While Matthew and pals headed north last Saturday I went in the other direction to a part of the country hanging off the bottom of the Lakes that I’d otherwise probably never have visited. Starting from Milnthorpe Cricket Pavilion, the Silverdale Circuit is a 21-mile trail race which moves in and out of Cumbria and Lancashire, takes in lots of muddy paths, some coastline hanging over the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay, a few small hills, and some Fairy Steps to be squeezed through (tricky with girth).
This was my second event organized by Ascend Events; the previous one was a drenched and misty Four Passes starting from Rosthwaite Village Hall last October. These are very inclusive friendly events, with walkers starting an hour before runners and little focus on winners and trophies (but still some excellent runners leading the way); more of a focus on a good day out with well-stocked feed stations, and a warm meal, trifle, cake, hot drinks and good conversation waiting at the finish.
This course involved a lot of navigation work, especially as the field thinned out in the second half. In ‘Seven Hills spirit’ runners would appear in front of you, you’d overtake them, and then find them in front of you again. All good fun, and, as I said, nicely uncompetitive… well… for somebody used to contributing to the last 10% of the field in Baddingsgill Rounds, it was good to come in 24th (results). Although on closer analysis this turned out to be 23rd human as Pedro in the ‘K9’ category came in well before me – well he has more legs.
I’d recommend these events. They run four in the year. The Derwentwater Dawdle (22 miles) in April and their toughest run (Five Passes, 33 miles) in July already have Carnethy representation. I’ll be back for the Four Passes again at the end of September in the hope of seeing something of the supposedly beautiful route this time out. Let me know if you’re interested in joining me and we can make a trip out of this. Prices aren’t bad and I can’t recommend the trifle highly enough.