I successfully completed my first full Borrowdale fell race this weekend. I’ve ran Borrowdale twice before, but never completed to entire course, So this was quite an achievement.
The first time i tried getting around Borrowdale, was just after taking up fell running, i had no idea what i was taking on. At the bottom of great cable I met the legendary Joss Naylor for the first time, he look one look at me and said ‘ladd if you don’t lengthen your stride your never gonna make the cut off”, he was quite right of course, I missed the cut off on Honister pass my a good 25 minutes, and rode uncerimoniusly back to the start in the back of a passing builders van. The second time was in 2007, when the mountain rescue manning the checkpoint at Scafell summit, rule the weather conditions were too poor to allow runners to attempt it, and the course had to be shorted to miss that section.
Borrowdale is a Lakeland legend, not only because its one of the older races, or because its one of the ‘Lakeland classic series’, nor because of the length or steepness, but because in order to get around it in a decent time, you need to use all of your fell running skills. Its quite often misty with poor visability – so you need to be able to navigate, its a long and steep – so you want to carry as little water as you can, topping up from streams on the way around, and then there’s the strategy of knowing the hills and picking the right route for the day, with various runners trods to choose from you have to decide between taking a short cut that may save you a few hundred feet but could end up a bog that will slow you uo and drain your energy.
As borrowdale will be the closest i’ll get to running the kind of hills i’ll face in india, I followed it up with a series of running to or from work this week, clocking up around 76 miles in total, and getting by stats for august back on track, with a bit of luck i’ll fit in another Lakeland Classic in September before starting to tapper down, for the Himalayas.