Skiddaw Fell Race 4/7/10

AM 9 miles 2700ft.
A long drive up to the Lakes for this my third run of Skiddaw Fell Race. I met up with Methuselah(who was staying in the lakes for a few days) before the race. And, also, briefly saw some of the Shropshire elite runners, that had also made the trip up, at the start line. These included fellow blogger Jon Bowie of Trailsfellstrophies and Steven Cale current Shropshire hill running champ who I'd bumped into a few days earlier on the Wrekin (see two posts bellow).
The previous two years the weather had been ridiculously hot so I was hoping it would be a bit cooler this year. Umm, be careful what you wish for. The forecast this year was for heavy rain and winds on the peaks of up to 60mph. Which was probably accurate. As a result the marshals decided to shorten the race and not do the final push up to the summit. This reduced the climb by about 400ft and distance of about 1.3 miles. For me, due to my legs usually being shot by that stage, it probably reduced my time by almost 20 minutes. So it was a cheats PB for me that I will probably never better again.
Apart from the weather being a bit miserable the temperature suited me and I seemed to be making alright progress up Jenkin hill when Steven Cale came blasting past me on his way down. At that stage I didn't know the race had been shortened and noted he went past me at an earlier stage to the winner of last years race Ricky Lightfoot. Either I was going a lot slower than the previous year or he was going really really fast, albeit he had missed the short cut at the pile of stones. A few seconds later Jon Bowie flew past and went off the path at the correct place next to the stones. A possibility for him to go past Steve Cale ? Well, it was very "claggy" at that point and one can see how it might have been possible to miss the flags guiding the way across the grass back to the path a couple of hundred feet bellow and go off in completely the wrong direction. So on that occasion Jon missed his chance to get past Steven and has been much ribbed about the navigational error on the FRA Forum ;-)
Later on Dylan from Wales past me with an enthusiastic "HELLO JOHN" and also DazH of Laidbackfellrunner fame. I still couldn't work out how come so many people were so far ahead of me, even when people started shouting something about a gate. It was only when I saw Methuselah come past me (he'd not been that far ahead for most of the race) that I realised we were being turned early "at the gate". I enjoyed the run back down and passed about 10 people on the return route ,via the short cut, back down to Fitz Park and the finish line.
the winner
Steven Cale won the race in a little under an hour. I'm sure the jog with me a few days earlier must have helped ;-)
Although the drive up to the lakes is a long one, I think I'll go back again next year. I do like the descent and actually going past people, for a change, is very satisfying.


  1. Excellent stuff Lightning, sounds like a great day. Weather was wild in the Lakes on Sunday!

  2. Yeah make the trip up again next year, it is a great race when its done fully.
    Sorry for missing you on the pics.

  3. The faces of the people running past us showed how rough the weather was - looked like astronauts being subjected to g-force training...

  4. Cheers Stuart, It takes dedication to fell run in that weather. Even more dedication to not race but still go up and take photos.

    Methuselah, you're right about the faces. I didn't think it was that bad.

    Next year personal best !

  5. Well done Lightning, I was up there but didn't run and the weather was bloody awful!