Thursday, 23 April 2009

Kirkstone Pass – 08:01 18th April

The wind was chilling here and I want to use the time gained as a rest, I don’t want to be chasing the schedule all the way to Greendale Bridge but it is too cold to stay here and rest. I enjoy the extra three minutes finishing rice pudding with a banana and drinking warm water before jogging to the climb up Red Screes. This is the first real climb of the day, more than 1000 feet in just over half a mile, and having worried about the pace on the first leg I am now concerned about getting the climbing right. I know I can climb fast enough but there is a lot of climbing to come and here I need to keep to the schedule and not do much more. Settling into an ‘almost comfortable’ pace I decide to wait and see what the time is at the summit before thinking too much about the pace. 23 minutes later we reach the summit – right on the 14 hour schedule and now I know the climbing will be fine too.

Down the other side, giving up all the height just gained, to get in position to climb over Hart Crag and on to Fairfield. Phil Dewhurst runs down to Scandale Pass and we catch up on other runners as we haven’t seen each other since last August on my 55at55. Dave Bateson chats all the way up Hart Crag re-assuring me that this pace is fine and encouraging me to eat and drink all the way up the hill. Experienced pacers help so much and as the day goes on this becomes more and more important. The pace seems comfortable now, perhaps only in comparison with the first leg, and we are picking up time on the climbs so that we arrive on Fairfield 8 minutes ahead of the 14 hour schedule. The sun is beginning to feel warm and the views are fantastic – in complete contrast to the many cold wet days I have run over here in the winter and last summer. Iain Kelly turns for Patterdale and the bus home – we say our farewells and head off in different directions. A very ‘southerly line’ that no-one else knows drops us onto the path for Seat Sandal – I nearly get this wrong but may have improved the descent route. I should take another look this later.

Rough descent most of the way and just after reaching the grass I am felled by cramp in both calfs. Phil and Dave stretch them and it eases. Eating more salted cashews and drinking water before setting off again should help but I fear it isn’t a lack of salt or fluid but a reaction to the climbing after the earlier fast pace. It maybe a combination of any or all of the above three but I know there will be more to come before it finally goes. Climbing steadily, rather then trying to catch on lost time, allows cramp into my quads but it isn’t as severe and requires only an occasional pause. Descending Seat Sandal it strikes my calfs again but not as severely and I begin to hope it is starting to recede. We lost about 10 minutes from Fairfield and reach Dunmail Raise two minutes down on the 14 hour schedule but 21 minutes up on the 15 hour one and I am delighted.

Monica Shone (the event’s Recorder) is here taking photographs and providing encouragement. She tells us Joss will be at Sty Head and David Powell-Thompson will meet somewhere after that. Ed and John Swift have joined the road team, particularly to help move pacers’ cars, and it is good to see them too. I try and fail to remember to collect a small camera here.


Place 14hr 15 hr Actual 14 hrs 15 hrs Actual
Kirkstone Pass - depart 03:13 03:27 03:08 08:13 08:27 08:08
Red Screes 03:36 03:52 03:31 08:36 08:52 08:31
Hart Crag 04:28 04:47 04:20 09:28 09:47 09:20
Fairfield 04:42 05:02 04:34 09:42 10:02 09:34
Seat Sandal 05:05 05:27 05:07 10:05 10:27 10:07
Dunmail Raise - arrive 05:24 05:47 05:26 10:24 10:47 10:26

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