Monday, 27 August 2012

4 Threes – 26 August

The “4 Threes” was once a Ramblers Association event – a long walk that attracted a runner or two. The route visits the four 3000 feet summits in Cumbria; Skiddaw, Scafell, Scafell Pike and Helvellyn. When Lord’s Rake was safe and if you didn’t get lost you would need to cover about 40 miles and climb 11,000 feet. A year or two ago it took Joss 7 hours and 35 minutes – yesterday Steve (whose account is here) & I took a minute or two longer than Joss’s 35 and twice as many hours. I doubt adding the other two (Broad Crag & Ill Crag) can reasonably be said to account for much of our extra seven hours – I suspect Joss was a bit younger when he did it in that time and probably a bit faster, too.

20120826-4Threes-1000North Western fells from Skiddaw

Skiddaw wasn’t as bad as it might have been and leaving Keswick for the long (road) run up Borrowdale it looked as the weather forecast might deliver the reasonable and improving day it had been promising – by the time we left Seathwaite and were committed to the whole thing the prolonged heavy showers began.


20120826-4Threes-1003Looking down into Upper Eskdale from the foot of Foxes Tarn Gully as low clouds drift through

Having added Scafell and Scafell Pike to our “done” list the improving weather encouraged us to visit Ill Crag and Broad Crag before descending towards Esk Hause for the long section over to and down Wyth Burn.


20120826-4Threes-1004Great Langdale


20120826-4Threes-1006Sargeant’s Crag with Bassenthwaite and more beyond

20120826-4Threes-1010Skiddaw beyond Thirlmere

Climbing Helvellyn in warm evening sunshine more than made up for the poor conditions we had encountered earlier in the day and short time we were high on the ridge was just a delight – what a way to finish (if you don’t count the last 6 miles along the road into Keswick).

20120826-4Threes-1021Helvellyn summit with Skiddaw in the distance


20120826-4Threes-1024High Rigg below Skiddaw with Great Calva in the distance

20120826-4Threes-1023Cumbrian Fells from Helvellyn

Thanks to Steve for dragging round the “4 Threes” – something I have had on my Bucket List for quite some time but, most of all, huge thanks to Pauline who met us at the road crossings with food and hot drinks all day long Smile.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sedbergh Hills Fell Race – 19 August

Lovely, green rolling hills, the Howgills are – until you try to race over them when you find that “rolling” doesn’t really do them justice. It is a year or two since I did the Sedbergh Hills, long enough to forget bits. Not the gentle runnable, really enjoyable bits – those aren’t the ones you forget, it is a couple of the big climbs you try to forget and, in my case, succeed but I probably won’t forget them after today. A race of two halves, as it were, hot and muggy to start with and then after turning to run into the wind the rain arrived but it was cooler and much more pleasant. I managed to avoid a “personal worst” but was a bit behind my best time.


20120819_001_Sedbergh-100-EditJon & Pete shooting the breeze before the start

20120819_002_Sedbergh-2-EditSedbergh nestling between the Howgills and hills above the Western Dales

20120819_003_Sedbergh-3-EditContouring below Winder

20120819_004_Sedbergh-5-EditApproaching Winn’s End

20120819_005_Sedbergh-8Tea & Cakes afterwards

20120819_006_Sedbergh-10Prize Giving – but not for everyone

Huge thanks to John Broxap, the marshals and everyone else who helps on the Sedbergh Hills fell race.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Turner Landscape Fell Race – 13 August

A real gem of a race and if you weren’t there you missed something special so don’t miss it next year. FRA Race details are here and the race starts and finishes at Turner Hall Farm. Pauline and I were marshalling on Dow Crag having stayed in The Rucksack Club hut a couple of fields away where the early morning sun was spectacular.


20120811_TurnerL_1Sun arriving in Duddon Valley

20120811_TurnerL_2Duddon Valley (1)

20120811_TurnerL_3Duddon Valley (2)

20120811_TurnerL_4Turner Hall Farm

20120811_TurnerL_5Harter Fell with the Scafells in the distance

20120811_TurnerL_6From Dow Crag looking west over White Pike and Caw with Black Combe in the distance

20120811_TurnerL_7From Dow Crag over Goats Water with the Langdale Pikes in the distance


20120811_TurnerL_8Tom Gibbs (Ambleside AC) – first man


20120811_TurnerL_9Anna Lupton (Radcliffe AC) – First Woman






20120811_TurnerL_15Joss coming to say hello and thanks for supporting the Spyke and his race

20120811_TurnerL_17Tom, Joss and Anna at the Presentation

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Borrowdale Fell Race – 04 August

The first Saturday in August so, summer or not, it must be the Borrowdale fell race – it is and summer arrived to celebrate the occasion. The, now metric, statistics of 26k and 2000m of climbing do little or nothing to convey the challenge of the race and, of course, they don’t even hint at the fantastic atmosphere both before and after.


20120804_001_borrowdale-1002Albert Sunter, Tony Varley and Mark Birbeck at Registration

20120804_002_borrowdale-1005Ready for a big day out




20120804_007_borrowdale-7Final reminder of some of the rules from Scoffer


20120804_008_borrowdale-1020120804_009_borrowdale-1120120804_010_borrowdale-1220120804_011_borrowdale-1420120804_013_borrowdale-1620120804_014_borrowdale-1820120804_015_borrowdale-1920120804_016_borrowdale-2020120804_017_borrowdale-2120120804_018_borrowdale-2220120804_019_borrowdale-2320120804_020_borrowdale-25The marshals at Dale Head – the final check point

I have had better “Borrowdales” but I have also had worse ones and although this was hard and too hot almost all the way round I was enjoying myself until cramp struck descending to Honister – Dale Head is always going to be a slog anyway and today was no exception. A cheery word from the marshals helped and the rolling rumbles of thunder lent a sense of urgency to the final descent. Just missed getting under 5 hours which was a slight disappointment but really neither here nor there in a great day out.

20120804_022_borrowdale-29Declan after “a Borrowdale I enjoyed too much” – is that possible?




20120804_023_borrowdale-1011The Prize Giving Team (Scoffer, Miles Jessop, Race Organiser Ann Bland and Billy Bland)

20120804_024_borrowdale-1012The Runners and more

20120804_025_borrowdale-114First Female – Jasmin Paris (Carnethy Hill Running Club)

20120804_026_borrowdale-127First Male – Ricky Lightfoot (Ellenborough Athletic Club)

Finally, huge thanks to the marshals and all the others who help make Borrowdale fell race happen.