Race Date: Saturday/Sunday 2nd/3rd July 2016
Simon Bayliss and I teamed up for the Kirkfell class at this year’s Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon. The event centre was on the southern shore of Ullswater, and the two days of running, walking and navigating took us to some pretty high and remote places. Day one’s course was 21.1km and 1680m ascent (and some fearsome descents), and 9 controls, all run in increasingly dire weather – northerly wind and rain, which made the term “waterproof” somewhat misleading.
The mid-way camp was near Brothers Water, from which we witnessed the mountain rescue of two competitors, both of whom by coincidence had fallen in a gully overlooking the camp. The second of the two was winched off the mountain by the coastguard helicopter, the first having been brought down and then taken by air ambulance to hospital. Both were fine – they left hospital later that evening and the following day respectively.
The second day was a little easier – just 18.8km and 1120m ascent, and 7 controls. The 6.3km as the crow flies between controls 2 and 3 took us nearly 2 hours ten minutes – a 300m descent, immediately followed by a 250m ascent, then a 250m descent, only to have to climb another 450m and then find a control described as “S Pond (possibly dry), SW side” explain the time we took. We finished 24th of 47 teams in our class – and a further 9 teams did not finish. We were 7th of the 19 vets teams. Our total time was 11:55:52.
These are great events. There are four classes which are easier than the one we chose, with less distance to travel, easier navigation and more use of paths. So, it would be great see more Striders at next year’s event, on 1 and 2 July 2017.
Full results at: http://www.slmm.org.uk/