Monday, 14 February 2011

Winter Hill Weekend – 12/13 Feb

Most years see Sunday’s Winter Hill fell race preceded by the LDWA “Anglezark Amble” on the Saturday. Few people consider the 24 mile, 3000 feet Amble as the ideal preparation for the following day’s 11 mile, 3000 feet fell race but the combination is a searching test of the effectiveness of winter training. The ground over Winter Hill which both routes use has been either saturated or simply flooded for the last week or two making both events more difficult than last year when the ground was frozen in places.

AAmble-1Before the start of the Anglezark Amble

Conditions on Saturday were worse than expected and the poor visibility caused some runners to go a little astray but added only a few minutes to my own time despite two such errors. I estimated the ground conditions would cost me about 15 minutes and so anything just over 04:15 would be fine. The leading group of a dozen or so was soon spread out and largely hidden in the low clouds and I managed, for most of the first 18 miles or so, to hold on to the tail of this “group”. Poor route finding by a small group in front allowed me to keep catching them and finish just ahead of them in 04:22:45 with only 8 or perhaps 9 in front of me. Closer to 04:15 would have been better but then so would not missing a turning twice and I wasn’t disappointed. There were few opportunities for photographs until the last few miles along by the reservoirs.


AAmble-2 Anglezark Reservoir

AAmble-3Yarrow Reservoir

AAmble-4Rivington Reservoir

AAmble-500Still running after almost 24.5 miles (photo ©Mark Birbeck)

On Saturday I made no effort to pace my “race” knowing the early pace would be unsustainable but also knowing it would be a much harder training run than I usually undertake. On Sunday this approach would likely lead to blowing up completely and a probable DNF. Starting steadily, climbing steadily throughout and trying to pick up places on descents worked well and I finished in 02:27:23, 144th overall and 2nd M55 of 7. Slower but better placed than last year. 2011 Results are here

AAmble-700Before the start

AAmble-701The start (1)

AAmble-702The start (2) with me in my new Bowland FR vest

AAmble-703The start (3)

2006      Amble: 04:03:01      Winter Hill: 02:29:56     combined: 06:31:57

2010      Amble: 04:06:16      Winter Hill: 02:18:34     combined: 06:24:51

2011      Amble: 04:22:45      Winter Hill: 02:27:23     combined: 06:50:08

Perhaps I need to try to pace the Amble better than I have in the past to try to get the combined time reduced. Ah well, there is always next year.


  1. An awesome weekend for you both and an excellent result to boot.. Well done!

  2. Yes, a cracking weekend running Ian. I see you and Pauline have entered the Four Lakeland Passes, LDWA. See you there!