|What a stunning day all round - for both Checkpoint Marshalls and runners! |
Views to die for at Fleet Moss
The Fellsman is a pretty special race anyway - there's a massive team of organisers (year round committee and on the day), 500 entrants and massive logistics in keeping the 24 checkpoints in contact. Then there's the course - most entrants regard this as either their hardest race of the year or normally in the top 3 (perhaps if competing abroad) and rightly so - if you're not doing a big climb or a big descent, you're on the rough stuff - perhaps a rough track or a small trod if you're lucky or tussocks if you're not.
Saul, Graham and me had been targetting this race for months - Saul and Graham as perfect Bob Graham prep for a months time, me as a springboard for Saul and Graham's support and later in the year my UTMB TDS race in August in the Alps. Sadly, Graham had to duck out which left Saul and me to make our pilgrimage to Threshfield School like previous years but - unlike any previous year - both Saul and me were running it the same year - he's done two previously and I've done just one but not on the same years. Added excitement ! Although not competing against each other, I think we genuinely hoped we'd both do really really well - whatever that means!
|Saul and me on the start line, Ingleton|
Hills came and went.
Views for 100 miles came and went.
Competitors came and went.
Checkpoints came and went.
but these are the memories I'll take away ;
* The view looking down from Great Coum Westwards - Cumbria on the horizon with masses of open fell at my feet.
* The view looking down from Great Coum Northwards - The Howgills looking mighty fine.
* The views down towards Hubberholme (nr Cray) across valleys lined with dry stone walls coated in early evening sunlight.
* Lots of people to chat to all day, including marshalls and fellow competitors
*Legs feeling great all day - takes me back to my Bob Graham (but I've never had the flying sensation again since!)
* No low points - last year was a struggle on several ocassions, notably Dent to Blea Moor.
* Running with Kev and Dan from Dent to the end. We made a good team, lighthearted banter for 35+ miles! Kev with a formidable running pace and Dan with a formidable future ahead of him.
* Not being grouped at all - a kind of 'god like status' at the Fellsman - arriving 2 mins before grouping started.
* My time of 12h24 was far in excess of what I ever thought I'd achieve. I expected under 13hours, perhaps 12h45, but certainly not that. And yes, there probably is room for improvement next year now I look back. Not entirely sure, but thinking of the competitors ahead of me, I could have been 3rd Vet ?
* The Cocktail Sausages at Park Rash! Kev and me were craving savoury so bad, and until now dry rolls hadn't cut the mustard. We couldn't get enough of these buggers tho - so apologies to anyone who turned up late and there weren't any !
Like last year, it was nice to have a pint afterwards reflecting on a truly grand day out. It was cold walking back to the school though - but at least my legs were still talking to me. It was good to see Saul when I got back to the school - eyes not quite focused but about what we expect from him after a long race! He'd knocked 15 mins off his PB finishing in around 13h30, so was pleased (ish), but - as ever - there's masses of room for improvement it seems!
|Ingleton to Grassington - The Hard Way|
|Starting off with 2 of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, it's hard to know if the climbs are worse than the bogs!|
Fellsman post race discussion here
Results not up yet, but they should be somewhere here
|Note to Self : Stay right of the Stream up Buckden!!|