Kevin Edwards completed the second of his 2 races this week with a tough outing at the Borrowdale Trail Race near Keswick:
I’m not sure how this event came up on my radar, but I decided to enter it as a bit of a warm up for upcoming Grasmere Gallop. I had hoped it woul dbe a good test of my skills on the descents as I am usually a bit like Bambi on ice an anything but flat tarmac.
I woke to glorious sunshine on Sunday morning in Wigan set off early enough to factor in some “getting lost time” on the way to the Lake District. Driving past the “walks of shames”, can of lager in hand and huddled in a blanket near Tesco, I thought, “I bet I won’t see anything like that in Keswick… well not until the Harriers are up there in a few weeks time!”
After a few aimless circuits of Keswick town centre and a couple of swear words I finally found registration, which was right next to Derwent Water lake as promised. My confidence ahead of the race wasnt helped by the thought that “if you cant find the lake you’ve got no chance of getting round the course without getting lost!”
Once kitted up it was time to make my way to the start which was a good 30min walk to the other side of Derwent water. I thought, “I am not getting l
ost again – I’ll team up”. Innevitably I not only took the wrong route, but took another 4 people the wrong way who were daf tenough to follow me. I blame the guy from Leeds, who was intent on telling me about his midlife crises for distracting me! Thankfully, we made it to the start with 10 mins to spare.
With 112 runners it wasn’t the biggest field, but there was a good showing of cl
ub vests and a few fell runner types.
I needn’t have worried about getting lost again as the route was well marked. The first few miles passed without incident, then we hit Castle Crag. It was just a wall of boulders that went up for miles. I just kept telling myself to keep running; little steps; dont start walking. I did manage to pass a few people on the climb, hit the top and and then it got worse! It was a sheer grass drop to run down. All the people I passed, passed me on the decent. To be a good fell runner you have got to be just that little bit mad!
We had flat road and trail to the 9.5 mile maker so I pulled them back a bit. We all stopped at the water point, took water on board and handed our cups back in. You don’t get at a road race!
Yet another climb to contend with, not as step as castle crieg but a lot longer. The group was still pretty much together over a technical decsent involving lots of boulder hopping: yep, I was dropped and never got back on again.
The course flattened out a bit for the last part, but was all single track and we were back to boulder hoping. Any mistakes and the Mountain Rescue would be having a trip out. The final mile was at the side of the lake. Pure relief: I could stride out a bit.
The 13k race had started 10 mins after my race, so I started to have goals to chase down the last runners from that race as they came in. My legs where absolutely battered by this stage and couldn’t muster a sprint finish
What little I saw of of the view was stunning, but most of the time my eyes where fixed to the trail. With this sort of race I think you can work hard on the sections that suit you; if you’re not confident running down the side of a mountain flat out then so be it: horses for courses.
I came 22nd 7th vet 40 and a time of 1hr 55mins 32 secs
It was a great run and would recommend it to anyone. It was ideal preparation for the Grasmere gallop where I will let you all pass me on the desents!