DP women's Billy Bland Challenge underway
And last but not least ... not entirely
sure of the time on the final leg - Nicky will no doubt give us all
chapter and verse in due course, but it's somewhere between 1 hour 40 and
1 hour 43. At least 10 minutes quicker than Billy B, and equals or
betters Dallam's men's record for the leg set in 2011. That's all, folks.
... and now for a bit of time travel ...
7.04pm. That's a new record in the bag -
16hrs and 4mins. Huge congratulations to all involved.
7.10pm. Actually, I think I prefer the
tracker to the webcam. Can't one of you run back with it to meet Helen
7.03pm. Well they're all at the Moot Hall now eating fish and chips and awaiting Helen and Pippa's arrival. Give us a wave, girls. You can see it all as it happenshere.
6.55pm. Relieved to report Lynn has
stirred and is headed for the chippy.
6.52pm. Clare reports she and Kirsty ran
leg 4 in 3hrs 28mins, which is another leg record ... and only 8 minutes
slower than Billy Bland. The trackers in the car now, mind, so suggest
y'all get on to the Keswick webcam now to keep eyes peeled for the
returning hero(in)es. I'll be back with the link in a mo.
6.42pm. Looks like they've hit the
road. Not too long now.
6.23pm. Last year, Helen, Clare and
Rachel Horn ran 1.48 for the final leg, and were thus the only leg to beat
Billy Bland's own split times (a remarkable 1.53 for the final leg). The
men's record for the leg (subject to any relay completions this month) is
held by Dallam at 1.43 ... wonder how close Helen and Pippa can get to
6.02pm. The tracker's woken up ... Helen
Elmore and Pippa Wilkie appear to be in the col between Hindscarth and
Robinson, which puts them more than an hour and a half up on schedule, and
the team on schedule therefore to complete in something under sixteen and
a half hours ... which would really be something else. More soon.
5.05pm. Well, either she's been stopped
by the Cumbria Constabulary, is visiting a tea shop near Loweswater, or
else the reception at Honister is dodgy. Previous experience suggests
this final explanation. We'll be hoping to hear more news by about 6pm.
In the meantime, I'm still a bit worried that Lynn may remain stuck in her
tent. Either that, or there's a 'no speaking to the press' news blackout
3.12pm. Confirmation from Nicky, en
route to Honister by road, that they took approx. ten minutes off the
schedule for leg three. That means 4hrs 30 mins, give or take, and it's
three leg records in a row. Kirsty Bryan-Jones and Clare Oliffe now in
charge of the baton. For those who fancy a bit of alternative
entertainment, the tracker is now making its erratic way by road in
Nicky's van to Honister. Any chance we can get her banged to rights for
3.02pm. At the Co-op in Crookes buying cat litter. No news out of Wasdale yet. Perhaps they're following my lead and have gone for a pint at the Wasdale Head Inn?
1.31pm. Just descending off Scafell summit. They've picked up another 10mins by the looks of it. Tracker likely to fizzle out at Wasdale. Time to potter back from the pub. Hopefully by the time I'm home there'll be news that Lynn's stirred from her tent ...
12.59pm. Col below Scafell Pike and gaining.
11.49am. Looks like they're at the foot
of Billy Bland's rake, approximately an hour up on the overall schedule.
My lips are currently sealed as to what that schedule is, of course, but
if you get yourselves down to the Norfolk Arms in Ringinglow, I might be
persuaded to spill the beans. Like all good hacks, I never reveal my
sources (except when offered free beer).
10.59am. Tracker indicates they're just
coming off Harrison Stickle, which means they're holding, perhaps
marginally gaining upon, the record schedule. Bearing in mind last year's
wet weather conditions, and Jenny's liking for Lakeland rock, my guess is
we might see them nibble into the schedule a bit more over the second half
of the leg - but I suspect there's not quite so much slack in this leg.
The schedule aims to knock 16 mins off last year's record split. Dr - the
Beast - Dave, is roping up on Broad Stand; 40 years young and no doubt
leaving Grandad Sykes minding the kids, so the perfect Father's Day for
all concerned. Meanwhile, back in sunny Sheffield, your correspondent is
trying to drum up support for a rendezvous at the Norfolk Arms ... or may
be the Nag's Head. Time to get the running kit on.
10.09am. Brought to you by the wonders of modern technology, you can now follow Jenny and Nicky's progress on leg three via this link. It may be that the GPS tracker is behaving a bit oddly, or it may be that Nicky's not quite got the full hang of the technology (always gratifying to be able to document her weaknesses), but either way they were last recorded somewhere just beyond Calf Crag, maintaining the advantage calved out over legs one and two. If you're really interested, you can also follow a backlog of pointless training and navving in and around Upper Hopton and the Langsett Moors. Your correspondent is finally raising himself to go enjoy a Father's Day breakfast, possibly courtesy of his best beloved daughter, but more likely not ... back soonish.
10am. Shocking allegations of financial inducements to leg two runners. It's not entirely clear who offered the topshop vouchers in the event of them smashing the leg two time, but Heather tells me they'd "... better not be lying". It could get ugly yet.
9.32am. Changeover completed, with Jenny Caddick and Nicky Spinks now on there way up Steel Fell. By my reckoning, that means Heather and Jude took a whole hour off last year's leg time which, notwithstanding much improved weather conditions, is pretty gob-smacking. 3.05 for the leg, give or take - Billy Bland took 2.44 and the men's relay record currently stands at 2.58. Still dry, with cloud free tops.
9.29am. Jude and Heather sighted coming off Seat Sandal ... if Ruth can be trusted to distinguish runners from sheep this year, then that means they've absolutely decimated last year's leg two time.
8.59am. I'm assured there's no truth whatsoever in the rumours that errant members of the road support have been skip-sifting again.
8.33am. In response to my request for an interview, Lynn offers "Yay. Not sure if I can get out of the tent though now!". I think this is a comment on how her legs are feeling rather than evidence for Fergie-like tendencies, but you can never quite tell with these cycling types ...
6.27am. Through Threlkeld, with the baton passing to Judith Jepson and Heather Marshall; the much improved conditions from last year clearly suited Ruth, Lynn and Debbie - that's a whopping 32 minutes they've taken off last year's leg time, which also means (subject to any results posted earlier this month) that R, L and D now hold the women's record for leg one on the relay, making it a full house for the DP women after last year's record breaking run. Great stuff, folks.
3am. They're off - Ruth Batty, Lynn Bland and Debbie Smith carrying the baton; the wind's dropped and the clouds are clearing. What's less certain is whether they're also carrying the "three tubs of chocs" which the women's team picked up at Buckden Pike yesterday for winning the Yorkshire championship.