Fell Race - Lakes TBD
Members present: Jared Kitchin, Graham Harkness, Sue Harkness, Dave Wylie, Andy Stratford, Sue Marsden, Al Metelko, Mark Garrod, Michelle Harvie, Craig Marsden, Clay Conlon, Emily Pitts, Colin Maddison, Robert Clark, Virginia Castick and Duncan Lee
Guests present: Tom Marsden and John Doldon.
The weekend’s outdoor activities started on the Friday afternoon for a lucky few. Dave managed to sneak in a quick stroll up Loughrigg whilst Colin and I stopped off at a sunny Warton Upper Crag where we enjoyed the last of the days sun whilst yarding up 3 short but sweet juggy VSs.
Saturday was a glorious chilly Autumnal day with barely a cloud in the sky. As plans were made over breakfast, Jared arrived after an early start from home. Sadly he’d managed to jar his back on the way whilst at a petrol station! Andy showed no sympathy for his plight as they marched off towards Pinnacle Ridge on Saint Sunday Crag, a lovely scramble that they were extremely pleased to find they could manage with their gloves on. They then looped over Fairfield to The Priest’s Hole on their way back to the hut. On route they crossed paths with Dave who did the same walk, minus the scramble, in the opposite direction.
Mark, Michelle and Robert went for a walk on the opposite side of the valley, or in Roberts words “A route march around High Street”, or in Mark’s words the following day, “The perfect recce for the fell race.” Either way they all enjoyed a lovely day on the hill.
Colin and I opted for a bit less leg work in order that Colin’s legs worked the following day; I needed him to get up to a checkpoint. Thus we drove round to Saint John’s in the Vale for a chill fingered day of bolt clipping at Bram Crag Quarry where we did 6 very enjoyable routes in the F5- F6a range.
Saturday evening’s main entertainment was the various efforts to ease the pain in Jared’s back. This at times involved lots of stretching, a spiky blue ball and then Emily walking on his back! Strangely none of this seemed to work hence Jared’s departure the following morning.
Sunday morning’s theme was time confusion, initially because the clocks had gone back but later due to the incompetence of the meet leader. First off was organised Andy who put the clock on his phone back an hour before his phone then automatically put it back another hour. Next though was me, I totally forgot the start times that I had put in the newsletter and cursed Craig lots for being late with the maps as I set the first batch of walkers off half an hour earlier than stated. Craig arrived and pointed this out as I was giving him grief. Oops! Sorry Craig.
The above explains why 2 groups of walkers set off at different times followed closely by the runners. Thus the charge was on by various routes up to checkpoint one on the ridge between Grey Crag and Thornthwaite Crag where marshals Midge and Sue H took advantage of the shelter provided by the wall. Apart from John who ran straight past them everyone else made it there safe and sound and at this point Sue M decided that she had had enough. Thus the 3 ladies strolled back to the hut together having enjoyed the superb weather and views. Where’s low cloud when you need it.
The route choices to checkpoint 2, which was just north of Rest Dodd, were many and varied. Most looped out over High Street by one path or another but Mark doubled back on himself, ran down over Grey Crag to Hayeswater and up to the checkpoint and caught up with Tom in the process. Thus they both arrived at Robert’s checkpoint at pretty much the same time herding red deer in front of them as they ran. The bellowing of the stags was easily confused with the grunting and gasping of some of the other runners as they charged onwards towards Angle Tarn Pikes where Colin was manning checkpoint 3. First through was Tom with Mark nipping at his heels as they continued an excellent duel. The remainder of the field was quite spread out by this stage so Colin was glad of all the warm clothes and bivi bag he had taken with him but it was a great day to be out on the hill.
Back at the hut I had just about got back from a short run myself as Tom came sprinting into the car park to be first across the line. He really should get his membership form in seeing as Mark who crossed the line a mere minute behind him will be the one getting his name engraved on the trophy. An amazing run from both of them, especially Mark who is a mere 38 years Toms senior!
The rest of the field then arrived at regular intervals with Michelle being the fastest lady and Emily winning the Concordia Trophy for the best first time effort by a club member and the brightest outfit. Even if the mist had been down on the tops she would still have been easily found. The vagaries of the handicap system resulted in Craig winning the Shelaigh Manning Trophy for yet another good effort after years and years of coming back for more punishment.
Everyone then made short work of the soup, cake and flapjack having worked up a good appetite. As a result of the generous donations towards the food I was able to send a £60 cheque to Pendleside Hospice. Thank you and thanks to Sue H, Midge, Robert and Colin for marshalling the checkpoints, to Scott for helping me plan the route and to Vicky for buying all the ingredients for the soup and giving me idiot proof instructions. You all helped make it a successful event.
As most of us packed up and headed south Graham, Sue H and Midge were settling down by the roaring fire making plans for the following day.