Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grasmere Fells, Tarns and Gingerbread

Mark Sammon and I travelled up to Grasmere for our second outing on this lovely LDWA event put on by Morecambe Bay & Bowland LDWA.  TF initially expressed some interest in coming but the lure of a Saturday UTUP with all the usual persiflage must have been more tempting!  This year we got a lie-in as the organisers requested that the runners start at 09:30 instead of the usual 08:30 mass start.

The route starts (and finishes) on the village sports field in Grasmere and heads up to Great Rigg via Alcocks tarn, followed by an about turn to go back down to Stone Arthur then down again before crossing the road to the first feed station at a farm below Helm crag. The usual fayre of drinks and food were provided, which is what makes these LDWA special and exceptional value for money.  I'm impressed with Mark's view on the refreshment's provided in which he attempts to consume more than his entryfee's worth, which he fell short of by a long way! Next was a trudge up a miserable track along Greenburn Bottom before turning south west up to the ridge that took us back along a path to Helm Crag (Lion and Lamb).  As with Great Rigg the control is not manned and as it is a challenge event rather than a competition it is up to the entrants to be honest enough to go to the check points before doubling back in this case to pick the route out to Easedale Tarn, another check point and some much needed Bassets Jelly Babies  (only Bassets are good enough for fell events).  From here the route takes us to the back of Blea Crag to pick up the ridge path along to Silver Howe, then onto Chapel Stile (another food and drink station) before the final grunt up Loughrigg Fell.  With the clear weather and warm sun the views offered all the way round were just stunning especially on Loughrigg.

Up to the final descent from Loughrigg down to the lakeside my legs were heavy and tired all the way round due to the lack of climbing descending practice and too much road running.  However, once on the road, I was happy to increase the pace to trot into the finish.  I have to thank Mark for hanging back for me to encourage me onwards all round the route, which meant that I came in 32 seconds quicker than last year having done a slightly longer correct route this year rather than the shorter error route through Grasmere I did last year.

A shower, albeit a couple of degrees above hypothermic level, followed by pie and beans then trifle to finish the event off just makes for a splendid day out.  The additional bonus of receiving a piece of the locally produced ginger bread gives it that unique touch, however, both Mark and I are of the opinion that there are easier ways of obtaining gingerbread in Grasmere.

I'm hoping to go up to the Langdales next Saturday for a recce of the mid and maybe the back end section of the OCT, weather permitting if anyone wants to join me.  I am even considering camping over on Saturday night to do another recce of the section round High Raise on Sunday before heading home.

KLM 21-04-2013

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