Sunday, July 7, 2013

Skiddaw Fell Race 2013

pretending to run on the hardest part of Jenkin Hill

Skiddaw Fell Race is a classic race.  The race briefing was pretty much, "you run up Skiddaw, you turn around, and then you run down."  Much easier said than done.  Skiddaw is the fourth highest fell in the Lake District and the up and down on this race is the unforgiving, relentless path that can be seen from a distance winding its way up.

Thanks to Cumbria Running Photos who took some of the glamorous pictures here.

9.5 miles - roughly 3000ft of elevation

Jonathan and I have been doing some hill runs and are pleased with ourselves that we can get up to the car park by Latrigg without stopping running.  Our usual time for this is about 15 minutes.  Today it was a bit slower, it was a very very hot day and I was allowing a runner in front to lead me up the path at a reasonable pace.  I was also aware of the steeper climb to come up to Jenkin Hill and then up to Skiddaw itself.


I ran to the gate after the car park and then, like most people it seemed, I started walking.  We've had a go at running up Skiddaw before.  We managed to run some decent sections of it but that was with a few recovery stops.  Today, I didn't stop but I walked most of the way to Jenkin Hill.
Just before you reach a gate, the path levels off and I started running again there.  A few minutes later, the first runners passed me on their way back down.  There is another gate and then the next climb up to the summit ridge.  Skiddaw is rocky along the top and there is a slight downhill and back up before circling the summit shelter and heading back down.

first runners heading back down

Just as I started back down, I managed to kick a football size rock, "ouch!"  I'm quite good at descending and I managed to overtake quite a few people on the top part of the path.  It's probably a good idea to do this as lower down it gets much steeper, which meant for me that I had to slow down and zig-zag a bit.

on the way down, feet are screaming

If I had any toe-nails, they would have been hurting before the end of the track.  I can usually open up and leg it from the car park but today my legs and feet were trashed and so I took it pretty easy.  Turning back onto the finishing straight, I was really out of energy but I kept going and crossed the line in 1:50:24 for 82nd place.

I found a spot in the shade, sat down and finished the rest of my drink.  Jonathan was next across the line about 30 seconds later.  He sat down and took his shoes off and had some nasty looking blisters.

After rehydrating we headed to the Lakeland Pedlar for drinks and cake.  Very proud of ourselves for doing this.  We didn't get fast times but it's a proper grown up fell race.

Jonathan hydrating

and again, much more civilised, even got his pinky out

my turn

told you it was hot


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