Sorry it’s been so long since my last confession.....
I had been looking forward to the Jubilee as I had planned an extended running trip up to the lakes to do a couple of races and recce the extended BGR route. As it turned out, after some car trouble my plans to go up to the Lakes over the Jubilee period were thrown into turmoil so in the end I borrowed a car and went up for the day on 3rd June and entered the Helvellyn and the Dodds fell race. This is a new course and only the second year they have run over this route which is basically an out and back along the BGR route from Threlkeld Cricket Club. So it’s up Clough Head, along all the Dodds, etc, Lower Man, spin around the Helvellyn trig point before returning the same way enjoying some fine views. Well that was the plan....... halfway along to Great Dodd we disappeared into the cloud and that was it for the next 3 hours, and boy was it windy, particularly up Lower man where even Pythagoras would have been impressed by the angles to the ground we were making! All it all, it wasn’t the most pleasant day out but this was more than made up by the magnificent spread laid on by Keswick AC, maybe even better than Caythorpe, so I’m definitely going back for more sandwiches next year. Finished in 20th out of about 72(?) in 3.08.06.
Back in the flatlands, Captain Bob suggested a mid week 10k race out at Ropsley, only to ring me back later to explain it was a fun run not a race so we decided to search for alternative activities. I ended up doing an 8.88 mile race in the Wolds at Croxby organised by Cleethorpes AC, nice little road race on a challenging and hilly (for Lincolnshire) course. It was a two lap race of a 4.44 mile circuit and my splits were very consistent with 30.29 for lap 1 and 30.00 for lap 2. Ignoring the winner, who flew around the course in just over 52 minutes, I was only 3 minutes off second place, finishing 8th out of 42, so as this is a series, if I’m up mid week when its repeated, I will have to try harder!
Having retrieved my car after almost a week in the garage, I spent last weekend in the lakes and again was ‘blessed’ with another day of inspecting the inside of clouds for the whole of Saturday. In my quest to ‘get some hills in’ I volunteered via the FRA forum to pace leg 4 of the BGR. Parking up at Honister I made my way across to Wasdale via Moses Trod which was really tough, with no visibility and continuous squalls all the way over. Meeting my fellow pacers we waited for Roger to arrive and he did so looking tired and almost 40 minutes down on a 23.52 schedule – not good. The weather continued to be poor but with less rain for the next 5 hours and we got him across to Honister with less than 3 hours to go. Dale, the navigator was brilliant and hardly put a foot wrong, which given the weather was impressive. Roger pulled out all the stops and made it to the Moot Hall with 4 minutes to spare, which I have to say is a fantastic achievement on a such a poor day. I’m sure he would of been 90 minutes quicker on a dry day, that said, he wouldn’t have all the great stories to tell, such as the one where he left his pacers behind at the River Caldew, as they couldn’t get across due to the volume of water. He only persevered getting across himself as he didn’t have time for the detour! Sunday, I went around Leg 1 pulling in the extra tops of Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw Little Man. I have to say, I haven’t been across to Great Calva for 25 years and there is now a large eroded path all the way from Skiddaw – very surprised to see this and quite mixed emotions as it’s only BGR people that have caused this erosion. At last though, I got to see a view, although reaching the top of Blencathra the heavens opened and Halls Fell Ridge was a very slippery descent into Threlkeld.
Until next time, happy bounding!
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