8th May - The Fellsman - 62 miles, 11,000 feet in the Dales. The weather promised to be cold, dry with a strong northerly wind and that's what we got. The ground was extremely dry which made for good running. Setting off at 9am from Ingleborough my plan was to try and set the pace the same as last year. It was hard to tell running into wind as it felt very hard and tiring. Coming off Whernside I felt better than last year but made a navigational mistake which cost me a few minutes and was very annoying. The wind was headlong all the way across to Great Coum where I made another navigational mistake and slapped myself once again. That was it for mistakes - I framed myself after that and stopped being a sheep.
The beans went down well at Dent and I started to find my pace across Blea Moor finding a good line down to Stonehouses. The sun came out on the ascent to Great Knoutberry and running across to Redshaw was warm. A reasonable line to Dodd Fell gained me a few places and remembering the line across to Fleet Moss a few more. A quick stop to fill my container with rice pudding and fruit salad and I was off across Fleet Moss. Its always hard to remember each wall and fence and I'm always glad to reach Middle Fell. Running across to Hells Gap I caught sight of the checkpoint - not as visible as last year and made a beeline for it. Down the horrid stony track to Cray. Cheese and sausages don't really agree with me so I stuck to tea and gels from then on really. Climbing Buckden I couldn't see anyone behind or in front of me and got a little despondent. I had a gel to clear the head - caffeine was needed! That kicked in before Park Rash and when the marshall said I could go on I was very pleased. Up Whernside I bounded - much cheered up and just settling down to the long run in in front of me. I felt lucky to be running in daylight and knew it would gain me time.
The long stony track to Yarnbury took forever and my stomach was really complaining by now. Once on the road I ran well but couldn't remember whether it was 2 or 4 miles and didn't really want to know (!!) so hadn't asked the marshalls or looked at my map! I thought if its 2 then I'll be under 13 hours, if it's 4 then I won't! It certainly looked a long way! Once running though it soon passed and I don't know how but the last hill felt easy. The time recorded was 9.44 so I thought I had done 12.44 and so was pleasantly surprised at presentation to learn I had done 12.39 (we started 5 mins late!).
1st Lady, 8th Overall and a New Course Record! A really nice trophy to keep for a year. Results on Fellsman website
Two nice pictures - thanks and credit to Mick Kenyon - Mick's PhotoBox - Fellsman Album