wet and cold, so the first 5 miles would be even trickier on wet slippy rocks. After getting cold at the briefing we were off on a relentlessly fast pace. I hoped to keep the lead guys in sight for a while but on the easier underfoot initial section they disappeared around the slight bends and rises. I found myself in a pack of about 5 runners with the lead 8 or so strung out. I settled into as harder pace as I dare and just kept pushing on the increasingly awkward section along the west shore of crumock water. It certainly felt a whole lot warmer with the fast pace and clearing rain.
I was unwittingly about to become involved in the fight between Lizzie Adams and Heidi Davies for the win. 2 miles in I overtook Lizzie. 4 miles in Heidi overtook me. Then Lizzie overtook us both another mile later. Then Heidi overtook me. At mile 6 I just tried to hang onto them. No one else was around at this point. This was my race. At mile 8 the route goes up into the valley and back here I mangled to see what I now know was the third and fourth places guys running back down. At the bridge where you turn to go back down Heidi slipped, I asked her if she was ok, she said she was. So I continued. She was ok as after a short descent then road section she caught and passed me and closed in on Lizzie on a short sharp climb. I now had a front row seat for the battle for 1st lady. As I wasn't quick enough to battle for the men's win, I suppose it was second best. At the top of the climb Lizzie pulled out a lead and extended it down to a road crossing. I overtook Heidi and we all legged it for the last 1 mile to finish in that order. Lizzie 1st lady 5th overall, me 6th in 1h:12:13 1st V40, Heidi 2nd lady 7th overall. Paul Wathan won in 1h:07:48 a total of 191 finished.