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.

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