This Week In Running #10

The one with the overnight adventure in the Lake district.

After last Saturdays three peaks i had decided to rest and let my legs recover from the gruelling descents of PYG, Whernside and Ingleborough, I did nothing more than some light jogging and a trip to the gym,

Well until Friday that is…..

I had planned on a recce of some parts of the Bob Graham round with my teammates Fiona and Scott (I have no intention of doing the round but its fun to be outdoors!)

After a day at work Friday i drove up to the lakes and met Fiona around 6pm (Scott was to meet us later on at the end of leg 1).

After sorting gear out,leaving my car at our finish point we drove to Keswick and was off for our first peak just before 7pm. Any running in the lakes should be taken with care and even though it was a glorious day i still had plenty of gear just incase the weather turned (The lake district has its own microclimate and never stay dry for long!!).

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I also had a dry bag with spare top and bottoms plus first aid kit!

The night was fantastic ,lovely and clear if just a little too warm for my liking and we picked the peaks off one by one with ease,( Which seeing as i was on nav is no mean feat i tell you!)

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Keswick below

The final climb of leg one is Blencathra, darkness had set in and we had on our head torches. My petzl Nao never missed a beat all night! On the way up we noticed a head torch in the distance so went to investigate in case it was a walker in trouble (Blencathra is fairly remote and its always best to check on people of in doubt).

It was in fact not a walker but a guy camping who told us we were only the 4th and 5th people he had seen all day!

After the summit of Blencathra the standard Bob Graham route gives you two options,straight down Halls fell ridge is common or double back to Doddick fell.

I don’t mind telling you Halls fell ridge,in the dark is no fun!!

Neither of us had attempted it before and didn’t really know the lines so after wasting maybe 45 minutes attempting it we doubled back on safety grounds and took on the easier runnable descent of Doddick. (which meant much to Scott’s enjoyment we was 90 minutes late for the meetup!!)

After our grovelling to Scott and a refill of water and Coca Cola he had so kindly brought us we set of for leg 2 the time is now 12.05am ,planned start of leg 2 was around 10.30pm

By now i was really tired , not from exercise as the pace had been easy but knackered. I had been at work from 7pm to 3pm and i was starting to flag,every step felt like a real effort.

We really worked well as a trio, Scott and Fiona are much more experienced in the hills than I and we all made sure that each other kept eating/drinking at regular intervals.

At the summit of Clough Head we all stopped to soak in the stars in the sky, with not a cloud to be seen it really was sight to behold (i just wish i had a proper camera with me as my mobile just couldn’t do it justice.)

About half an hour later we got treated to the most incredible moon rise i have ever seen! living in towns really does make me appreciate the beauty of true darkness.

Bagging the summit of Raise around 2.45 A.M

Climbing towards Helvellyn the weather changed and the clag had come in pretty hard,so much so we lost the path at one point and walked around in a big circle before we stopped to take compass bearings to sort ourselves out!

We then decided to cut leg 2 short as we were all tired and nursing little niggles we had acquired during the adventure so instead of heading towards Fairfield we cut off down towards civilisation and my car at Dunmail Raise.

After a quick game of drop the tired runners off to their own cars,we regrouped at Lancaster services for breakfast. I almost cried into my coffee and greggs bacon and sausage sandwich after eating nothing but gels since 4pm the day before,it tasted bloody delicious!!

I finally arrived back at my house and my lovely bed at 8.30 Am, 26.5 hours after i had last left it! I haven’t been awake that long since my teens!

 

I absolutely bloody loved the adventure and i thank Fiona and Scott for being part of it and making sure we all got round in one piece. I can’t wait for the next time!!

 

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Delirious at 3 am

 

 

 

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