Monday, 28 March 2011


If anyone accused me of tending to run mainly flat, fast courses I would plead guilty. But,as per last year, in 2011 I thought   it would be good motivationally to try  some races for the first time and if that means some more challenging routes, then so be it.  
 So, yesterday,  Pat and I took the ferry over Lake Windermere and drove around to Moor Top,
Satterthwaite for the GREAT GRIZEDALE TRAIL RACE 10.   Now beware if you ever do this one.  Moor Top (Car Park) is actually 2.8 miles beyond the village and several found access through Ambleside a better route.

   As with most Lake District races,  254 runners from all over the England and Scotland lined up for the  start at the unusual time of 1p.m.  Presumably to allow for the long journeys many will have made.  
  An away fixture but plenty of familiar faces of course.  GB international TARA KRZYWICKI, famous for her Charnwood A.C. successes but now running with Accrington Road runners
discussed  with me what the lakeland trail run might have in store for us.
  No matter how hard it might be I  said I couldn't see anyone around to beat her.
  Pat asked me what I was hoping for.  I said that it was bound to be at  the very least undulating and that if I could maintain or average 8 minute mileing I'd be happy. 
 Couldn't see an age group win if Dave Waywell of Wesham, last year's M60 winner, turned up. Never usually near him but he did tell me at Blackpool that he was suffering from arthritis. So who knows?

 The charge from the gun was maintained for more
than 2  miles  as rather disturbingly  we lost a lot  of
height  from the Moor Top.   My excesses in the garden could be felt in the right hip and the hamstring felt vulnerable as dozens swept past me on the downhill and shot on.  Despite miles in 7.18, 7.29 and 7.39 for the first 3 I must have been way back in the hundreds.  No sign of Dave W. but I knew he was well ahead.  I could see by now we were nearly back in the valley and knew there had to be some  tough climbs to come.  
 Didn't have to wait long!  Around a bend and the fourth mile sees us climb with a resulting 9.50 mile.  But  many can't cope with this drag and several are actually walking.  The tortoise is beginning to catch a few hares, I thought.

  As can be seen from this elevation/ time graph the course subjected us a roller coaster ride for the rest of the race.  Many, including some very fit young men, were finding the hills hard work  and unlike Blackpool no one latched on to share the work overtaking.  
 Meanwhile, my M60 rival, who is actually M65, came into view and the gap was closing, slowly but steadily. 

 We reached mile 8 and I did think  that from there we would coast down to the finish but no such luck. A very nasty sting in the tail with a half mile climb which did however play into my hand as I was able to pass Dave who seemed to be limping. He explained afterwards that his painkillers didn't last for that length of race.
  Meanwhile, 10 minutes in front,  first lady Tara K. (63.52)
and partner Chris Black ,  pictured here ,were no doubt  already
enjoying their cake and isotonic drink. Finishing in 21st and 22nd place.  Well within themselves I suspect.
  It was good that I had not left my effort to win the age group any longer as the last "mile" only took 3 minutes and 20 seconds!
Actually it was only .49 mile from 9 to the finish. The total course just 9.49 miles....... not 10 miles after all. 
  The organisers  do describe it as the most scenic traffic free 10 mile (approx.) forest trail race in the country so in truth they don't claim it to be accurate.

 The downhill seemed to balance out the uphill stretches in the second half of the race. So quite happy with miles of 7.34 7.22 7.52 7.53 in the back half.  
 Young Ben Abdelnoor of Ambleside won the event in 55.45.  But there were 4 M40s were in the first 7.   My cautious first couple of miles seemed to pay dividends as I eventually  ran through to 78th and was indeed confirmed as 1st M60.  
  Pat's support being rewarded....... the prize; a bottle of red wine. 
  What did I learn?  Well, it was tougher than I expected but compared with many I seemed to cope well enough.  Tough but the climbs,  being on forest trail paths,  were runnable . No walking with hands on knees as in a fell race. 
  But,  perhaps most of all, we learnt about a great venue for training runs in the future as we spend more leisure time in the area.    A bit more time spent covering this  type of terrain and perhaps the bottom of my calves wouldn't hurt as much as they do today!



  1. Well done Terry on 1st M60. Sounds like an awesome event in a most beautiful area of the Lake District. Regards, John

  2. Congratulations Terry on your M60 win. When I saw Dave Waywell's name in the list of runners I thought you'd be struggling - but you did it!!!
    I think you'll agree it's a nice runnable low key race with good views of the lake and hills in the second half.

  3. Thanks, John. One for you next year during a Lakes weekend away?
    Thanks also Gordon. Well done to you on your Thirsk run. Looked like you had a titanic battle with Harold Dobson. Look forward to reading about it. T.

  4. Terry, I haven't quite lived it down yet, being beaten just one second by Harold Dobson! And the MV70 winner was less than ¾ minute in front. It was very tight between us. Ah well, another day!

  5. I really fancy the 15km Coniston Trail Race in October but it's on a Saturday and the logistics of getting there in time are proving troublesome with my good lady and work. Getting long weekends away when you're self employed isn't easy as I'm sure you found when setting up your business. Nevermind, perhaps as you say, next year! I have another local event in mind for October which should keep me out of mischief. Cheers, John

  6. A great read - well done Terry and thanks!