Report by Roy Jackman and Richard Andrews.
What an epic day – the 50th event started looking good in cold weak sunshine, but hit a near freezing Northerly wind, which remained a continual strength sapping feature of the day, combined with the sodden ground conditions after so much rain. As night drew on conditions worsened to such an extent many competitors were falling victim to hypothermia, and checkpoint staff were increasingly at risk. Problems of cold and tiredness on the high fells were compounded for some by blurred vision from the relentless wind leading to complete disorientation.
For the first time in its history the event was stopped, at about 1.43am. It was decided to credit those compelled to stop with a notional finish time, to reflect the likely time they would have taken to walk to the finish.
Richard made it all the way in 18.14, a superb 102nd place out of the record 438 starters. Roy got as far as Cray (45 miles) before the event was halted, and was credited with a notional finishing time of 24 hrs. An excellent performance from both Bounders.
Roy commented “It was the Fellsman from Hell, as if anything could make the event harder. One of the pleasant surprises was the checkpoint at Kingsdale, manned by the Waby family which provided an excellent range of sandwiches, cakes, jewellery, silver ware, car radios and second hand bikes. A surprise of a different kind was the Dent checkpoint, manned by men in smart uniforms who turned out to be Italian Police. Imagine our surprise when they dragged us off into the bushes and bummed us, with many a florid Latin curse. Nevertheless I shall certainly be back for more next year”
Edited slightly by Finn