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Helvellyn and The Dodds Fell Race 2017

May 30, 2017

The perfect bumbag still hasn’t been designed, says Dave Nuttall perusing the Kong stall at Threlkeld. Not tempted by the latest Inov8 offering he puts it back; it’s just missing that Pete Bland tightening strap, he says. Dave is here not to race unfortunately but to perform his duties as Marshal Monitor for the FRA. Well done, Dave, every little helps.

Its a busy day at Threlkeld for this AL, a busy fay of fell races generally. Elsewhere this weekend there’s been Jura, Weets champs race and Hutton Roof that I can think of; and Bowland’s been represented at all of them. What a gregarious lot.

Got to mention that standout win by Chris A at Weets; how good must that feel!

Here, on Sunday, we’ve got quite a few runners who did Weets the previous day; how do people do that; why do people do that. This sport makes fools of us at times. Carl ‘I said I’d never run two races back to back like this’ Bell, third at Weets yesterday, is here and wins this race again today.

And how about v70 Ken Taylor; Buttermere Sailbeck last weekend, Foe Edge on Wednesday and a Rossendale 10k race on Friday – and he clocks a decent time in this one too. Its a part of me is this running, he tells me in the changing room afterwards. Take it away and…well, take it away and…; he can’t finish the sentence. This former GB runner winces suddenly at a stabbing pain in his stomach. I say stomach; they took it out eight years ago, he tells me, I make the most of every day now, I shouldn’t be here.

Elsewhere, Adam Perry is here, he just missed out on the most number of peaks for a BG a week ago. And the lad who was trying for a double BG aborts here as we gather. Told you, its busy.

Its just Leigh and me for Bowland, we’ll keep each other honest today. That climb up to Clough Head is a tough start to this 15 miler and I am regretting the second vest I put on, the cool start to the day is turning into a surprise scorcher. Running over the Dodds looking west I can see majestic Scafell Pike peaking through a halo of cloud. Leigh says he forgot to look as he was too intent on keeping tabs on me. I’m pleased to feel as good as I do heading up to the trig on Helvellyn for the turnaround. And here’s Leigh not 20 seconds behind. By the bottom of White Side he’s at my side and then going up Raise I veer off to the right hand trod while Leigh continues on the walkers path. Losing sight of him till I crest, I can officially confirm that his way is quicker. He’s put 50 yards on me and the elastic band is snapped. I concentrate on picking off the runners that Leigh is passing. At this rate he’ll finish a good five minutes ahead. The return to Clough Head is always a peak or two further than is comfortable and then there’s the toe banging descent; my toes still hurt. Never mind, even though this is Leigh’s strength, I’m taking quite a few places too and finish strongly; one and a half minutes behind him. Its shirts off time in this heat and dig into the wonderful spread put on by the organisers. Wow, it doesn’t get a lot better than this; sunshine, sandwiches and showers. Thanks ROs, love this race.

Stand out performances:

Mel Price v50– what a humble, non-judgemental and tough runner she is. 1st Lady

Scout Adkin – a scottish lass running for Moorfoot on the borders

Annie Conway – ran every climb on the return; stern, gritty stuff

Carl Bell – just outstanding after a tough race the day before

Ken Taylor v70 – as mentioned above

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