A team of 10 Carnethys made their way to Loweswater and raced Buttermere at the weekend. This was an English and British Championships long counter this year and, as such brought out the big guns. I didn’t care as the results were not going to affect my scottishhillracing percentage times anyway, so I went along for the day out and a plod around. The race is organised by Cumberland Fell Runners, with substantial support from Pennine.
A survey was being run by a student for University of Bangor, asking about our emotions and discomfort before, immediately after and 2 days after the race. This lead to several folk standing around with clipboards looking various combinations of bewitched bothered and bewildered. I’ll be interested to see the results, I’d be the first to say I’m probably not the most in touch with my feelings.
The slightly overcast morning belied the true UV index, leading to lots of folk with stripy shoulders at the end of the race, which were less apparent in a red Carnethy vest. The race essentially does a clockwise horseshoe around Buttermere, from Loweswater, over Whiteside, Hopegill Head, Grasmoor and Whiteless Pike, dropping down to Newlands Pass before going on to Dale Head and from there down to Honister Pass. The route back from there includes checkpoints at the inconsiderately named ‘Innominate Tarn’, High Stile and Melbreak, before returning to Loweswater Village Hall. The Honister Rambler provides a lift back to the start for retirees with the foresight/pessimism to carry bus money.
The quality and quantity of cake at the end was overwhelming. I don’t have words to describe it, so I won’t. Suffice to say, doggy bags were provided to help deal with the surplus.
The race, approximately 35 km with 2500 m climb, was won by Carl Bell from Keswick, who, apparently (I was nowhere near the start-line) had a 20 m lead after 200 m, breaking his own record, in a time of 3h 45m 20s. Andy Fallas was first Carnethy home, 5th, in 4h 06m 34s; Jasmin was first woman home in 4h 29m 28s.
A tough, but fun, day out in great conditions with lots of sunburn and cake.
Matthew Curry took photos.
Provisional Results: http://www.c-f-r.org.uk/sites/default/files/Results%202018.pdf