Friday, 8 August 2008

Borrowdale

Last Week
52 miles, 9138 ft, 12:56:43 (includes 16 miles on bike)

Last year Borrowdale was shortened on advice from MRT on the summit of Scafell Pike and in 2006 I was resting in preparation for my second BG and so it was 2005 when I previously ran the full route. I had a poor run and so have waited three years to put in a better performance on this rough, tough route. These must be amongst the h
ardest 17 miles in the Lakes and in 2005 I was a pair of Inov8 Mudclaw 270s for their first serious outing. I mention this only because some of the ground is so rough that the uppers of the shoes were shredded - in places they had been ripped open - so not 270s this year. Last year I found 330s survived rather better although without the scree descent to cope with it isn't a fair comparison but 330s it would be again.

Ground to Esk Haus
e was wet and very soft but the rain had all but cleared through by the time the race started. The clag was down on Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Green Gable and the rocks were wet and slippery almost everywhere and especially around Scafell Pike. Most of the walkers descending to Esk Hause seemed pretty uncomfortable on the wet boulders which wasn’t encouraging but by staying clear of other runners I didn’t struggle as much as others around me. Approaching the summit was a little eerie, there were no other runners ascending but those descending were heading in all directions appearing and then disappearing into the clag - most made their way to the scree and thence to Sty Head where the usual crowds awaited. Swapping an empty bottle for a full one which Pauline had carried up I set about the serious business of eating and drinking my way to the summit. This must have gone well because I picked up a number of places on the way up and reached the summit chasing after Horwich vest (worn by Mick Crook). Most of the navigation errors seem to have taken place on the Great Gable descent with others going wrong between Green Gable and Honister. Leaving Great Gable and knowing we weren’t on the fastest descent route I decided not to go and look for it on my own (better to loose a few minutes rather than getting seriously lost, which was very possible) and stayed on the ‘tourist route’, passing Mick on the way down. A lapse in concentration and I went over Green Gable instead of round but again I avoided getting lost although it cost me a little time. Down out of the clag and route finding was much easier into Honister. Dale Head was never going to be easy and I struggled to stay with the group I had joined at Honister and then on the way down saw another RMI vest. Passing Steve Jackson and then Richard Baker (who was having a major bonk although it wasn’t obvious at the time - Richard has recovered enough to help on my 55@55, thanks Richard) I reached the flat run to the finish – only to lose 3 places. One to another V55, the second to Mick Crook and the third to Steve Jackson! All I can say is “well done, guys” because I had almost nothing left in my legs at the finish I had taken 30 minutes off my previous best (2005) time and ended up with 12 English Champs points which is 11 more than I have ever had before.

Results are here


Edwin Coope enjoying Borrowdale a little more than I am

More photos here and here

In an attempt speed up recovery we tried mountain bikes rather than running and I don't if it helped but it was much more fun. The rest of the week was little more than a series of recovery runs until last night's Hill session that more or less proved I need a rest day today.

Next Week

Winter Hill on Saturday morning and Lakes on Sunday for what will be my last full week before my second attempt.

Support Teams

Coming together now but I could still so with a bit on help on Leg Two (from Honister to Wasdale). I know it is an early but there is the promise of a sunrise that won't be seen on any other leg! If you might be interested in helping please contact me or leave a comment below.

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