Monday, 24 June 2013

May and June, Fairfield to Windy Gyle.

A lazy monday night gives me an opportunity to reflect on May and June of my "Year of classic Fell Races". My previous blog post deals with the following races, so I won't mention them again.

10/3 - Ian Roberts memorial race - strong start, then fell apart at half way because ran a quick 5k the day before, finished 18th
16/3 - Middle Fell (from Wasdale) - Cancelled
24/3 - Edale Skyline (EC)- didn't get an entry, cancelled
30/3 Causey Pike - on holiday
6/4 Coledale Horseshoe (DFR) - on holiday
13/4 Silent Valley (BC)- on holiday
14/4 Cheviot Summit Race - shortened course, win
21/4 Guisborough Moors (DFR, NE) - winning then got lost.
27/4 Yorkshire 3 peaks race - 3:30, 34th place.

Heading into May I had my first Lakeland race of the year, Fairfield Horseshoe. I had a cracking run up the hill, but lost about 20 places on the way down. I don't know if I was taking it easy to avoid injury or if I just don't know how to run down an 800m descent. Either way, I was pleased with my fitness, beat Nic Barber to the top by a couple of minutes and finished 71st in 1:33:15.

The weekend of 18/19th of May was going to be a busy one, Goat Fell on Arran on Saturday and the intercounties in Settle on Sunday. I drove up with Dom on Friday night, had a brilliant race on Goat Fell, took it easy, finished, 86th in 1:47:48. Settle Hills was a race I was taking seriously. I really didn't want to be 4th and last home for the NE team and was really pleased to be 2nd man home out of a team of Nick Swinburn, Lee Bennett, Gary Jones and myself. I finished 40th in 54:06, most pleasingly I took about half a dozen places on the steep descent.

Jura was my first long classic race, I set my heart on a whisky glass for finishing under 4 hours. I was just on schedule of 3 hours at the top of Pap 3 when Rhys Findley Robinson came past me, "stick with me, we can do it" I couldn't do it. Nor could Rhys finishing in 4:00:07. My legs fell off on the descent and I finished in 55th, 4:29:47. What an amazing place and an incredibly difficult race - more training required if I am going to run a good time on that course. The Ceilidh was pretty amazing though. I then drove north to help Spyke out on his 24 hour Munro record attempt, van broke down, towed home.

Had some bad coughing fits up in Glen Shiel when running with Spyke, so went to the doctor and she said I should let my chest get better and not to Yetholm, so I didn't do Yetholm.

Second long race of the season was Ennerdale. I had a much better race than I did on Jura, much easier, but longer, course. Had a rough patch between hours 3 and 4, but recovered well to finish strongly in 36th, 4:55:43

Next of the English Champs was Buckden Pike, it should suit me better, being a bit shorter than Fairfield. I had a steady start, 80th at the top of the steep climb, taking places all the way to finish 61st in 36:50. Pleasingly exactly the same position I achieved last time round this route in 2010 but nearly 9 minutes quicker! Only a minute outside the points - getting closer!

19th of June was one of the races I was looking forward to most all year. I had imagined a beautiful sunny evening running the Langstrath Fell Race in Borrowdale after work, what better way could their be to spend an evening. The weather was hot, the course was rocky, steep and quick, the field was strong. You don't get many evenings like that in your life, enjoy them. 8th, 42:14.

Windy Gyle, NE champs. After the farce of Guisborough Moors this was one I wanted to win. I saw Cameron Taylor turn up and suddenly I really wanted to be second! As it turned out of the first 5 it was only myself and Jonny Malley who knew the way so as everyone else went wrong wherever they could I called them back and we regrouped a couple of times. A cheeky shortcut around Swineside Law was described as deviant by the race organiser. Not a fair criticism in my book as fell racing is either follow the flags or visit the checkpoints in my book, both of which I did. I was tired after 4 training days on the trot leading up to the race and didn't have the finish in my legs, 4th, with Lee Bennett in 2nd behind Jonny and probably all hope of winning the NE champs gone till next year. 1:04:08

Looking forward to a good run a Cronkley next week. If I can get a win it will put my hopes for the NE champs back on track.

11/5 Fairfield Horseshoe 71st, 1:33:15,
18/5 Goat Fell 86th, 1:47:48,
19/5 Settle Hills (Intercounties) 40th, 54:06,
25/5 Jura, 55th, 4:29:47,
2/6 Yetholm (BC) DNS
8/6 Ennerdale 36th, 4:55:43,
15/6 Buckden Pike (EC), 61st, 36:50,
19/6 Langstrath 8th, 42:14,
23/6 Windy Gyle (NE) 4th, 1:04:08,
30/6 Cronkley (NE)
2/7 Saltwell Harriers (DFR)
6/7 Chevy Chase
7/7 Skiddaw
9/7 Stoodley Pike
13/7 Wasdale (EC)
20/7 Snowdon
27/7 Blisco Dash (BC, EC)
3/8 Borrowdale
10/8 Turner Landscape (EC)
24/8 Burnsall Classic or Weasdale Horseshoe (DFR)
25/8 Grasmere Guides Race
27/8 Kilnsey Show
7/9 Grisedale Horseshoe
11/9 Roseberry Topping (DFR)
14/9 Peris Horseshoe (BC)
21/9 Scafell Pike or Simonside (NE)
28-29/9 RAB Mountain Marathon (DFR)
12/10 Langdale Horseshoe
13/10 Pentland Skyline
20/10 Fell Relays
26/10 Meall a'Bhuachaille
10/11 Clay Bank West (NE)
Finish of Windy Gyle, Jonny Malley, Lee Bennett, Myself, Bruce Crombie - what a race!

Top 5 at Windy Gyle, L2R, Cameron Taylor 5th, Jonny Malley 1st,  Me, Andy Blackett 4th, Bruce Crombie 3rd, Lee Bennett 2nd.

Finish of Settle Hills Race.

Final Climb on Ennerdale

NE Team at Intercounties, Lee Bennett, Nick Swinburn, me (Andy Blackett), Gary Jones.

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