9am Saturday morning and, along with about 400 others, I'm ready for the off at the playing fields in Ingleton for my 4th go at the Fellsman, a 61 mile and 11,000 feet of climb romp around 'my' Yorkshire Dales. The route is absolutely cracking, meandering in a looping arch over the southern Dales whilst making best use of all the high ground (and swamp land!) that it possibly can, from Ingleton all the way to Threshfield - garmin route here.
In the event I started quite well but was feeling nauseous (with knobs on) for a lot of the time after about 10 miles in (I blame bananas and eating too much too soon) and especially nauseous during the middle 20 mile stretch. I was actually in quite a state when I eventually arrived at the Fleet Moss food stop and, not surprisingly, quite a few runners had overtaken me in the stretch over Dodd Fell to there from Redshaw. Fortunately the bean stew, bubbling away in a huge cauldron at Fleet Moss, saved the day and I improved massively after that. I also managed to get grouped with 3 strong runners at Cray (compulsory groups of 4 must be formed as night draws in) and they gave me an excellent tow in all the way to the end, with me eventually finishing at about 10 to 2 in the morning at Threshfield. The whole route was supremely muddy and wet. And boggy. And tussock grassy. Perfect conditions then!
Oh and the full moon rising above the summit of Great Whernside, just as we were approaching it, was absolutely awesome. As was Hester cheering me on at Cray and again at the finish, even providing a much needed bottle of beer at our camp site at about 3am (Wood Nook in Threshfield, a lovely campsite by the way)
16 hours and 42 minutes start to finish for me I think, taking into a 10 minute grouping time wait at Cray that was netted off. A personal best then, although perhaps not quite the pb I was hoping for. All the same what a magnificent event. And thanks to the organisers - just stunning, as usual.
|Not a bad bunch of hills!|
|Looking back on the first climb up Ingleborough|
|Ingleborogh trig... and a dusting of snow|
|Looking towards Whernside|
|Stolly 'putting the hammer down' just starting off up Whernside|
|The fantastic descent from Whernside into Kingsdale|
|On the way to Great Coum looking back along the wall line to Gragareth - Ingleborough now on the far horizon|
|Ingleborough again - this time from Blea Moor|
|Dropping down to Redshaw - Ingleborough is always in view|
|Just before the final climb up Dodd Fell|
|Fleet Moss - tussocks tussocks everywhere!|
|Buckden Pike and Great Whernside coming into view from tussock central (Middle Tongue)|