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Thread: Eskdale Elevation

  1. #31
    I was wondering if I can get a ride out with anyone running this Saturday?

    I'm coming up on the train and can meet at the following stations:
    Oxenholme 0905
    Kendal 0915
    Burnside 0919
    Staveley 0925
    Windermere 0930

    Thank you very much.


    Andrew Han

  2. #32
    Master GeoffB's Avatar
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    Hope to see everyone this Saturday. Once again I'll be on Great Barrow watching all the different route choices from Scafell - mist permitting of course!

    Had a walk around the route on Easter Saturday - it was almost impossible to make forward progress from Whin Rigg summit due to the ridiculous headwind.

  3. #33
    I'm doing this race for the first time and I've been looking at the possible routes over to Whin Rigg from the start. I'm not on Strava so I don't know what runners have tended to do in previous races.
    I was considering doubling back down the road to Beckfoot Bridge and heading over via Blea Tarn and Siney Tarn. It looks a bit more direct and there's slightly less climb but I've no idea what it's like underfoot.
    Any thoughts anyone?
    Last edited by The Cat Herder; 13-04-2018 at 09:43 AM. Reason: more detail
    Andy Armstrong; Clayton Harriers

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Herder View Post
    I'm doing this race for the first time and I've been looking at the possible routes over to Whin Rigg from the start. I'm not on Strava so I don't know what runners have tended to do in previous races.
    I was considering doubling back down the road to Beckfoot Bridge and heading over via Blea Tarn and Siney Tarn. It looks a bit more direct and there's slightly less climb but I've no idea what it's like underfoot.
    Any thoughts anyone?
    Did it last year, you take the track over White Moss, it’s a bit of a dog leg, some of us tried to cut the corner over tussocky ground which was hard going and slower than sticking to the path. Dropped into Miterdale then up to Whin Rigg fairly direct.

  5. #35
    Thanks to all the marshalls & organisers for a great event. I was a bit surprised about the last minute extra kit requirements, especially with such a settled forecast; fortunately it was a vest day, even a no-vest day at one point!
    Finished with a pint, sat in the sun outside the pub; as it should be!

  6. #36
    Master GeoffB's Avatar
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    Well, it's that time of year again. There's not much else happening on Saturday so you might as well head over to Boot for this belting race. As ever I'll be sat up on Great Barrow doing the radio relay stuff with a pair of binoculars, hopefully watching all the different route choices.

    All the details are here.

  7. #37
    Eskdale Elevation Fell Race

    On the official race website it states: “This is definitely NOT a race for novices. It has only three checkpoints - Whin Rigg summit, Scafell summit and Eel Tarn. The route is completely unmarked, covers some very high terrain and the route choice and navigation are completely your own responsibility - the route indicated on the map is a general suggestion only”.

    There you have it, straight to the point: Eskdale Elevation is a ‘proper’ fell race!

    On arriving at the beautiful Eskdale village of Boot I feel it’s only fitting to turn down the car stereo. The ambience and tranquility synonymous with one of Lakeland’s best kept secrets shall remain just so. There’s a time and place for Black Sabbath and Boot doesn’t feel like the appropriate venue.

    I’m parked up alongside Joss Naylor. Sideways glances and nods of acknowledgement are exchanged. Instantly my day feels complete before it’s barely begun. I maybe mistaken, but I think Joss ‘Iron Man’ Naylor actually knows me? He’s probably just being courteous, either way, I’m feeling cock-a-hoop. I’d like to use poetic license and proclaim that I spotted Joss whilst listening to the Black Sabbath classic track Iron Man. Truth be told I was listening to my mate Bill Beckett heaping praise upon Nellie my border terrier. She’s impressed my friend with her in car etiquette and takes great delight from a belly rub for her good behaviour. I lift up my t-shirt and await my belly rub... I’m still waiting.

    I ask Joss if he’s partaking in the race? He isn’t, but just for verification, in an act of bold disobedience he squeezes his Knee, a knee devoid of cartilage. You feel that for a split second Joss is looking for devine intervention, alas there is none forthcoming. Joss is a dyed-in-the-wool man of the fells. He’s the embodiment of our amazing sport. His enthusiasm for the fells is infectious: it’s evident in his voice, it’s noticeable from his body language as he looks longingly towards the Scafell skyline.

    Joss was at Eskdale Elevation as a spectator. He said it’s the type of race he’d have relished in his day...high praise indeed.

    I’ve done the race three times now. I know what to expect and with my expectations comes a tinge of sadness. The Miterdale section of the race resembles a scene from the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’ where felled tree debris is still evident. This years race is poignant as it’s the first time I’ve been in attendance since becoming a tree-hugger.

    Derogatory misconceptions put aside, this doesn’t mean I’ve started practicing Tai-Chi exercises in the woods, nor do I intend chaining myself to the next condemned Oak. I’ll leave that to the hippies and environmentalists, crack on guys and fill your synthetic boots. I’ve simply ‘embraced’ the practice of tree-hugging for its therapeutic benefits. It’s scientifically proven that wrapping your limbs around a tree has a soothing influence. A word of warning: be on the lookout for sap residue before you embrace. Sap and clothing fabrics don’t bode well together and to my knowledge naked tree-hugging could possibly be an arrestable offence that carries a fixed mandatory penalty. I’ll not risk the unclothed approach, even though I am tempted, as I’ve recently ruined a puffa jacket which in turn had an adverse effect on my well-being...lesson learned, always check for sap.

    The technique I’ve adopted involves pressing your cheek to the trunk of the tree. Be careful not to scratch your face, as it takes some explaining on how you obtained the scratches - if you’re quizzed at a later date. With this in mind, then go about picking your arboreal friend: in essence the tree picks you, its ‘green energy’ draws you in - photosynthesis apparently. Whilst embracing the tree (a full-on wrap around, or just pressing yourself against the trunk, it’s your choice entirely) you’ll almost instantly feel comfortable in its presence. Hugging a tree increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for feelings of calmness and emotional bonding. When comfortable (some trees are more huggable that others) tilt your head back and look up towards the sprawling branches overhead. It’s magical, however this stance takes some practice as initially it plays havoc with your necks cervical vertebrae. Warm up your neck beforehand by spending time with taller friends where eye contact forces the cervical vertebrae into extension. Alternatively, wall mounted televisions can do the trick if spending too much time with taller friends becomes a chore.

    It will come as no surprise that I’m not going to dwell on the finer points of the race. Suffice to say, there’s so much route choice that even now after my third time in attendance I’m still unsure of my favoured route. Give the race a try for yourself, experience a traditional fell race of the highest order. If it wasn’t for a dodgy knee the great Joss Naylor certainly would...enough said.

    Many thanks to Dave and all helpers. Well done to Max Wainwright: a fantastically talented young runner who also broke the course record. Well done also Catherine Williamson: who’d have been even quicker if she’d have followed me off Slight Side...next time Catherine.

    The following day was my wife’s birthday. Alison fancied a night away in Harrogate. I suggested we could go to Harrogate via Sedbergh as it’s practically on the way and I’d be able to squeeze in Arant Haw fell race. She agreed as there’s a cafe in Sedbergh that Alison fondly remembers from our previous visits.

    Par for the course I didn’t run well at Arant Haw. I’ve done the race three times: once the day after Three Peaks, once the day after Teenager With Altitude and now after Eskdale Elevation. I think next time I’ll do the race the day after doing nowt. After the race Alison looks more downcast than me. I’m puzzled by her flummoxed appearance and enquire what’s up? She says “that due to unforeseen circumstances the cafe was closed”. Once we’d arrived in Harrogate she also said “if I’d of known about the unforeseen nature of your ridiculous route choice, the circumstances regarding you doing the race would’ve been very different”.

    I suggested we go and embrace the large Oak tree that was majestically standing within the hotel grounds, as the experience would be therapeutic after our longer than expected journey. My wife’s derogatory comments that followed were certainly unforeseen, but given the circumstances they were to be expected.

    Tree-hugging...it’s not for everyone! Nor is traveling to Harrogate via Sedbergh!
    Last edited by Tindersticks; 18-04-2019 at 04:11 PM.

  8. #38
    Senior Member stumpy's Avatar
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    Another great report Darren - can't wait for the full, published compendium :-)

  9. #39
    Senior Member Chris K's Avatar
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    With the sad loss of Dave Jones, his son-in-law Richard took over as RO and boy what conditions the runners and marshalls had to cope with this year. Last year it was tee shirt and ice cream weather in the dale, this year the clag was down into the dale, wind, rain and dense cloud on the tops. Well done for getting all the runners round, even the one that managed to evade the controls, but finished in good fettle.
    A circular route mostly downhill

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