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