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Bowland 1500s, December 12th 2020

December 13, 2020

Post by Ellis Bland

I’ve been told people spend a fortune at fancy Spa’s just to get their bodies submerged in mud. The “health benefits” include anti inflammation and exfoliation, or so I’m lead to believe. In future though, I’ll point them in the direction of desolate Bowland fells for a crack at the 1500’s, it’s a damn sight cheaper and you needn’t put cucumber over your eyes.

The act of doing the 1500’s in December was not to show off or flex how tough I am (the latter at least I’ve never been accused of) but was in fact to be used as a training run for the Montane Cheviot Goat in January. However, once I started recceing the route in November I knew this would become a stand alone epic and one which would require my absolute attention and effort. I remember Rich Mellon saying to me – “that crossing from Fair Snape to Totridge is like the Somme”, I was immediately excited. A few big days on the route and I felt ready, if not a little apprehensive about the state of sludge. The recent snow melting dispersal didn’t help my anxiety. 

Photo taken 2 weeks prior on a recce on White Hill

Bright eyed I made the short drive over jubilee to Stoops Bridge car park, Abbeystead, for a 07:40 start time.  As I drove up Brow Top I was already in thick clag and with rain lashing on the windscreen it’s safe to say I knew I was in for it. I’m fortunate that The OMM provide me with kit and I had an array of jackets on the spare seat, OMM Kamleika my chosen protection (it wasn’t to come off until Grit Fell, some 8 hours later) and off I went. 

I was to run the first leg to Hareden by myself and I quickly found myself at the foot off Hawthornthwaite Track.  Of all the Bowland game keepers tracks this has to be the most barbaric. Stupendously steep, it makes Shooters look like Morecambe Prom.  Happy to see I made it onto the Strava leaderboard on this effort, though with only 5 people recording attempts on it…  The crossing to Winney Bank went without any major navigational blips and I was pleasantly surprised with how the trod was holding, could I have got away with a good running day I naively muttered to myself? Short answer NO. The next 8 miles to Hareden were comical. Driving rain, high winds, chest high bogs and about 20 metre visibility, I was properly in winter round territory and loving every second of it. Few notable occurrences happened on the first leg though I was surprised to see a group of 4 walkers at the top of Paddy’s Pole stood around like it was a blue bird day, hardy folk. I didn’t stop. A helter skelter descent of Totridge and I was with James Simon in a time of 2hrs 19 for the 14.5 mile leg.

My first of 4 glove swaps at Hareden Bridge

After a 2 minute stop to change my gloves and eat some peach rings the 2 of us put the hammer down and punched our way up the 2 mile climb to Whins Brow. About halfway up James exuberantly made reference to how good the ground was all things considered, a rye smile came across my face knowing Baxton and White Hill would be cataclysmic. Sure enough they were to be just that. A last minute route change to avoid going round Middle Knoll and instead “abseil” down Whins Fell to Foot Holme was taken. An undoubtably shorter route but with a very long and heathery climb up Baxton. Was it worth it? Unsure. Do I care to find out? No. 

The long and heathery climb up Baxton

As expected Baxton and White Hill were rough, little to know trod however we made excellent progress here and I was at Cross of Greet (COG) for bang on midday.  This is where James was to leave me and get a lift back, however I just want to say a huge thank you for his services. On paper that was a slow 10 mile run and I’m sure the Lakeland runners would scoff, but in reality that was some of the toughest miles I’ve ever done in quite frankly shite conditions. Your spirits like on all our adventures were high throughout and company invaluable.  

Climbing White Hill

I carried on through and up to Ravens Castle, Great Harlow and Thistle Hill.  A frustrating addition of 3 relatively unassuming tops, reminiscent of Fairfield on the Bob, only far worse, Thistle Hill involved a 10m swim for goodness sake.  Still with 18 miles to go I got up and down with a spring in my step knowing the irreplaceable Ian Roberts was waiting with a warm van and with an even warmer soup back at COG. 10 minutes to feed and warm up I allowed myself, I was soaked to the skin and shaking quite uncontrollably. Leg 2 done. 

After one last slice of bread I made the long trudge back up White Hill, I set myself the challenge of running the whole way up. Setting smaller challenges encompassed by the bigger challenge is something I often do, when you’re staring down the barrel I find any little success can lift the spirits. Though woe betide if I don’t succeed. I knew the crossing from White Hill to Wolfhole Crag would be the toughest miles of the day, though spurred on by the fact John Ockenden was waiting for me up there and the fact I would be on my home fells I trundled on.  Now noticeably slowing. 

I met John just south of summit and despite a quick fire bout of 3 rounds of cramp almost immediately after we joined forces (he must’ve been thinking what a pre Madonna), we then made good time to ironically named Brennand Great Hill picking up Rich Mellon on the way. I was now with 2 of the best nav men in the game though they were less than impressed with my “fool proof” way of determining the true summit of this unmarked Fell *.  

Crossing Tarnbook Wyre with Rich and John

Before I knew it we were crossing the track at Tarnbrook and picking up my Coach and friend Rowan Wood.  The going was heavy from Long Crag to Grey Crag and despite my fading legs I found enjoyment watching Rich and John tearing through the rough ground whilst holding map and compass. A skill which is dying out of the sport and which I certainly don’t possess, though one I wholeheartedly appreciate. They obviously dropped us right onto the summit.  Show offs.  Soon after John left us to get back to his vehicle, he kept a cool head when I was struggling to maintain pace and made following his heel just about manageable. 

Making the approach to Long Crag

Wards Stone to Grit Fell, a crossing I’ve sequenced a 100 times went without a hiccup and had the added bonus of bumping into Ian again for a quick round of Mince Pies.  I finally knew I’d be going under 9 hours, I put on my Bowland vest, unless any disasters the record was coming back to club. 

Grit Fell Cairn and my Pete Bland bum bag. (In memory of the great man I dedicated this attempt to his legacy). 

Legs felt good and myself, Rich and Rowan (2 of the best descenders in the business and one lad with a moustache) strided down to Rakehouse, some 6 minute miles ticked off.  After Rich got the gate for me at the track at Lower Lee I knew there was little left to do.  Myself and Rowan rolled into Stoops Bridge, my finishing time after 43.69 miles was 8hrs37:37.  A new Bowland 1500’s record.

2 happy chaps at the finish

I was humbled to see a number of Bowland members there for the arrival (all respecting social distancing).  After what’s been a frustrating year for all clubs it was an honour to provide something for us all to celebrate.  Of course the credit must go to the roadside and support runners whom without would’ve made today look like a very different write up and experience. I love this club, I’m proud to wear the orange and green and long may we continue making days like these so very memorable. 

A cracking set of supporters at Stoops Bridge.

*I scuff my foot along the ground, if my toes don’t hit anything solid we’re at the top, if they do, we’re not.

Camping with an Expert

August 4, 2020
Shaun – travelling incognito

In oh! so many ways BFR campers, Pam Ruth, Shaun, Nick and Crispin, are very lucky that I’m around to give advice and practicality when it comes to camping. So much so that I feel it a duty to be there for fear of them being unable to survive without me.

So I took the opportunity to set them tasks which they completed with varying degrees of success and competence. 

Even putting up a folding chair is met with hesitation and befuddlement. Honestly, that was a low moment in beginner’s camping. 

Well, you can’t take it seriously if they have every modern convenience at their disposal. Where’s the challenge? Where’s the getting back to nature or the grappling with basic skills?

With hesitation I moved on to tent erection and disassembly. Using my tent I performed the hard task of putting it up; impressing even myself with the time it took me to do it – 3 minutes. Everyone stood back in surprise and with not a little respect. When it came time to take it down and pack it away, Shaun stepped forward hesitantly – and with good reason. What a performance! Even as I stood back and gave detailed, precise instructions it seemed to take forever. Finally, after many red-faced contortions it was manhandled back into its little bag.

Then we sat down to recover with a grand cup of tea. In the middle of which I played my trump card. I announced I’d left my phone in the little pocket inside the tent; deliberately of course. Further practice was, in my view, a necessity. Again I did the very difficult tent assembling part; this time in 2 minutes 38 seconds. The admiration of the onlookers was tangible and I thought it right to acknowledge the assembly of my fine performance but also with my usual humility. I retrieved my phone. Shaun was grateful of the opportunity to take it all down again and bundle it away in its bag. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d have liked to say there was a significant improvement this time around. How very fortunate he is to have me around to offer one on one instruction. Shaun managed it with slightly more aplomb than before, but I shouldn’t overdo the praise as, between you and me, he needs more practice.

I feel there is a good understanding between myself and Shaun. Our roles of master and pupil are cemented. Such are my gifts he declared aloud that these are trips he’ll always remember and will leave an indelible mark on him.

Pam and Ruth’s culinary achievements are coming along very nicely indeed. I thought the ginger fruit flapjacks, toffee cookies and lemon drizzle sponge cake were tip-top. I said as much and they were both grateful to receive these compliments from their resident expert camper.

Ou next planned BFR camping trip is August Bank Holiday at Coniston Hall camp site again – until then, keep practicing – and soon you’ll be as good as me.

Pam, Ruth, Shaun and me


Lottie in her element



The Fusedale Round

July 4, 2020

by Gavin Birchall

I know I’ve only just joined and haven’t even met anyone yet but I have some pictures from a perfect run last week before the rain came. The Fusedale Round.
Having watched the weather like a hawk and given myself some time off, I got up at 5am, as is my usual approach, and drove up to Martindale, parked near the church in the empty car park (early bird). My current running partner (Pippa The Tireless) and I were very excited, this being our first time on the hills since lockdown began. We had an amazing, if slightly warm, time running on a deserted round overlooking Helvellyn et al to the West and the Eden Valley to the West. Blissful. Took some snaps and shared below. The panoramic shot from the top of Loadpot Hill is particularly nice with a choice of 5 paths spread out before us. The shot on the way down the steep side of Bonscale Pike reminded me of the Alps it was so sunny!
I quite fancy doing the Kentmere Round next decent weather window we have if I can navigate the village. Know anyone who’d be up for that? I’m probably a lot slower than other members but I like a long run over the tops.


Land of the Peat Hag

June 3, 2020

Guardians of the Mist

Even today few wander near the crop of trees. It has a permanent appearance of being wrapped in a fine mist even on the best of days. Looking over at the Bowland Fells from the slopes of Pendle Hill induces a disquiet, a shiver, and it runs through your soul. Its malign influence responsible for the sorcery and witchcraft on Pendle through the centuries.


Bleasdale Circle in the distance

One hears of these things nowadays but we shake off any notions of other worldliness; of dark goings-on that can’t be explained away by science and logic.
Legend has it that when these fells have an appetite for a traveller’s soul, it shakes off its shroud of mist and its brooding presence to entice the unwary. It becomes a vision of beauty and comeliness.                                                                                                          Rumours abound of the Twin Guardians that walk these fells, Ruth and Pamela; two ancient bandruí names that have become popular again. The druidic circle at Bleasdale their lair of repose and place of sacrifice.


The Peat Hag

Travelling nearby one bright and sunny day I was taken aback by the beauty and vision of what normally is a cold and unfriendly place. An overwhelming urge to change my plans possessed me and, trancelike, I found myself in the foothills of Parlick Hill. I set off at once to climb it and with great effort made it to the top and was greeted by visions of more comely fells that took my breath away. I wandered for hours in the heat of the noon sun, slaking my thirst in the numerous sparkling streams, a sense of euphoria overtaking me. I walked, I ran, deeper into its bosom and did not encounter another soul.

Bowland is the land of the Peat Hag; poor souls who have wandered too near and fallen under the spell of the Twin Guardians, the High Sorceresses, Ruth and Pamela. By day these Hags exist under pristine mounds of rich, upland earth and rise after dusk to stalk the land. Or summoned by the Twin Guardians, they rise to do their bidding.

The Hag Dunes

And in my wanderings I came across a small hairy caterpillar. I say it was small and yet it was large for a caterpillar. I paused to look, not realising the peril I was in. For behind me and approaching fast was a writhe of monster caterpillars, Peat Hag transformations, summoned by the Twin Guardians to wrench the soul from my body and feed the heart of these forlorn hills. My very shirt was torn from my back and piercing shrieks filled my ears ‘devour him, my beauties. Let no mortal soul escape this forbidden land. Feed on his soul and let him become one of us’. The Twin Guardians, Ruth and Pamela, were abroad and their bloodlust unsated.

I ran witlessly, with no mind for where I was going, ever deeper into the Trough of Bowland. I stumbled into the Hag Dunes, the very lair of the land, known as Fiendsdale. There was no avoiding them, and crawled out only to fall into another. It was hopeless and I prepared to face my fate.


But fate had a twist and a glimpse of salvation appeared. An Undead Wraith, a devoured soul, known as a g’Ando, appeared and pointed to my path of escape.

I bolted where the undead finger pointed and ran and ran. And when I slowed, g’Ando’s in the form of sheep appeared and urged me forward and upward through the wild ferns and scorched heather. And they didn’t stop until I was within sight of a farm. They stopped and returned from whence they came, forever to lay themselves in the Hag Dunes and succumb to the bidding of the vengeful Ruth and Pamela. I escaped into the farm and looked back to see a land shrouded in mist and heard a faint and chilling screech hanging in the wind.


So be warned. When those hills of Bowland entice you in, when their flanks are bathed in warmth and sunshine, that is the time of your greatest mortal danger. Avert your gaze, look not left nor right, hasten your pace lest your very soul become bound to those dark hills.



Ilkley Moor Fell Race 2019

March 4, 2020

88053877_10157132622149103_3903255158934470656_nby the McBourne

“On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at” as I’m sure most of you will know translates as “On Ilkley Moor without a hat”. I’m very fond of a hat. Some of you may have noticed. Over the years many a bobble, baker boy, beanie, bucket has graced this bonce, but there is one form of millinery that I’ve never ventured near. The beret. Don’t get me wrong; I can drop Jack Kerouac quotes willy nilly and I own nearly every record John Coltrane made daddio, but I’ve yet to dive wholeheartedly into that hipsterdom beatnik staple that is the beret. C’est la Vie.

Local knowledge is an advantage in most fell races and Ilkley Moor is no exception. The number of people starting meant that unless you got a serious wriggle on to Backstone Beck you were playing catch up for the rest of the race. I’ve been stuck in a few bottlenecks in my time, but none quite as frustrating as this. Some runners found it a chore to go ankle deep in mud glorious mud, but that’s part of the fun isn’t it?

And there were a lot of runners. Boff Whalley of the band Chumbawamba, who is also a very experienced fell runner, Tweeted that he arrived without pre-registering only to be told that the 500 limit posted online was wrong and that the race was full with 400 runners. He got knocked down, but he got up again.

Once the first climb via the Cow & Calf to the Pancake Stone is out the way, you get stuck into the first descent of the race before returning steeply on the opposite side of the beck, plenty of opportunity to receive a mud face pack from the runner in front’s boots. Despite the race being just shy of five miles; there’s a good mixture of ascent and descent with the running along the Ilkley skyline offering up the chance to gain a few good places as well as cracking views. Although a word to the wise; going AOT in a Yorkshire bog combined with bitter winds does not make for warm hands. And I doubt that’s an old Yorkshire proverb either.

My only previous experience of a fell race on Ilkley Moor was Dick Hudson’s, an early summer charge across the moor, touching a pub door before returning the same way. Gets interesting towards the end, with a number of possible descents back into Ilkley. Fortunately one of those choices is the final plunge back to the finish line for this race, so I had braced myself. Following the main trod down, which by this stage was a slippy slope, was accompanied by Scooby Doll style comedy drumming as I skiddalded from one foot to the other. A safer bet was to head for the bracken; at least it would’ve been a more comfortable landing should the need arise. But all Bowlanders were back home safely; sterling performances from David Wilson, Tom Smith, John Ockenden and Simon Bennett.

Returning home I was relieved to hear that our puppy Albert had not done a whoopsy in the house thereby curbing my need to embrace my inner Frank Spencer. Shame. That could’ve been the excuse I was looking for to procure myself a beret. C’est la Vie.

Bleasdale Circle Fell Race Report 2020

February 18, 2020

by Dave Littler

It was a close-run thing and the approaching Storm Dennis certainly landed some early hefty blows that forced the Bowlander’s hand. But after a flurry of emails, a great deal of sound advice and a sleepless night (did you know that weather sites don’t update every 30 seconds?) – Bowland just came out on top with a points victory. The race was on, albeit in a shortened form.

It was decided to run the race along the normal route up Fairsnape Fell to Paddy’s Pole and back the same way. The run along the ridge to Parlick was abandoned as it was considered too hazardous for the runners and the marshals stationed on Parlick. This gave a course of almost 4 miles and 1200 feet of climbing in old money – throw in the odd gale force gust along with a few damp fields and there was enough to challenge anyone.

In the sideshow that was the race, a reduced field of 59 set-off from the village hall just as the wind started to pick up and the rain came down horizontally. Luckily for the runners, the wind helped carry them up to the summit. Not that we could see from race HQ as anything above 200m was lost to cloud. Apparently, Sam Harrison (Bowland FR) was first to Paddy’s Pole closely followed by Danny Hope (Horwich RMI Harriers). The race back home was won by Sam who had 15 seconds over Danny at the finish. Next home was a quartet of Bowland runners led by Oli Heaton and Sandy Lockett meaning that the Men’s team prize was staying close to home in Bowland.

The women’s race was won by Finty Royle (Chorley A&TC) who had almost three minutes on her closest challenger Debbie Gowans (Accrington RR). Finty was also the winner in the U23 category – another strong performance by the England Mountain Runner who finished 16th in race overall. Bowland ladies carried off the team prize – ably represented by Rowena Browne, Sophie Fosker and Mary Ockenden.

It was quite a challenge for my first year as race organiser. But the smiles and feelings of the runners at beating the course and the weather more than made up for the anxiety on Friday night. Of course, the race would not have been possible without an army of helpers and marshals – there are too many to list here but you all helped get the race on. A special thanks to Leigh Warburton who has organised the race for the past few years who kept me on track and gave me the belief to get the race organised.

Thanks also to Wynn, Pauline and Rosie who warmed-up the runners, helpers and marshals after the race with some great food. A cake sale by Rosie raised £62 which will be donated at Wynn’s request to the Andrew Farmer Melanoma Research Fund.

Roll on 2021



Clough Head Fell Race January 11 2020

January 16, 2020
by Rowena Browne
Matt and Co were not the only Bowlanders out racing last Saturday and where we were, the promised gales most certainly did not wait for us to finish racing.
Indeed there were 5 Bowlanders out, 3 of whom came back with prizes. Also of note there were more Bowland ladies racing than men. Is that a record?
The forecast was such that the organisers made a wise decision to shorten the course and avoid the summit of Clough head itself. The route was flagged and used dibbers that were SIAC enabled. This meant that when you got to the control you did not have to physically put the dibber in the slot but just wave it somewhere nearby and it registered your presence.
On turning at the first checkpoint, I was nearly bowled over by the wind. My legs would not move fast enough as the gales tried hard to push me too fast. Similar winds on the summit of Clough Head would have been dangerous as we would have been blown towards the edge and potentially off it.
Still we all survived and enjoyed a great little race.
Prizes for Helen Ockenden 3rd LU23, Mary Ockenden 2nd LV60 (although looking at the results again today she is down as 1st LV60 as the previous first LV60 is down as missing a control) and John Taylor 3rd MV70
Well done all


January 16, 2020

by the McBourne

I like Ashurst Beacon. When on Christmas Day you’re sat polishing off a slab of Stilton the size of a breeze block and knocking back the Port like it was Um Bongo, you say to yourself “ah, don’t worry, I’ll be back again racing soon”. Well, Ashurst is the “back again racing” bit.
It’s not a massively challenging fell race but it’s a good loosener into the New Year. As my good friend Bill Beckett of Chorley pointed out; the last climb up to the Beacon can feel like a wall after you’ve traipsed five miles over the claggy West Lancashire countryside.
And being near to Cheshire, I Googled famous Cheshire residents and was met with the flowing locks of Harry Styles. Come on Google, don’t you know that Noddy Holder now lives in Cheshire? And we’ve just been singing his most famous song for the past month!
The race itself is a circular six miler with just under 1,000 feet of climb taking in farm tracks, muddy fields, woods and quite a bit of tarmac. You even get a bit of canal tow path chucked in. It’s certainly runnable all the way round, although my Bowland colleague John said that he walked a lot of the up’s before admitting later “I need to get fitter!” As The Carpenters so eloquently put it John, “We’ve only just begun”. Ages to get match fit for 2020.
Not so James Simon who storms his way to a very credible fourth spot overall. I mentioned to John on the way down that we live in crazy weather times; first race in January ran only in a vest. Last race run in November; ran only in a vest! Although the aforementioned James did seem to be having a wardrobe dilemma pre-race. I think I saw him in vest, long sleeve and waterproof. More changes than your average Strictly finalist.
The promised gales held off until after the end of the race, which is a bonus because the view from the Beacon across the Liverpool skyline to North Wales is impressive to say the least. So thoughts now turn to the next race, our own beloved Bleasdale in February. Although I may hold off on the pre-race Gorgonzola from now on in.

Tour of Pendle 2019

November 17, 2019

There it goes again. And I nearly fall flat on my face for no apparent reason. If anyone knows how to remedy what seems to be a trapped nerve atop the foot caused by the lacing on my shoe, your advice will be much appreciated. I’ve had it for years now and can’t seem to find a solution. Different lacing methods haven’t worked, nor has the Salomon lacing system. Elastic laces as Nick H suggests maybe? Anyway, let me know. 

Btw, don’t try and leave comments on here because you can’t; not till I work out how to switch the moderator status over to myself. And that’s easier said than done.

On Thursday evening a bunch of us, organised by Sam, head up to the Kendal Mountain Festival in the middle of Kendal. It’s a sell out and not much meat on the bones of those attending. We are treated to films and live interviews of mountain runners doing great things and star billing is given to our own, because you are Dazbo – kind of, Darren Fishwick. Anyway, he owns the stage and the audience with his performance but he would have done even if he just stood there and ate a sandwich. He’s just one of us foot soldiers with a quirky sense of humour and a dab hand at Northern prose; top job Darren. Sandie wins the £100 raffle, lucky chap.

But the funniest moment was yours truly at the bar trying to order a cup of KMF Rusable for £1. ‘A cup of your finest KMF for one pound’ says I. ‘Wot’? says the comely barmaid. ‘Your finest KMF’ I repeat and point to the sign below the beer taps. The chap beside me sniggers and I turn to see him and the comely barmaid exchange glances. ‘That’s a Kendal Mountain Festival Reuseable Cup for one pound’, she says. Honestly, my eyesight nowadays. I settle for a pint of Guinness.

Race day itself does not start auspiciously. The McBourne bows out with trochanteric bursitis, don’t ask me, but it’s serious if Matt has to miss his favourite end to the season. And then Rowena sends an SOS as she’s run into some debris on the motorway and its slashed one of her tyres – that’s her and Sophie F not going to make it either. 

The day is grey and mizzly but no wind and then the mizzle lifts. For doing this 17 miler the conditions are perfect and there are still a goodly amount of GandOs on the start line. Even though the temperature doesn’t get into double figures I regret not starting in a singlet only. The secret, as anyone who’s familiar with this course will tell you, is to get to Geronimo like you’ve done nothing; for this race does not start till the ascent out of Ashendean. If you’ve over-egged it before this point then you are going to suffer, end of. A case in point is going up the Big End where I encounter a young lad literally staggering backwards – bonked good and proper. Eyes glazed over he is in a world of pain. I give him a Jaffa cake and tell him to keep working through it. The Jaffa cake is provided by Dave ‘the legend’ Tait who’s marshalling the checkpoint at the bottom – he’s set out three plates on a blanket all with various goodies on them; champion Dave.

Yes, the course is a bit soft, actually knee deep in mud in places and a large stone loosed by the runner in front tumbles down onto my shin as we come out of Mearley Clough. As it continues down I holler ‘rolling stone’ which prompts a refrain of ’Satisfaction’ from the runner behind. Humour at that point of proceedings is laudable.

As usual, the Race Organiser, Kieran Carr, and all the CLeM assistants and marshals do a superb job especially with the added difficulty of restricted parking at Barley. It all goes ticketyboo and I know he’ll have fretted himself no end to make it happen so. We love you loads Kieran. I think I also spot the FRA Chairman there. Has anyone noticed that her name, Charmian, is an anagram of her position? A fine example of Nominative Determinism. I, myself, am waiting to turn into a Candle.

I spoke to Charmian at the KMF and what a good egg she is; we’re very lucky to have her.

So for all of our ten quid we get free attendant parking, a t-shirt, a bottle of beer and a run round one of the great landmarks in the north. And if you’re Leigh Warby you also get a winner’s extra swag to walk away with albeit he is run close by the next v60; only four seconds in it. A head to head like that after three hours of racing must have hurt, I bet. Well done everyone.

Some more notable points about this race; John G forgot to bring his usual pork pie mid-race nutrition and is slightly mithered by it.

Dom H is pale and nauseous and eventually sick at the finish and blames the gel he downs on the road run-in. Nothing at all to do with the scrambled eggs and bacon and avocado you had for breakfast then Dom?

Arnside race today for some of the club, good luck to you all.

Also, great result for Sam H at the Kendal Trail race on Friday. This boy is smokin’ right now.

If you are worried for the bonking youth staggering up the Big End, he managed to hold it together and get to the finish eventually. I saw him in the village hall and he seemed okay.

Dom, seated, and long distance Bowland stalwart Martin Hurst all the way from Shropshire


Myself, washing off muck in the cold stream at Barley



Rowena’s SOS



John ‘where’s my pie’ Graham in village hall after the race


John’s forgotten mid-race pick me up

Screenshot 2019-11-17 at 14.51.38.png

Dunnerdale Fell Race 2019

November 3, 2019

A huge contingent of GandOs take the field at Dunnerdale. And the lure of free beer means that every care is taken to fill the cars to quota. The answer to global warming is thus revealed – free beer will take 75% of cars off the road. Why has it taken so long to come up with the obvious?

But, disaster, the post race pies haven’t arrived. They’ve been ‘pie-jacked’ says Sean B. Free beer will not compensate a pie-jack.The gaunt faces seem gaunter and anxious eyes scan the horizon. They try to raise a ‘chopper but no pie-lots are available to fly it. Minutes pass and a cheer goes up, distant at first but steadily louder. Hoorah, it’s the pie van and a Praetorian Guard of fell runners escort it to the village hall. The pies are distributed in an orderly and solemn silence; the needy, the old and the very young first. But all will be fed.

Enough. The race…kind of.

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again; there are beautiful fell races and then there is Dunnerdale. Only the uncouth and the contrarian would say otherwise. The whole beauty of the Lake District encapsulated in one five mile race.

Of course, if, like me, you take a few seconds to muse and admire the surroundings, the majesty hereabouts is revealed. Unlike Nick H, who’s suffering under raised lactic stress allows no room for such weakness. Nick has a scintillating run that surprises himself mostly. And Crispin, who is himself in great form. A very good scalp to take.

There is also a very healthy changing of the guard at the sharp end of the club’s front runners. By Richard’s own admission ‘about time too’. Sam H leads the GandOs home just pipping Oliver H, then Rich followed by James G. Long may the contest continue. Several new faces at the club were present – a very warm welcome to you all and great to see the charming Simon Bennett running, all the way from Pontefract. I had the privilege of supporting him on his successful BG earlier in the year.

Prizes went to Nick H for v60 and John T for v70.

Thank you ROs and marshals for a great day out and in particular to Anna Lupton who carried out the principal role with great panache and humour – you were a credit.


Anxious faces scanning horizon for missing pie van

results to follow.