This weekend i traveled to the Lake District and stopped over for a few nights. I stopped over in Windermere, but didn’t really get into Windermere this time as the main reason for going up was to go up Helvellyn via Swirral Edge. This was the first chance for a while i could get the crampons on and ice axe out.
I don’t think i could have wished for a more perfect day, the snow was amazing, the sky was clear with blue skies and the sun shining. I hit one patch of cloud just as i reached the summit, but this soon passed. And to be honest it made it a little more cooler to reach the top and be engulfed by cloud!
The sun then came back out and i had a bit of food on the top, there was barely any wind. There was the odd gust, which dropped the temperatures down to around -13c, the temperature out of the wind was about -5c. But this didn’t feel bad at all, bit bad on the hands when eating a sandwich. I actually took my coat off and just had a base-layer, t-shirt and an Arc’teryx hoodie on.
It was an awesome day out, and on the way back down i made a detour to Catstye Cam. I think it took me about 5 hours, 16km and about 900m of elevation. The weather defiantly made the day, it a couple of weeks i’ll be going back to the Lakes to go up Skiddaw and blencathra. Hoping the snow is still there for some epic adventures.
I would defiantly recommend taking a visit to Helvellyn, whether this is in the winter or summer. It’s an easy hike from Ullswater, about 4miles there and back (14km). And theres a few pubs in Ullswater to grab a beer when you’ve done.
I finished the last race of the year with the South Yorkshire Cross Country. It was a good race, and with plenty of mud! which is always a plus on a cross country. I really enjoyed these races and will defiantly be doing them next year.
I have managed to book the races i want to do next year, i will probably add on a few more but these will be little club runs for fun.
My first event is the Hardmoors 50 in March. This is a 50 mile race through the North Yorkshire moors, and one i’m looking forward to.
The second race is the Great Lakeland 3 day event, this is in May. A mountain marathon in the Lake District. The rules are more relaxed than a normal mountain marathon and it makes for a good bank holiday weekend. You camp over each night, wake up and start running. Your camping equipment is transported for you, so all you need is your running gear and race vest.
I then have a 55km Ultra in the Lake District, this starts at Ambleside and is in June. It looks like an awesome route, but then again where isn’t there a good route in the Lake District?
So my plan with these two races, and a few other training runs and hikes is to complete all the Wainwrights next year (for people who don’t know, check this out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wainwrights ). The 3 day event should bag me quit a few, and the 55km should get me some too. I plan to start ‘collecting these’ in February, with another trip up in March & April. So i’m hoping to have got the rest of them done by the end of 2019. There is 214 in total and i have already bagged about 20 so far.
I have already bought myself a poster for completion of these!!
So… if i can get through the 50miler and can do the 3-day event, doing the elite category. And i survive. My aim is to enter the Cape Wrath for 2020, which is a 400km, 8 day supported race. The Cape Wrath is a trail around the top of Scotland, and looks amazing. The attractive part of doing this race is that it is fully supported.
I also have an 83mile trail event in August, this takes in the whole of the Dales Way, and goes from Windermere in the Lakes to Ickley in Yorkshire. This has a very generous cut off of 36 hours. So in effect, it is walkable in that time frame, or run and have some naps 😉
Thats pretty much it for events i have got booked in, i have entered Stafford half Ironman. But i’m not classing this as one of my main races.
So after August, i’m race free! but i’m seriously considering the Montane Cheviot Goat in December. This is in the Cheviots on the border of England and Scotland, and is pretty much the most remote place in England. Pretty harsh landscape and hills/mountains plus the cold! Sounds good!!
But first, before any of this, its Christmas and New Year! Which i’m spending in Sydney, Australia. The last time i was there i was 22! Looking forward to going back.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year!
So….. my plan of updating this thing every week properly backfired! about once every 3 months currently!
Anyway, lets say I started the Hardmoors 55, seems better than saying i did it, as ‘did it’ would imply a finish! Which i didn’t do. It was my first DNF, thought i would feel a lot worse for having a DNF. It bugged the shit out of me at the time, felt like a failure and that maybe i had overreached “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke
So i beat myself up a little bit (the exact same way i do when i start a sentence with ‘so’), realised that i just need to slap myself, have another go and train smarter! I think the training is the area i need to improve. I dropped out at around mile 30, just before the 3 sisters. My hip started hurting around mile 15, which didn’t bother me too much until about mile 25. I must have been compensating for my left hip on my right side, as my right hamstring and glute started hurting. I just thought dropping out was the most sensible option, to not get too drastically injured and still be able to do the other events i’ve entered. I also pretty much decided the moment i’d quit that i was going back next year. To fucking smash it 😉
Now the weather was bad, with snow, sideways sleet and wind. But i had the right gear and never felt cold or wet, i can’t even blame the weather for sucking!
So the positives and lessons learnt are that, i did 30miles, no small feat in itself. The course is worth running more than once, and i’ll get to! The weather makes the adventure. Fucking stay over, getting up at 3 in morning to run 55 miles is fucking dumb. My flexibility and mobility is zero, i need to work on this. Just because on a training run you can comfortable do 20miles, does not mean you can do 55miles, and doing 40-50 miles per week is not enough. One long run a month of a marathon or more is on the cards when in training for an Ultra.
The above stories are a huge over reaction and absolute bollocks. Whoever Bethany Lodge and Graeme Hetherignton are maybe they should have asked the runners, or got off their lazy arses and run it themselves to find out. Useless twats, being good at you job and having some integrity would help.
Last weekend i did the Great Lakeland 3Day event, this is a Mountain Marathon event 3 different classes (as with most mountain marathons). The event is 3 days in the Lake District, Run/Hike camp everyday. You get given a map and have to navigate to the check in points, these are just electronic markers, no people. There is no aid stations so you have to be self sufficient on the Hills/Mountains. The event was brilliant, on day 1 i did the the Elite class, 30 miles with 3,000 metres of elevation. Day 2 and 3 i dropped down to the lowest class, covering 20 miles on day 2 and 10 miles on day 3. I’ve been to the Lake District before, but not like this weekend. This was up in the Western Lakes, a place i’ve never been before. It’s part of the Lakes that isn’t really busy compared to Windermere or Keswick way out. There is basically no one on the hills. We started from Ennerdale, went up Hen Comb, down to Crummock Water, up on to Dodd and then up again onto Whiteside running the ridge past Hopegill Head onto Grisdale Pike, back down and then up to Barrow, from their along the ridge onto Scar Crags and Sail, then a steep down and up to Knott Rigg. Down from there all the way over to Dale Head, over to Hindscarth and onto Robinson. Finishing at Buttermere, the new camp site. Second day was backup to Hindscarth along to Dale Head, and down into Little Town, where i had Soup and a roll 😉 From there up back onto Knott Rigg and back down to Buttermere. The 3rd day i just walked it back from Buttermere to Ennerdale. I would defiantly recommend the Great Lakeland 3Day, the adventure and exploring is amazing.