Monday, 11 June 2012

An Invitation to A 'Great' Day Out

King Kong Corny, Rob Jebb and MMB on Scafell Pike

It's the Great Lakes Run on Saturday 16 June, that's the first long counter in the 2012 Fellrunning English Championships. It's only 13 miles, but as its 7000ft of ascent weaves its way through the Lake District's rough central fells, most of those 13 miles are rather 'challenging', at least, and completely 'unrunnable' for some. 
But today, and for a limited few days only, you have been invited to come on an armchair recce with some of Saturday's main contenders!
The Race
Let's ask organisers Ambleside to tell us about the race.......

"The race starts in Langdale at Stool End Farm, after an eyeballs-out ascent of The Band to Bowfell, the route makes a high-level summit-hopping circuit of Upper Eskdale, including Esk Pike, Great End, Scafell Pike and Scafell. There follows a crossing of what feels like Middle Earth, forging a path from Slight Side to Pike o' Blisco – fast running over the trackless reaches south of Great Moss. On a clear day it’s magic, but if the clags in then the map will definitely need to be out. The final descent from Blisco is notably steep if you choose to take it head-on."

So that's BOWFELL, ESK PIKE, GREAT END, SCAFELL PIKE, FOOT OF GULLY TO FOXES TARN, FLAGGED SECTION AVOIDING FOXES TARN, SCAFELL, SLIGHT SIDE and PIKE OF BLISCO. So reports of recces taking 8 hours are hardly surprising and yet the records are 2:37:41 (Simon Booth - 2009) and 3:30:36 (Kate Bailey - 2009).

An invitation to come on a recce

But for just a few days only, Fell Running Briefs is inviting you on a recce with, none other than, our British Silver Medalist Ski Mountaineer Ben Bardsley!

Here's Ben, don't be afraid, you can trust him, that's a Codade Horshoe buff he's got on his head, so he must be ok! Ben's meeting up with some friends today and they (like Ben) are top quality fell runners. 

Joining us on the recce are Borrowdale Fellrunners Captain Paul (King King Corny) Cornforth, this year's Grisedale Grind and Glaramara winner Martin Mikkelsen Barron (MMB) and the Jebi Master himself (and last year's English Championship runner up) Rob Jebb. I just hope we can keep up.......

Here we go up 'The Band'
Ben - "Are you ok back there?"
FRB - "I'll catch you up lads, wait at the top"
Now we've reached Bow Fell and we are looking over to Esk Pike
FRB - "Looks a bit rocky to me lads"
Ben - "Just a bit! But just watch Corny and MMB float over it"
Now we're at Esk Pike and looking over to Great End
FRB - "I think I can see a bit of grass I can run on for about two metres"
Corny - "Fill yer boots"
Heading off Great End towards Scafell Pike

OK we're heading off Scafell Pike now!
Ben - "There are some patches of grass here"
FRB - "Just finding them is the problem!"
Heading towards Slight Side

Ben - "Come on! It's good running!"
FRB - "It may be, but my legs have stopped working"

Looking back to Slight Side
FRB - "Surely you've transported us to the Alps Ben, that's beautiful!"
Ben - "Let's hope it's like this on race day"

Coming off Pike O' Blisco
Ben - "Simon Booth knows a good line off here if you can keep up with him"
FRB - "Is it nearly over Ben? I'm ruined, my legs are trashed"
Ben - "Honestly keep going FRB, I've got a treat for you at the end"
FRB - "Ugh, OK"

Back at Stool End
FRB - "Oh super, a bath with Corny, MMB and Rob Jebb - What a treat"

We hope you've enjoyed our recce today, don't forget to thank Ben for inviting us if you see him and good luck in the race! We'll hope to bring you news of the winners, shortly after the race as we know there isn't a lot of phone cover down Langdale.
Entry List
Here's the entry list.

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