Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Coledale Horseshoe Sat 6th April

I'd had my fingers crossed all last weekend hoping that another pre-entered race wasn't going fall foul of the weather. By Monday I couldn't bear the suspense any longer and emailed the organiser for an update, I even had a possible suggestion of a revised route up my sleeve.

Within the hour I had a preview of the report that was posted on the Fellrunner website. A revised route which took us back down to the valley from Coledale Hause and then a climb around Outerside to rejoin the original route. Top man!

So off I set to Keswick with my tent on Thursday for my warm-up event. A little bit of hill reps from Honister. Organised by the West Cumberland orienteering club. A simple matter of 3 check points - Launchy Tarn, High Spy and Dale Head, all done on trust and the slowest had to bring back the orange & white kites. Guess who was the slowest!

Arrived in the vicinity of Launchy Tarn and no visible flag. Not sure if one of the WCOC lot had picked up or not so didn't waste too much time looking. On the way up High Spy, descending runner confirmed no one else saw it either, and they'd left CP 2 for me. Shame - scuppered the plan for a 'visual' rather than 'touching' of the cairn. Got all the way to Dale Head Cairn to find no kite, double drat! Passed one of the faster runners on the way down who informed me he was off to go and search for the missing kite, the Dale Head one had been returned by the runners on the short course ( up&down Dale Head). Missing kite eventually located near the more southerly of the two tarns on the plateau. Many thanks to WCOC for lovely evening of running, these low key events certainly come full of surprises!

And so to the main event. Thursday (and Fridays) running had been in somewhat 'bracing' conditions and given that I awoke to a frozen tent I'd thought I'd take a few layers. Too many as it turned out, the wind had dropped on Saturday and the bright sunshine made for a very warm climb up the first half of Grisedale Pike. I had my orocs on and although there was a bit of snow on the contouring path to Coledale Hause, the mudclaws would have coped well enough but it was nice to have the extra security.

Loved the bit down from the Hause. Could see the few in front following the zig-zag path religiously, it was great to test out my 'bee-line' descending on unknown territory. A compulsory flagged sectioned to climb past Outerside and then on to the lovely run off Barrow. Soup, butties and cake at the finish just to top off a superb race.

No results as yet, but I think I just managed under the 2hr mark. The revised route was slightly shorter but had more climbing, winner I think was a couple of mins quicker than the previous year. My previous time on this race was 2hr22 in 2009, the start and finish had altered since then and winning time in 2009 was about 7/8 mins slower. I think despite that I'd be fair to say I'd made a reasonable improvement.


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