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Bowland Fell Runners News: June 2012

News: June 2012

The results to all of Saturday's races can be found at the bottom of the Clougha Pike page (see "Our Races"). Despite some dire predictions, the weather turned out well on the day and all of the races were well supported. A big thank you to all who came from far and wide, especially the huge contingent from Wharfedale Harriers - we hope you enjoyed the day! Any errors in the results can be reported by email to webmaster@bowlandfellrunners.org.uk


Posted: Sun 24th Jun 2012

From race organiser Chris Reade May 2013 :

Please note changes to junior races. Under 8 / <10 <12 & <14 now at 2 pm and shorter than previous championship races to try to encourage more none championship contenders. Mainly to be run on the farmland.   Under 16 will set off at 3.05 and use the senior course to Fell End Farm then down and back. Under 18 to run with senior race. No access to farmland until race day and bring Cagoule and Leggins, No Kit, No Run particularly if the weather is bad. Seniors Under 16 and Under 18 kit likely to be mandatory.


Posted: Fri 22nd Jun 2012


John’s Duddon perspective
Although I wouldn’t choose them, conditions such as those on Saturday give me the chance of doing much better than I would normally do and this certainly turned out to be the case on the day.   As seems to be increasingly common, I was the last runner of the 99 starters to leave the start field and was still in last place as we started to make our way up through the woods by Wallowbarrow Crag. I finished 44th, which by my maths means that I overtook well over half the field! I probably saw only about ten of them in doing so. I wonder what happened to the rest? So there’s always hope for old plodders (if they go the right way!).
By Harter Fell I had managed to overtake a few runners and was in a group of about 5 at the summit. It was there that I got my compass out as I know from experience it is where the navigation starts to get tricky in clag. I relied on rough bearings and knowledge of the course from then on. I managed to get away from the others as we left the summit and then didn’t see anyone until I started climbing Hardknott fell. Like other Bowlanders I didn’t hit the top of Hardknott pass bang on but was about 250 metres on the Eskdale side. Interestingly Jo and I had made the same error when running the leg in mist a few weeks back. As I started to climb Hardknott I started to hear some runners coming up behind me. I cursed to myself as I thought that it was the group that I had got away from on Harter Summit. My spirit soon improved when it turned out to be Alan Miller and a couple of other (relatively) speedy runners. I managed to keep up with them down to Mosedale, taking a slightly different line, and was then really cheered to see a long line of “runners” ascending Little Stand, including some orange vests I think. No one else has mentioned it but Mosedale Beck was in spate and by no means easy to cross. Just as I started the long climb to the top, I found a compass on the ground. (I still have it if it belongs to a Bowlander – might explain a few things). I was pleased to find the summit and then the route to Gaitkins. At some point on the ascent of Little Stand I picked up a companion. One of the runners in my vicinity, I assume one of those who had made errors up to that point, latched himself onto my tail and stayed about 1 metre behind me for the rest of the race. I never saw his face until he finished the race 1 second behind me! Check the results - a Newburgh Nomad (well what do you expect, it’s not a proper fell-running club, is it?). We obviously chatted on the way round and he said that he was happy to go at my pace, as he had supported on a leg of the Bob Graham in the early hours of Saturday morning. He had decided to “double-up” as training for the Lakeland 100.
Anyway when we got to Three Shires, I asked Andy Walmsley (supporting with Gill) how far Alan Miller was in front of me, as I hadn’t seen him since the ascent of Little Stand. Andy said “just a few minutes”. In the end Alan finished 27 minutes behind me, so he will not be looking back at Duddon 2012 as his greatest achievement. You’ll have to ask him where he went. Along the subsequent ridge sections of Great Carrs, Swirl Band, Dow Crag and Brown Pike, I took safety-first rather than optimal lines and stuck fairly close to the ridge tops. At one point my running companion betrayed a certain lack of knowledge concerning the race route by asking whether we had yet got round Coniston Old Man. I suggested that he might be thinking of another event? At the time we were just beginning the climb to Dow Crag. The next thing of note was that we came across a group of about five runners that included Moo (the first and only Bowlander I saw after the start) on the newish zig-zag track off Brown Pike – probably more or less in the place where Richard got confused. I also found the zig-zag track confusing but just about had the confidence to carry onto Walna Scar Road. By this time Moo and her group had joined our group of two. After that I picked up the trod on the right hand side of the ridge that leads eventually to White Pike.  Somewhere in the middle of the bland section across to Caw I lost contact with the track in one of the boggy areas and stopped to get my map out. Not a lot of use when I cannot see any detail without my specs. Strangely enough, everyone else seemed to stop as well. On a hunch I headed slightly to the right, sticking more or less to my SW bearing, and was lucky enough to pick up a trod again and soon started to recognise features on the ground. After that it was fairly straightforward. Mo and the other members in her group shot off as we approached Caw summit, while my chum and I took it fairly easy to the finish. Well there’s the Great Lakes race next week to think about, isn’t there? Could be interesting again from the sound of the 5-day weather forecast!! Must remember my compass.
Having followed me for more than half the race my new chum did have the good grace to stay 1 metre behind to the end – good form. In the end, I was very pleased with my run and was only 9 minutes slower than in good conditions the previous year.
Posted: Tue 12th Jun 2012

The third club champs race of the year proved to be a true test of navigational ability with thick clag clinging to the hills above 400m and almost everyone wandering off line at some point in the race. A smaller than usual field of 95 were eaten alive by the midges in the start field before being released into the cloud and any savvy individual had the compass out from the start! Over 10% of those on the start line wore orange and green (mentally, if not literally) and for several Bowlanders this was their first time round the course. The nerves were apparent as it was clearly going to be a bit of an ordeal ... special mention must go to new member Allan McKeown ... a tough induction!!

Finding Harter Fell was relatively straightforward, but then finding the road on the col proved too much of a challenge for several "old hands" with Mike & I ending up way too far left and Chris ending up too far right! The fun and games had only just begun though and on the steep pull up to Little Stand Mike gained about 30 seconds on me, enough for him to disappear off the checkpoint leaving me to use the map and compass once again. I was well pleased to find the trod down to 3 Shires at the first go (and with Scoffer and friends appearing from somewhere out of Gaitkins) but laughed to be told by Andy Walmesley that Mike was nowhere in sight! He'd decided to have another look at Stonesty Gill in preparation for next weeks Great Lakes ... a 180 degree error.

From 3 Shires it was a lonely affair with the map and compass as the weather closed in and the small errors continued all the way to Dow Crag, including going to the top when the checkpoint is about 20m below it! In such low visibility I even managed to convince myself for a while that the path off Brown Pike was the Walna Scar road, but eventually found the good grasy ridge along to White Pike. On the descent, a familiar figure emerged from the gloom and Mike came storming past, giving me a brief respite as I followed him for as long as I could. Even the descent from Caw was not straightforward and I drifted too far left into the crags before emerging from the cloud and spotting the flagged route in. 3:30 was a decent time given the fatigue in my legs at the end of the race (and after Ennerdale last week)  but the club honours once again go to Mike, who was stronger throughout - ran further, climbed more and came in as 1st MV50 and 4th MV40!

It was one of those days, and as people drifted into the finish, everyone had a story to tell. Chris emerged about 30 minutes later, Hugh had packed in at 3 Shires (having taken over 3 hours to get there) and there were an increasing number of DNFs added to the board

I had to dash off at the finish (Quentins 50th - happy birthday!) which was a bit of a shame as the Bowland Ladies again had an excellent day with Sarah Moo Massey continuing her fine form to come in as 2nd Lady and Emma as 5th Lady. John Taylor (on home turf!) had a great run to come in as 2nd MV60 with Cookie as 3rd MV60

9 Bowlanders completed the race and I'm tempted to award double club champs points for perseverance in the face of adversity!! As always, it'd be great to hear everyones stories and look forward to seeing the blog in the coming days. See you at Great Lakes - I'm praying for a clear day.

10  Mike Johnson  MV50  Bowland Fell Runners  3:26:17
12  Richard Mellon  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  3:30:40
20  Chris Reade  MV40  Bowland Fell Runners  4:05:04
42  Sarah Massey  L  Bowland Fell Runners  4:35:26
44  John Taylor  MV60  Bowland Fell Runners  4:37:33
53  Graham Lund  M  Bowland Fell Runners  5:05:19
61  Emma Gregory  L  Bowland Fell Runners  5:12:20
63  Allan McKeown  M  Bowland Fell Runners  5:12:35
67  Ian Cookson  MV60  Bowland Fell Runners  5:15:54



Posted: Sun 10th Jun 2012