British relays Leg 2 with James : 15 th Oct

A late call up to the Bowland  Relay team for the British champs relays, was always going to be a tough day out. It was made even tougher by its location in Luss, on the western shores of Loch Lomond. A long 6 hour round trip was part of the deal.  It was also tough as I felt a bit outclassed by most of the team. But as I reminded myself this was a team cobbled together because a lot of the faster guys couldn't make it. In a way I felt that the new star of Bowland fell runners had been let down, as he really deserved a better team to run with.

After a 3 hour drive I met up with the team, and got the feeling that James and I were reasonably well matched. We set off on the second leg and the first climb was good, but on the first descent we went slightly off line and lost maybe 10 places. On the second big and unforgivingly steep climb I struggled and maybe held James up a minute or so. I got my act together on the descent, and we probably took back those 10 places that we had lost.

The nav leg 3 went well and then Chris stormed the final leg (5th overall!) to pull us up to 26th place out 115 teams. Not bad for a cobbled together team.

Lakes In a Day : 8th Oct

51 miles

13,400 feet

Feeling fit, but in hindsight not particularly well rested, I thought that I may be able to compete at the front end of the race. But only 3 hours in, on the steep ascent of Clough head, I realised this was going to be less of a race, and more about getting to the end.

I had set off at what I thought was a steady enough pace over High Pike and Blencathra. I was however in the top 10 until Clough head. It was on this climb where I felt I had no energy. It is a tough climb, and one that I tend to struggle on, but I was battling hard and moving slow. Over the summit I tried to run off the heaviness
in my legs whilst descending towards Great Dodd. This didn't work and I ended up literally floored by cramping legs. I still had 37 miles and 7,000 feet of climbing left! This was to be a long day.

For the rest of the route I was flirting on the edge of cramping, and at times floored by it. I struggled to the end, but was very slow, and when it got dark, even slower. The Route is fantastic if a little boggy towards the end. But this point to point, North South traverse of the Lakes is set to be a classic ultra. I only wish id enjoyed it a bit more. I did however enjoy finally crossing the finish line in Cartmel, in 21st place out of 316, in 12 hours 32.03.

Whilst feeling ok on the first big descent, on Halls Fell ridge.