Sunday 8 September 2013

Fellsman 2013

Fellsman 2013

Well it was knocking on the doorsteps again, and after some decent training this year through the winter, and the promise of a cold race, but nothing like last years forecast, the time was upon us. 
We met Dave up at Little chef, Skipton, and were off on our way to Ingleton. Thanks for Rachel’s taxi services.
Once there we moved into the Tourist centre to collect our race numbers and tally cards.

Me and Dave about 5 minutes before the start

Eyeing up the rest of the field

On the field, and our first clip on our Tally, we moved to the front left which seemed to pay off last year. This misses the crush at the start through the narrowing onto Ingleton High street. 
We are off right at the front, best place to be for next bit

We were off and near the front, the plan paid off again and we missed the crush. We were now climbing up the road to the start of Fell Lane track, they should have this part of the road shut for 10 minutes whilst the bulk of the runners pass through. The start was quite chilly and there was some fresh snow on the upper part of Ingleborough. We were treated to some fresh snow on us as we got near the summit, but it didn't amount to much, and soon the first check point was passed and we were descending off the Ingleborough.
The descent wasn’t too bad with a small patch snow still  hanging there waiting to melt.
Passing Chapel-le-Dale check point and we soon attacked Whernside, the second big climb. Conditions were now good and it was quite pleasant, no killer wind like last year. I now felt I’d got into a comfy pace, and felt very settled with the run. The next part seem to pass quickly and the run from Gragareth to Great Coum seem to go quickly. Running with some other lad from up north we soon past the Great Coum check point and were left with the good descent down into Dent. I seem to have left Dave behind but he soon arrived in to Dent while I had finished my first Sausage roll. We stocked up on water and biscuits etc and plodded along the road section before the climb up to Blea Moor,  a small group of us stuck together on this section. This was my first low point of the day which I managed to come out of once at Blea Moor check point thanks to talking to another runner. I made good pace here and was soon back on Tarmac, and  now tucking into pasta at the Stonehouse check point.
Another long climb up to the summit of Great Knoutborough, this year I felt strong on this climb and made good progress. Dave was a little slow on this climb but managed to catch us up by Redhouse checkpoint. Lovely hot dogs, and yet another climb up to Great Dodd fell. We seem to be in  a good group of 4 now and we stuck together for the duration. I thought one of the four was going to pull out at Fleet moss but his partner talked him out of it at, or more, told him to pull himself together and get on with it. We set off over Fleet moss,  the route I have now is good going and not boggy under foot, and seems to make this part of the course most enjoyable. On to Middle tongue and to Hells gap seem to go quickly, as a large group passed us before Hells gap. Still light and the weather was holding, we were grouped as a 4 officially at the Cray checkpoint.
Coming in strong to Cray

Our group ready for the off up Buckden Pike before night sets in

 We climbed Buckden and the light was fading and we now needed the lights just before the summit. We made a good run across to the memorial cross. and now the descent passing Top Mere and onto the bridle way, having passed the large group that earlier over took us.
Quick stock up for the last climb up Great Whernside and onto the finish

 Running along the track was good, and with the Park  Rash check point nearing and only one last climb up Great Whernside, I really felt we were on the home run across to the finish. There were times when one of our party had to keep stopping due to throwing up, this happened on several occasions which slowed proceedings a little.
The lights over to Harrogate and beyond were fully visible. Now on the route off to Sweet Hill, I took a direct bearing out of the bog and on to good running to the path all way to Capplestone Gate, this saved some deep bog and saved us some time. A group of lights in front weren’t too far ahead and we made a good pace on to the track  towards Kelber. It looked like the group in front had dropped off way too far, as we started to traverse across to above Barehouse their lights were below and behind us. Soon at the last check point at Yarnbury,  the pace was slow and I was wanting to pick it up a little, as especially the other group weren’t far behind us. But a good last pace  increase saw us arrive at the school, my watch said just a tad under 16 hours. 
leading the pack into the finish

I felt really strong at the end and was delighted to get some hot potato and chilly down my neck and hot brew, along with collecting my finishers Buff. A most enjoyable Fellsman this year, especially as I still felt very strong at the end after the race and the route navigation was spot on.

feeling really good and ready for hot chilly


It was good to try the Salomon S-Lab 12 Pack for another long race. It was comfy and managed to fit all the mandatory kit the Fellsman stipulates. Also its good not to have any rub points across the back where some sacks with waist bands seem to on long runs. Also I was very impressed with the Mizuno Wave Harrier 3 shoes, very comfy for long distance and a good grip which gave me confidence on descents especially muddy wet ones, and there performance on tarmac and tracks was great. The Hope R4 lamp was more than enough powerful for the last section from part way up Buckden Pike to the finish, it is bright enough on its lowest setting to run with and you have the comfort of turning it up for technical descents, turning the path into daylight.

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