Maybe it was the draw of the English champs race at Buckden Pike, or the reports from last year of having to be able to swim across raging torrents, or the reports from last year of visits to Eskdale, Hardknott, 3 shires stone etc .......
Anyway, a "select" crowd turned out for this tough
With the clag firmly down on the tops and forecasts of rain, 55 set off up the Band although only 53 made it to the top of Bowfell. Multiple routes were taken but none seemed distinctly faster and the pattern was set for the race. There was much bunching in the clag to find the route off Bowfell and at one point I was headed for the wrong top on Great End when Jon Helme crossed my path at 90 degrees on his way down - kindly pointing out my error. So, no surprises, by
Mike and Chris had spent the journey up trying to explain their cunning "buttress" route down into the Great Moss but I was glad to have Mike with me as guide as we disappeared into ever steepening ground. Those following expressed their concern but Mike leapt down at great speed and we were soon racing down perfect scree at the bottom, in the lead we reckoned ... except where did that lad come from way down there?
The next checkpoint is a long way off but I was climbing well .... or so I thought until Joe Blackett caught me on the next climb and then dropped me on the climb up Blisco! Mike wasn't too far behind but I could see Steve Birkinshaw had caught him up - last seen on Scafell. The descent off Blisco is brutal and I bottled the longer route too early, ending up in the rocky steps and heather, damn. Finally emerging onto the steep grassy cone to the river I could see the two infront now but I'd gained nothing on them and so it finished. 3rd overall but happy with a time under 3 hours. All down though to Mike and Chris - if only I could make their Wednesday reccies!
Mike came in 5th, then Graham followed immediately by Chris, then Leigh and lastly Terry - he'd enjoyed his day and had only done the race because it visited Sleightside which was one of the Wainrights he needed to bag. Unfortunately, with the checkpoint not on the actual summit he'll have to go back again.....
Warm sunshine greeted the runners at Fell Foot for this years race - summer is finally here!
21 Bowlanders turned out for this one accompanied by the usual supporters and in the absence of "The Blackpool Missile" and "The Duddon Tumbler" it was looking like a good opportunity for the rest of the club to get some points. Danny Hope led from the off and was never troubled but behind him the club battle lines were being drawn. Sarah had a fantastic run coming in as First Lady, Dan Clark looked very handy and pushed Mark Chip close, Mike and Rich too-ed and fro-ed, Chris couldn't believe his luck when the trio infront failed to follow the flags allowing him to sneak infront, Mark Saunders looked happy to be off the tarmac, Declan got the better of Leigh this time, Pete Shanahan and Paul Johnson had a good tussle and both Richard Davies and Mike Gibbison had to get their elbows out in the finishing straight to stave off the opposition.
A real lung burster of a race and made even better by cheap pints in The Sun Inn and food ... all for £4!!! A big thanks to Mike and the rest of the Preston Harriers for all their work.
Club results were;
|1||HOPE, Danny||Senior Men||00:28:40|
|2||MELLON, Richard||Veteran 40 Men||00:29:15|
|3||JOHNSON, Mike||Veteran 50 Men||00:29:22|
|5||CHIPPENDALE, Mark||Veteran 40 Men||00:30:01|
|6||CLARK, Daniel||Senior Men||00:30:11|
|10||READE, Chris||Veteran 40 Men||00:31:23|
|15||SAUNDERS, Mark||Senior Men||00:31:55|
|19||LUND, Graham||Senior Men||00:32:23|
|21||O'DUFFY, Declan||Veteran 50 Men||00:32:43|
|24||WARBURTON, Leigh||Veteran 50 Men||00:33:16|
|25||SARGINSON, Simon||Veteran 50 Men||00:33:19|
|28||IRVING, Mark||Senior Men||00:33:44|
|30||SARGINSON, Sarah||Veteran 40 Ladies||00:34:01|
|34||WHITAKER, Colin||Veteran 50 Men||00:34:34|
|39||SHANAHAN, Peter||Senior Men||00:35:38|
|40||JOHNSON, Paul||Veteran 50 Men||00:35:41|
|42||DAVIES, Richard||Veteran 50 Men||00:35:57|
|52||GIBBISON, Mike||Veteran 40 Men||00:36:49|
|65||TURNER, Shaun||Veteran 40 Men||00:38:28|
|70||HEATON, Alan||Veteran 50 Men||00:40:31|
|80||SIMPSON, Paul||Senior Men||00:42:31|
|88||TURNER, Ruth||Veteran 50 Ladies||00:50:45|
Three races in and three different winners in the Mens, two in the Ladies - could this be the year for two new names on the trophys?
No piper, no yachts, just another fell race, no not just another fell race, the Duddon Fell Race. After some complex negotiations we managed to rendezvous in Richard’s car and got away reasonably on time. Small matter of a road closed at Quernmore, a one way ticket for Nick and a vomiting dog in Arnside to maybe collect on the way back was the build up - the dog didn’t materialise, thank goodness, too sick for Richard’s father to put on his worst enemy, but Richard,…. . Anyway we had our fair share of difficulties later on … more of that later …. Read on .
There was plenty of sunshine and discussion about whether helly’s were needed but the cool breeze meant most people took extras and wore them; in Rowena’s case there was mention of wearing her cagoule as well. She must have been motoring well as Nick described her running off into the distance coming off Swirl Hause as Nick ambled along having his return to fellrunning as a baptism of fire approach, slowing to a walk for the second half of the race. Crispin looked to have a good run coming in ahead of Rowena and Nick and looking a bit wiped out on the floor at the end. Lawrence had by this time set himself up as a hurdle on the finish line with camera in hand getting the low shot. Huw was there somewhere although I only saw him at the finish as were a couple of other Bowlanders. Must have been my retiring to my deckchair as the race set off that led to me missing who was there and problems later on distracting my attention from the usual socialising. I was decked in light weight T shirt and sun hat - quite a few people made comments about me not running so I assured them I would amble round the short course as best I could. I was however disappointed to see Dan Duxbury amongst the competition and one or two handy looking young Black Combe runners among the31 starters.
The short race goes right out of the fields to the back of the pub on a track then up to a quarry and then left along the top walls for an eternity from quarry to quarry before heading up to Dow Crag and then back via White Pike and Caw. A good run out and I was glad of Dan and the handy Black Comber to show me the way early on, but not so glad that they stayed ahead all the way to the finish, the second half of the plan didn’t seem to happen – it never does. The race was nice a fast pace and involved mostly running, quite a novelty for Lakeland races. I dropped off White Pike well and headed directly over to the wall. I knew about the higher lines but invariably get them wrong, so I kept low and headed across the col and direct up to Caw. Straying slightly right coming off then down to the Stile was good and I managed to hold on to my 3rd place and was £40 better off for it, (£20 of which was a 1st Vet prize).
Not being able to find Richards’ car key I decided to head back up to the hills between White Pike and Caw and watch the leaders of the long race come through. This I did and was surprised at the lines being taken. The most surprising was the 2 or 3 people who must have decided my spot sheltering between rocks was the optimum line and headed towards me. One who was repaid for his trouble by looking down a 30 foot crag!!, soz. So I wandered about trying not to attract any more runners to me. Richard and co took a medium high line. Mike was moving well some time behind and went down to the wall corner. Lee and others went up on a trod between the hills and on a trod across higher up to Caw. This reduces the climb but is more tricky and involves more potential to get the wrong summit. I’m not sure which is the quickest though. Each involves some climbing and descending before the final climb of Caw.
Anyway most of the party got back ok ! Nick was chirpy, Crispin was wiped out, Richard had been confused for Lee Warbi, so is he aging or is Lee looking young for his age, their dogs had had a great day out with Pauline and Helen. Mike and co seemed happy with ice creams, beer and Lawrence’s camera and then there was Rowena, … poor Rowena. After having a good run over 17 miles and 6000 feet of climbing she managed to upend herself half a mile from the finish and came in a real state. Just before the wall is very rough sharp rock and she must have thought this an appropriate spot to put in a bid for the Humpty Dumpty award, invented by the Reverend some time since. She must have hobbled back to the finish and was sat down and attended to. Another runner (who must also have been a doctor) washed her carefully with a hose pipe!!, cleaned her up and then put 3 or 4 patches on her head and both knees. A lump the size of a small egg was revealed when her hair was pulled back which was upsetting just to see. She walked to the car and got changed and looked abit jaded to say the least. Sometime later we observed her jogging back from the pub and she chatted happily on the way home so seems not to have any concussion etc. Richard duly dropped her off at A& E in Lancaster and she was going to arrange for Roger to come and collect her and the car when she’s been checked out for remnants of her glasses frame in her. I’m expecting some good shiners for the trip to Paddy’s Pole on Tuesday.
So barring Rowena’s adventures a good day was had by all, and I can recommend the not so short race as a good fast training run with some good hills thrown in. Its quite nice to get back not completely wiped out which is the usual situation after Duddon.
Sorry no photos or results, check the FRA website. Well done Richard for a sub 3 hour Duddon, 2hr 59.27 which finally beats Lee Dowthwaite’s club record of many years standing. Even with the new start place, which maybe saves 5 minutes its still a new record for us I reckon.
Get well soon Ro.
Another amazing weekend on the Isle of Jura with cool, sunny, dry conditions conducive to fast times on this classic race.
Having not been able to escape work on the Friday this week, Helen and I drove up to Tayvallich, kipped in the back of the car and caught the 8am fast rib across the Sound of Jura on a stunning, pancake flat morning – what a way to arrive at a race! The campsite was chokka but we soon found the Bowlanders - Leigh, Declan, Steve, Yiannis and Ian applying the suncream and generally enjoying the spectacle. As this was the 40th anniversary of the inaugural race, the organiser Graham had an A-list team to set the scene and after words from the first ever winner, Joss appeared and wished us all a great day on the mountains. The piper piped and we were off ... can there be a more atmospheric start to a race?
Once up the first few “pips” the Paps appear and the gruelling climbs begin but with the reasonably dry ground and cool breeze it was clear this was a day for good times so better get a shift on. I knew I was going well as I could still see Ian Holmes climbing ahead and picked off a couple of Carnethy runners too. The gnarly descents were rough but dry, such a contrast to last week and much more enjoyable. On the climb up the third Pap I’d gained on the small group with Tom Brunt and Stewart Whitlie infront and could still see the red vest of Ian up towards the top. A struggler was picked off, fading badly and suddenly there was Ian Roberts on top, water ready – what fantastic support! Now for the ace card ... got to get the line right off Beinn Shiantaidh. With the others all further left in the boulders I dropped straight down to the better scree and whizzed along the trod hoping to sneak below them ... but they popped down onto it just infront of me, shame. We were all close together on the climb of the last “pip” and I made the effort to catch them up on the run to 3 arch bridge, my nemesis from last week.
What I suspected would then happened, did and I watched first Tom disappear off (probably 6 minute mileing!) then Stewart respond to my vague threat. The support on the road was incredible but even Helen’s jellied snakes couldn’t revive my weary legs. The piper piped each runner individually as we crossed the line ... for over several hours! What an ending, what a day, what a race. I’d got a PB by over 9 minutes, Tom got 2nd V40 having zipped along the road, Stewart broke his previous V50 record by more than 6 minutes (and infront of Joss) but none of us had been close to the overall winner, Hector Haines in 3 hrs 18 minutes.
We lounged in the sunshine cheering everyone home and ate lots of cakes and pies before all cramming back into the distillery for the prizegiving. Then off to the pub to eat even more and catch up on the rest of the stories from the day. Steve was at his mischievous best and with the craic still going strong well past midnight I head for the tent.
Sunday morning was a slow start, but somehow Steve managed to get all the cyclists in his van for an early lift back to the mainland. We headed out for a long day to the other side of the island and some stunning views in the sunshine, swimming in the pools behind the paps. By the time we got back to Craighouse the campsite was virtually empty but we had another great night in the pub with Yiannis and Cath.
Monday morning was a reminder how lucky we were – the rain returned and with the waves bigger than the rib we crawled back to the mainland. Helen even managed to get one on the head despite being inside the canopy.
Penine had this one in their club champs this year and had 25 runners on the start line ... about 10% ot the field. I think many more Bowland folk would enjoy this one so maybe next year ......
After the epic adventure of the 2012 race (see news May 2012) could this years one live up to it?
Dave Ward and I had been recruited this year by Peter Foulds, skipper of the yacht Clockwork who'd won last years Class 2 "Racers" race and looking at the entry list it seemed that we'd be up against the same competition again in Bequia (Gordon and Stuart who we'd been neck and neck with last year) and Moby J (Adam Perry and Ian Phillips - 1st and 2nd at the Fellsman) but with the addition of Nunatak too (Paul Aitken and David White of Helm Hill). On paper Moby J had the running advantage but the Bequia lads were strong and Nunatak was a very similar speed sailing to Clockwork so it should be a close race. All of us would likely be chasing Obedient, the huge Class 1 catamaran (last years overall winners with Dan Gay and Donald Naylor running again) and Blue Chip (Sam Hesling and Mathew Sulivan) the racing trimaran. Having done the Fred Whitton the weekend before and not a huge amount of running this year, Wardy was looking a bit anxious but Peter had shown the previous year that his boat was more than capable of making up for time lost on the runs so long as we kept him in touch.
38 boats had their dingies ready on the shoreline, the sun was shining and we were off for the 4 mile "prologue" round Oban to split the field up. We finished in 6th I think not having pushed too hard and were soon rowed out and quickly picked up by Peter and his crew, both called Dave, so names weren't going to be a problem for me! It's a spectacular sight to see the whole fleet tacking out of the harbour and of course it's at that time that the Calmac ferry appears to cause even more chaos.
On the sail up the Sound of Mull, Clockwork soon caught Bequia and Moby J and we were deposited at a sunny Salen in 2nd place overall at about 5pm. With faster runners behind, we did our best to limit our losses and still hadn't been caught after the long road and track section out to Ben More. By the summit though, we'd been caught by the Bequia lads and Adam and Ian were not too far behind. It was a stunning evening though with all the isles floating on the haze but no time to dwell. As we feared, the faster pairs pulled away steadily once we hit the track and we had to hang on the the 6 or so miles of tarmac back to Salen. Both Bequia and Moby J were still in sight so we'd limited our losses as planned. Over to the sailors!
Knackered, Dave and I stuffed the pasta (made by crew Dave 1) down and tried to rest but they were sailing hard to catch up and down below was like lying inside a soundbox with all the banging and crashing. The wind picked up as we sailed into the night and it was clear the weather was on the turn. "Sleep" is not the correct term to use and as we picked up speed in the rising wind the noise only seemed to increase. It seemed like ages but in the darkness time warped I think and by 5am we were approaching Craighouse, again back up to 2nd place overall behind the catamaran Obedient. Peter and the Daves had again given us a good headstart on the run but we knew the Bequia lads were not too far behind. The weather though was grim and on the long row in to shore it was clear that the Paps were going to be a battle.
Clockwork in full flow, about to launch us into the dingy at Salen
The boggy run out sapped the legs but with no sight of the others we were doing ok until the drop off the first Pap when there they were! Gordon and Stuart looking strong, better get a move on. We knew from last year that they didn't know these tops as well as we did and with the lashing rain, strong wind and clag, was it possible for us to do a disappearing act? We tried, making it up over the 2nd Pap before them but we heard them below us on the climb up the third. Time for a gamble - neither of us fancied the rocky "Jura fell race" descent as it would be slippery hell so we chose to go for the longer, grassier "Holmes" route (although neither of us had done it before). We ran back down past the Bequia lads, hopefully confusing them a bit and then relied on instinct to find the route. We hit it spot on luckily and whooped down, anxiously looking back into the clag for our pursuers. The deer track down to 3 Arch Bridge was sheer bog hell but our route choice had given us the advantage and it wasn't until we were rowing back to Clockwork that we spied them running down the road. We were chuffed to have held 2nd place but now for the longest sail, through the roughest seas, great!
The next 12 hours or so were horrendous for the sailors - continuous icy rain driven by a northerly wind, then the wind disappeared as we tried to go round the Mull of Kintyre but the rain didn't, the sea got very lumpy, then the rain really lashed and so on. Wardy and I were mostly down below trying to eat, sleep and recover but I had to pop out on deck occasionally when the sickness appeared. Peter and the two Daves did an incredible job to stave off the hypothermia whilst managing to get Clockwork to plough her way through the conditions by continually tweaking both course and sails. As Saturday night fell, we were beating once more into the wind up the eastern side of Arran heading for Lamlash.
When we finally arrived at around 11:30pm only Obedient was in the bay so we knew that we had a decent headstart on Bequia, Moby J and the rest of our class. The run round the coast to Brodick felt slow and as we started up Goat Fell we were helped by the flags that were still out from the fell race during the day. We should have seen Obedient's runners but maybe they took a different route through the town? The clag set in properly about halfway up and by the top we were struggling to stay on the path despite the flags as our torches could not penetrate the gloom. With no sound of runners behind we reached the top but then on the rocky descent we lost the path, disorientated in the boulders that would lead us straight to the final checkpoint. An anxious 10 minutes were lost as we tracked back and forth in our puddles of light before we finally found it and headed for the lights of Brodick. We weren't quick but with every step the pressure decreased and it wasn't until we were descending into Lamlash that we passed the Bequia lads heading up. Clockwork had sailed the last leg about 4 hours faster somehow!
With no wind now, the crew Daves rowed us out of the bay and into the beginning of Sunday morning where the light winds found us. The secretive "code zero" was raised and we zipped along at 6 knots back to Troon, finishing 1st in our class and 2nd overall at about 9:30am. We'd run slower than last year but then the conditions on Jura and Arran were much worse and the rough crossings had meant we were less rested. Peter and the Daves had sailed Clockwork fantastically and had gained so much time on the competition on every leg.
Finishing up the pontoon in Troon to the applause and cheers from Obedient we were awarded a bottle of champagne, a long hot shower and a hearty scottish breakfast! Well deserved I thought. The winds though continued to drop on Sunday morning and those behind suffered a tortuous crossing from Arran with much rowing. It was not until mid afternoon I think that Bequia finally made it into Troon in 3rd place and even later when Moby J and Nunatak had a sprint finish, literally, up the pontoon 9 seconds apart after 50+ hours of competition. By that time we were on the motorway and in the end it felt like an anticlimax not being around to share our stories with them all. Till next year!
By Rowena Browne
Two new peat-digging long-distance routes have been inaugurated by that indefatigable Bowlandologist, Duncan E. See the updated Dig The Peat page for details..
Results from Saturday's Fairfield English Champs race; It was a tough run - cold, into the wind on the cllimb and a slippery descent, but Martin Hurst had another excellent run and is moving steadily through the ranks!
|Leigh Warburton||MV55||1.41.55||128||6th MV55|
|Declan O'Duffy||MV55||1.42.04||131||7th MV55|
|Rowena Browne||LV50||1.54.00||231||5th LV50|
Our next Club Championship race is on TOMORROW ... MEARLEY CLOUGH - 7:15 start from the Calf's Head in Worston. See you there
Through the miracle of STRAVA it's great to keep up with what Bowlanders get up to at a weekend.
From those enjoying the clag at the Coniston Fell Race, to those training for Keswick Triathlons, running in the Dales or plotting zig-zag lines up and down Mt. Ventoux, the diversity is great.
Next Saturday sees the Fairfield Horseshoe, a championship race - fully booked but look out for the following from the club;
Cool conditions made for ideal running in yesterdays 3 Peaks race - won again by Joe Symonds - and the race saw another good turnout for the club.
Martin Hurst showed good form in his first attempt at the race - sub 4 hrs and Mark Chip managed to avoid his infamous "Ingleborough bonk" this year to finish well. Both Steves were still smiling at the finish to complete the vets team.
As a bonus, Rich won the Tankard for the "first runner from a Lancashire club" ... so only beaten by 19 yorkies, cumbrians, scots, spaniards etc etc
Results for the club were;
|20th||Richard Mellon||MV40||03:24:13||1st Class|
|69th||Mark Chippendale||MV40||03:43:33||2nd Class|
|109th||Steve Sweeney||MV40||03:51:28||2nd Class|
|138th||Martin Hurst||M||03:55:52||2nd Class||N|
|168th||Steven Bamber||MV40||04:00:55||2nd Class|
|212th||Jimmy Rhodes||MV40||04:08:16||2nd Class|
|346th||Mike Gibbison||MV40||04:29:56||2nd Class||N|