Monday, 6 July 2015


The Great Lakeland 3Day 2015 Ravenglass

The Great Lakeland 3Day(GL3D) has become my Big event of the year. Big, not only because it is at least a day longer than anything else I have done, but big because it has become my favourite event of the year. 

 Traditionally, UK mountain marathons(mms) are, two day fell races, with challenging navigation and an overnight camp. There is an emphasis on self sufficiency and all the kit needed for the two days, tent, food etc, has to be carried. The routes take competitors off piste and over 'interesting' terrain. Interesting as in, all the stuff you would avoid on a normal day out, plus lots of ascent, descent and probably my least favourite, contouring.

 The GL3D do their mountain marathons differently and not just by adding an extra day. 
Quoting Race organiser, Shane Ohly "The planning brief is to design journeys through the mountains that are following classic and natural lines including long ridges, valley trails and a mix of iconic and rarely visited mountain summits."

The GL3D team really do go the extra mile. Even the night before the race Food, beer, and free camping were available. There was also a screening of a couple of running films.

 Overnight camps are also very different. Sociable and fun, are not words usually associated with mountain marathon camping, but again the GL3D team were the perfect hosts
A large marquee, cheerful marshalls, hot water, cake, a raffle, with a chance to win prizes provided by event sponsor Lowe Alpine and beer. All go to make the camps enjoyable.

Day 2 overnight campsite.
Enjoying beer, cake and Sunshine 

Not for long though, clouds rolling in

As this blog is already running late, I shall tell the rest of the story with photos and captions. Yes, I know it is a cop out but trust me, with my lack of writing skills, it is much quicker.

Day 1

B-Course 27.8 km 1,657m ascent

Starting from- Eskdale> Wasdale Head>  Pillar> Black Sail Pass> Honister Pass> Finish- Little Town.


Heading for Wasdale


Still going up Pillar

Nearly there.

Damp camp

Day 2

B-Course 29.8 km 2,224m ascent (a bit less, Bad weather course used)

Start- Little Town> Bottom of Cat Bells> High Spy> Pike of Blisco> Finish- Little Langdale 

Still Damp

Day 3

B-Course 29.0 km 2,224m ascent

Start- Little Langdale> Weatherlam> Swirl How> Dunnerdale Forrest> Dalegarth Hall> Eskdale Green> Hooker Crag. Finish- Ravenglass.

Good to see you again.
Thanks for the tow and the company.

A big thank you to Ourea Events, the marshals, competitors and all who helped make it happen.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

It's Grrrrrreat!

Rab Mini Mountain Marathon, Round 2
Great Langdale

Up at 5:30. Eat a big bowl of museli
170 mile drive. Drink electrolyte drink, to make sure I start out well hydrated.
Sign on. Hi to Mike and Nick.
Walshes on and kit checked

Dib, dibber and collect map, the has control descriptions printed on the back.
Leg it, up the footpath that leads to Stickle Tarn. 
Dib control # 18 (Bridge)
Head off piste to # 22 (sheepfold)

Onwards and upwards to #25 (another sheepfold).
Chat with this fella on way up.

Suck down a gel.
Next control #21 (West end of pond) is on top of Thunacar Knott via Pavey Ark.

Navigate/ route plan, eat and drink on the uphills. Something I learned on a Nav4 training course, many years ago.
 I make a fuss of the two Staffies I see on Thurnacar Knot.


Stunning views across the Langdale valley at Pike of Stickle #11(between hills) and Martcrag Moor #8 (top of Knoll).

It's a bit Windy.

Down and back up again to #12 (small Summit) on Rossett Pike.
I would like to pick off the control on Bowfell but I am not sureif the 40 points are worth it. It is a steep climb and I am not sure if I will have the time or the energy.
Nah! leave it. Head for #6 (sheepfold, Support SOS point)
Check my watch.The four hours time allowance is ticking away, it is time to head back to the finish, picking off whatever controls I can.

Next #7 (small pond) above Neckband Crag
Down the steep rocky ground to #4 (top of hill). It is difficult and slow going, especially with tired legs.
I bump into Mike on the way down

I spot control #5 (yet another Sheepfold) on the way down. Map and compass are great tools but so is the mk 1 eyeball. Don't forget to keep looking around. Check out the lay of the land and plan ahead.

Mike and I jog along the Cumbria way. Mike is good company and it is nice to run with someone. It helps to forget my tired legs.
Mike heads strait on to the finish, he is running short of time. I head back uphill for #19 (wall corner).
It is only a few 100 metres but my legs a tired, it becomes a slog.
I follow the wall, a sheep trod leads me to a hands on easy scrambly bit of White Crag then down the footpath, past The Old Dungeon Ghyll and a very slow jog to the finish line.

Someone gets a lift. I am sure that is cheating. Thankfully it is nothing serious and everyone is ok.

I finish with; 6 min 46 seconds to spare
220 points
10th mv 40+
38th of 140 finishers.

Cool! that is better than I thought I had done, but still 190 points less than winner, Steve Birkinshaw.

Soup and a roll, followed by tea and cake.

Call at Chaple Stile for Bluebird beer.

Stop at services for coffee and Krispy creame doughnuts. The Doughnuts are to share with Mrs Sbrt.
Long drive home.

Drink the Bluebird.

Time for bed.


More photos here

Thank you to all at Rab Mini Mountain Marathon for a fantastic event.
Thanks also to The great North Air Ambulance and Mountain Rescue

Friday, 17 April 2015


The Fellmonkey, showing me a clean pair of heals.
As always.
In reflected glory

Congratulations to my friend Simon aka The Fell Monkey. Simon is a running friend, a blogger who can actually write (not a semi illiterate caption/pun scribbler, like myself), a top ultra runner and all round good guy. 
On top of that he is now an Ashmei Ambassador. I presume this means he now has a full support crew; of phtographers and ghost writters on blogging duties. He will also have an endless supply of shiny new, clean kit to wear and a flock of humming birds to fan him, on hot days.

Best of all he will have pack of lesser runners to do all his training for him. Simon can just turn up and look good for the photo-shoot.

Of course I am only joking. You don't get to be as good as Simon, without a lot of hard work and dedication. Well done mate, you deserve it.

It's a tough job but someone has to do it

Photo stolen from Simon's blog.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Costa Adeje to Roque del Conde

From sea level in the resort of Costa Adeje to the imposing 1003m Roque del Conde. An out and back route, via Picos las Americas, Arona and Vento. Stunning views and even a littte drizzle to make me feel at home. In fact it was just like the Peak District, just more; volcanic, drier, Canarian and spiky cactusy.

Thanks to Richard for the information on maping and routes around Costa Adeje.

Roque del Conde (Roque de Ichasagua).

Yes they are sharp and yes they do hurt!

Caldera del Ray

Cheesy holiday grin


Since when did: una jarra por favor, mean, can I have my beer in a glass that makes me look a right t##t?