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Thread: Coniston Fell Race

  1. #421
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    Cheers. The M6 twice in a day? Such commitment!
    Given my hectic upcoming schedule, and yes, the thought of the 5 hours on the M6, I've decided to give it a miss, and get some quality training in instead...

    Good luck PeteS and everybody else running tomorrow...

  2. #422
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    Given my hectic upcoming schedule, and yes, the thought of the 5 hours on the M6, I've decided to give it a miss, and get some quality training in instead...

    Good luck PeteS and everybody else running tomorrow...
    Cheers Pete.

    I have a similar dilemma next week. I was thinking of doing Buttermere Sailbeck but can't stopover Friday so contemplating a mad dash up the M6 on Saturday morning.

  3. #423
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    Well that turned out to be a really great and (mostly) enjoyable race, in almost perfect running conditions. Had a good start up Mauldrey Bank but felt seriously sick and nauseous on the slog up to Wetherlam not helped by poor route choice. Managed to get some calories down on the way up Prison Band and a good swig of water on Swirl How and then started to feel much better. Must recce the descent off Coniston Old man, though. I lost a lot of time on the upper part but thankfully made up a few places on the grassy trods approaching the miner's Bridge. A comfortable run in and easily under 2 hours which given my (lack of) training of late, I'm really pleased with. Aim today was just to get round and enjoy it. Mission accomplished!

  4. #424
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    Well done Pete... after my weekend plans have fallen apart somewhat, I’m now rueing not travelling up! Sounds like a great day.

  5. #425
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    Shame you missed it. I think I have a new favourite fell race!

  6. #426
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    Shame you missed it. I think I have a new favourite fell race!
    So many fell races have sections that I dislike - for example ascending Wetherlam and descending Blisco in Three Shires, the descent off Thunacar Knott in Langdale Horseshoe - Coniston is one of the few that doesn't. But that descent off the Old Man needs care if it is wet.
    Last edited by Mike T; 05-05-2019 at 09:10 AM.

  7. #427
    The Old Man of Coniston was the first ever Munro I remember walking up with my parents. This is despite the fact that it is neither: a) above 3000ft, or b) in Scotland. Having grown up North of the border, with parents who would occasionally drag us haphazard gang of children up the odd hill, asking if something was a “Munro” was simply a way of gauging how long and awful the day’s outing would be. It didn’t have specific criteria that must be met to earn the badge, it was just a way of figuring out if our efforts would include a really big hill. It wasn’t until I was far too old for it not to be embarrassing, did I realise that The Munroes were a defined set. Anyway, the memory of slogging up to the slate mine in sweltering heat, while pouring with sweat, is very clear in my mind. The steep rocky path seemed never-ending. Chimes of “are we nearly there yet?” rang in the air almost constantly. I remember the twisted and rusted metal relics of the old mine and how impossibly cold Low Water felt. I even remember my disbelief watching a speedo clad old man happily wade in before pushing off for a swim. I couldn’t keep my toes in the water it felt so cold, never mind popping in to do a couple lengths. I’m not sure if we even made it up the Old Man, but in my mind, we’d definitely climbed a Munro.

    I ran the race for the first time last year, and I’d been mightily happy with my result. I’d come much further up the field than usual and I simply assumed that the race must’ve suited me really well. In reality, it was because there was a championship race the next day, which had massively thinned out the field. Ignorance is bliss. I had run well though, by my standards at least, managing the steep descent straight off the Old Man and hanging on to the speed right until I ran straight past the bridge I was supposed to cross in the final kilometer. The guy who had been just in front, suddenly appeared on the other side of the river about 10m to my left. I instantly recognized my mistake, but enthusiastic descending left me unable to run back uphill to the crossing. In the heat of the moment, I dashed straight down the mini ravine separating the two paths and scrambled back up the other side. I’d lost 10 places and a couple of minutes but at least I’d never make the same mistake again. It’s not a route choice I’d recommend.

    Race day was warm with promise of colder winds higher up – ideal conditions really. It went as it always does, heads bobbing up the road in waves before the turn onto the fell. I felt great going up this bit last year, my legs can’t be bothered now. It keeps coming. Step, step, step, occasional scurry over a flatter section, step, step, step. Reaching Wetherlam is a relief as I join running my running mate Bill. I’m both glad to have someone to run with, but also cursing the pace. We leapfrog back and forth, gaining and losing distance as the terrain panders to and protests against our merits and shortfalls. Up and over Swirl How, and it speeds up again. Trying to gauge our contours correctly, aiming to skip unnecessary summits without shooting too wide. I’m on the fence about the efficacy of our strategy, but that happens no matter which way you choose. Coming off the Old Man, Bill takes the rightward line directly East, and I take a crap line sort of North East and our company parts. The steep and tufted grass is hard to descend with its jutting rocks and uneven surface. I find myself cutting sharp turns as if I was skiing moguls, twisting left and right, highly focused on not going arse over tit. The crappness of my line is made clear as I rejoin the path at the disused quarry. I’ve barely saved any distance on the path, and I’ve still got most of the awful flagstones to descend. I was however fortunate enough to find myself in sight of people better acquainted with the route, following them as they minimize their time on the unforgiving rocky path. Flying down, last year’s missed turning is at the front of my mind, as I cross the bridge and join the path back to the start. The steep and feet slapping tarmac makes my battered feet wince, but it’s short lived with even enough beans left for a sprint finish.

    The rest of the day was spent with a quick visit to the slightly bizarre Ruskin Museum, with its interesting juxtaposition of information about the humble origins of life in the Lake District, and Bluebird, the jet engined hydroplane. Informed, if a little baffled, we sauntered along to the pub to enjoy a great post race pint of Bluebird X7, and to chat running related nonsense with the other runners.

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