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Bowland Fell Runners News: June 2013

News: June 2013

I've never been to the village of Loweswater before and the views up Buttermere I think rival those in Wasdale. The race looked tough on paper, and did not disappoint. 22 miles and just shy of 3000m of climbing with some interesting route choices. A good training run for Wasdale apparently but on some unknown ground it felt more difficult. Team Borrowdale had been out and done a good job of reccying, filling 6 of the top ten places with the evergreen Simon Booth showing the young pretenders how to do it.  Looking at some of their routes on Strava today there are some cunning trods through the heather, particularly in the last few miles to try to find next year! I'll definitely not be going down the path at the side of Scale Force again with its rock steps to snare cramping legs. I had to dash home from the finish so didn't get the full story from the Bowland team of Mike, Dave, Leigh and Pete but the fact Mike had to walk the last 100 metres up the hill to the finish (after having passed the pub .... surely a necessary change next year) speaks volumes.

This race was dedicated to Darren Holloway and he'd certainly have enjoyed it. Full results at  




Posted: Sun 30th Jun 2013

As the rain thundered down in the morning, Clougha was looking like being a wet affair - but all turned out well for Chris and his organisation.

Danny Hope and Mel Hyder won their senior races closely followed by a gaggle of Bowlanders - full results are on the Clougha page.

Steve Swarbrick took the club honours, closely followed by Mark Chip and Mike J

Photos from Mark Saunders who must have been hiding in the heather somewhere.



Posted: Thu 27th Jun 2013

Maybe it was the draw of the English champs race at Buckden Pike, or the reports from last year of having to be able to swim across raging torrents, or the reports from last year of visits to Eskdale, Hardknott, 3 shires stone etc .......

Anyway, a "select" crowd turned out for this tough Lakeland race - only 13 miles but with 7000ft of ascent and plenty of route choice it is one for the connoisseurs. Graham can't stop racing at the moment and he and Leigh were already at Stool End farm when we arrived in Mike's new-ish space ship with our own special guest star, Terry Houston. We'd avoided the predicted chaos of the Great North Swim by a devious route and even managed to pick up a log for the burner on the way so the day was off to a good start.

With the clag firmly down on the tops and forecasts of rain, 55 set off up the Band although only 53 made it to the top of Bowfell. Multiple routes were taken but none seemed distinctly faster and the pattern was set for the race. There was much bunching in the clag to find the route off Bowfell and at one point I was headed for the wrong top on Great End when Jon Helme crossed my path at 90 degrees on his way down - kindly pointing out my error. So, no surprises, by Scafell Pike there was a good bunch with Mike and I firmly in it all watching each other carefully. We struggled to find the cut down and ended up by the stretcher box, then struggled to get the traverse into foxes tarn gulley until we spotted the marshall. By Scafell, we were all together again, one happy(ish) family. With the clag as thick as ever we kept erring on the side of caution and probably descended too close to the ridge but it was safe and we got the checkpoint at Sleightside spot on - unlike leader Jon Helme who appeared behind us!

Mike and Chris had spent the journey up trying to explain their cunning "buttress" route down into the Great Moss but I was glad to have Mike with me as guide as we disappeared into ever steepening ground. Those following expressed their concern but Mike leapt down at great speed and we were soon racing down perfect scree at the bottom, in the lead we reckoned ... except where did that lad come from way down there?

The next checkpoint is a long way off but I was climbing well .... or so I thought until Joe Blackett caught me on the next climb and then dropped me on the climb up Blisco! Mike wasn't too far behind but I could see Steve Birkinshaw had caught him up - last seen on Scafell. The descent off Blisco is brutal and I bottled the longer route too early, ending up in the rocky steps and heather, damn. Finally emerging onto the steep grassy cone to the river I could see the two infront now but I'd gained nothing on them and so it finished. 3rd overall but happy with a time under 3 hours. All down though to Mike and Chris - if only I could make their Wednesday reccies!

Mike came in 5th, then Graham followed immediately by Chris, then Leigh and lastly Terry - he'd enjoyed his day and had only done the race because it visited Sleightside which was one of the Wainrights he needed  to bag. Unfortunately, with the checkpoint not on the actual summit he'll have to go back again.....


Posted: Tue 18th Jun 2013

Warm sunshine greeted the runners at Fell Foot for this years race - summer is finally here!

21 Bowlanders turned out for this one accompanied by the usual supporters and in the absence of "The Blackpool Missile" and "The Duddon Tumbler" it was looking like a good opportunity for the rest of the club to get some points. Danny Hope led from the off and was never troubled but behind him the club battle lines were being drawn. Sarah had a fantastic run coming in as First Lady, Dan Clark looked very handy and pushed Mark Chip close, Mike and Rich too-ed and fro-ed,  Chris couldn't believe his luck when the trio infront failed to follow the flags allowing him to sneak infront, Mark Saunders looked happy to be off the tarmac, Declan got the better of Leigh this time, Pete Shanahan and Paul Johnson had a good tussle and both Richard Davies and Mike Gibbison had to get their elbows out in the finishing straight to stave off the opposition.

A real lung burster of a race and made even better by cheap pints in The Sun Inn and food ... all for £4!!! A big thanks to Mike and the rest of the Preston Harriers for all their work.

Club results were;

1 HOPE, Danny Senior Men 00:28:40
2 MELLON, Richard Veteran 40 Men 00:29:15
3 JOHNSON, Mike Veteran 50 Men 00:29:22
5 CHIPPENDALE, Mark Veteran 40 Men 00:30:01
6 CLARK, Daniel Senior Men 00:30:11
10 READE, Chris Veteran 40 Men 00:31:23
15 SAUNDERS, Mark Senior Men 00:31:55
19 LUND, Graham Senior Men 00:32:23
21 O'DUFFY, Declan Veteran 50 Men 00:32:43
24 WARBURTON, Leigh Veteran 50 Men 00:33:16
25 SARGINSON, Simon Veteran 50 Men 00:33:19
28 IRVING, Mark Senior Men 00:33:44
30 SARGINSON, Sarah Veteran 40 Ladies 00:34:01
34 WHITAKER, Colin Veteran 50 Men 00:34:34
39 SHANAHAN, Peter Senior Men 00:35:38
40 JOHNSON, Paul Veteran 50 Men 00:35:41
42 DAVIES, Richard Veteran 50 Men 00:35:57
52 GIBBISON, Mike Veteran 40 Men 00:36:49
65 TURNER, Shaun Veteran 40 Men 00:38:28
70 HEATON, Alan Veteran 50 Men 00:40:31
80 SIMPSON, Paul Senior Men 00:42:31
88 TURNER, Ruth Veteran 50 Ladies 00:50:45

Three races in and three different winners in the Mens, two in the Ladies - could this be the year for two new names on the trophys?

Posted: Thu 6th Jun 2013

No piper, no yachts, just another fell race, no not just another fell race, the Duddon Fell Race. After some complex negotiations we managed to rendezvous  in Richard’s car and got away reasonably on time. Small matter of a road closed at Quernmore, a one way ticket for Nick and a vomiting dog in Arnside to maybe collect on the way back was the build up -  the dog didn’t materialise, thank goodness, too sick for Richard’s father to put on his worst enemy, but Richard,…. . Anyway we had our fair share of difficulties later on … more of that later ….  Read on .

There was plenty of sunshine and discussion about whether helly’s were needed but the cool breeze meant most people took extras and wore them;  in Rowena’s case there was mention of wearing her cagoule as well. She must have been motoring well as Nick described her running off into the distance coming off Swirl Hause as Nick ambled along having his return to fellrunning as  a baptism of fire approach, slowing to a walk for the second half of the race. Crispin looked to have a good run coming in ahead of Rowena and Nick and looking a bit wiped out on the floor at the end. Lawrence had by this time set himself up as a hurdle on the finish line with camera in hand getting the low shot. Huw was there somewhere although I only saw him at the finish as were a couple of other Bowlanders. Must have been my retiring to my deckchair as the race set off that led to me missing who was there and problems later on distracting my attention from the usual socialising.  I was decked in light weight T shirt and sun hat - quite a few people made comments about me not running so I assured them I  would amble round the short course as best I could. I was however disappointed to see Dan Duxbury amongst the competition and one or two handy looking young Black Combe runners among the31 starters.

The short race goes right out of the fields to the  back of the pub on a track then up to a quarry and then left along the top walls for an eternity from quarry to quarry before heading up to Dow Crag and then back via White Pike and Caw. A good run out and I was glad of Dan and the handy Black Comber to show me the way early on, but not so glad that they stayed ahead all the way to the finish, the second half of the plan didn’t seem to happen – it never does. The race was nice a fast pace and involved mostly running, quite a novelty for Lakeland races. I dropped off White Pike well and headed directly over to the wall. I knew about the higher lines but invariably get them wrong, so I kept low and headed across the col and direct up to Caw. Straying slightly right coming off then down to the Stile was good and I managed to hold on to my 3rd place and was £40 better off for it, (£20 of which was a 1st Vet prize).

Not being able to find Richards’ car key I decided to head back up to the hills between White Pike and Caw and watch the leaders of the long race come through. This I did and was surprised at the lines being taken. The most surprising was the 2 or 3 people who must have decided my spot sheltering between rocks was the optimum line and headed towards me. One who was repaid for his trouble by looking down a 30 foot crag!!, soz. So I wandered about trying not to attract any more runners to me. Richard and co took a medium high line. Mike was moving well some time behind and went down to the wall corner. Lee and others went up on a trod between the hills and on a trod across  higher up to Caw. This reduces the climb but is more tricky and involves more potential to get the wrong summit. I’m not sure which is the quickest though. Each involves some climbing and descending before the final climb of Caw.

Anyway most of the party got back ok ! Nick was chirpy, Crispin was wiped out, Richard had been confused for Lee Warbi, so is he aging or is Lee looking young for his age, their dogs had had a great day out with Pauline and Helen. Mike and co seemed happy with ice creams, beer and Lawrence’s camera and then there was Rowena, … poor Rowena. After having a good run over 17 miles and 6000 feet of climbing she managed to upend herself half a mile from the finish and came in a real state. Just before the wall is very rough sharp rock and she must have thought this an appropriate spot to put in a bid for the Humpty Dumpty award, invented by the Reverend some time since. She must have hobbled back to the finish and was sat down and attended to. Another runner (who must also have been a doctor) washed her carefully with a hose pipe!!, cleaned her up and then put  3 or 4 patches  on her head and both knees. A lump the size of a small egg was revealed when her hair was pulled back which was upsetting just to see.  She walked to the car and got changed and looked abit jaded to say the least. Sometime later we observed her jogging back from the pub and she chatted happily on the way home so seems not to have any concussion etc. Richard duly dropped her off at A& E in Lancaster and she was going to arrange for Roger to come and collect her and the car when she’s been checked out for remnants of her glasses frame in her. I’m expecting some good shiners for the trip to Paddy’s Pole on Tuesday.

So barring Rowena’s adventures a good day was had by all, and I can recommend the not so short race as a good fast training run with some good hills thrown in. Its quite nice to get back not completely wiped out which is the usual situation after Duddon.

Sorry no photos or results, check the FRA website. Well done Richard for a sub 3 hour Duddon, 2hr 59.27 which finally beats Lee Dowthwaite’s club record of many years standing. Even with the new start place, which maybe saves 5 minutes its still a new record for us I reckon.

Get well soon Ro.


Posted: Sun 2nd Jun 2013