As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's rude to Stair

I entered the TWA a few weeks ago thinking it would be good BGR training, but only 3 days prior to the race itself I made an attempt at a recce of it and didnt even get to the top of Causey Pike, such was the direness of the weather! So I wasnt looking forward to the race itself very much at all. On the day the weather was almost perfect however, dry with clear skies and not too hot or cold.

I should point out perhaps that the TWA is an accompanying race to the famous Anniversary Waltz fellrace (AW). Its much longer though at nearly 16 miles and visits higher summits too. The distance and height are what give it the name Teenager With Altitude. This was to be my first AL category fellrace. (A for the amount of ascent-per-mile and L for long). 

Famously disorganised, I only arrived at Stair village with just enough time to get my number, pin it on then leg it up to the start. But then it turned out that it began at 10:15, not 10am so there was time for a little catch up with a couple of folk I hadnt seen in a while.

One or two lads were running in a vest, but I thought it better to wear something extra and had on a long sleeved top with my Keswick vest over the top. Most of the race I felt too hot and wished I'd gone lighter, but there were a couple of occasions I was pretty chilly too. 

Faffing about with bumbag just before the start I'd inadvertantly left my drink bottle in the van. Luckily there were several stream from which to grab a slurp of Cumbria finest and on Robinson Jackie Winn was waiting to dole out bottles of water  to his Ellenborough teammates. I'd been running with  a couple of the Ellenborough lads and was pleased to also get some of Jackies supplies.

Nick Ray is to be my BGR leg 1 navigator and seemed happy enough for me to stick with him today thus getting many great lines and shortcuts I would otherwise not have known of.  A little later in the day we were apart heading off High Snock Rigg and he took a different line up Robinson than I used. I never saw him again, apparently he ran out of everything and walked the last 6 miles. Cheers for the help though Nick - I'd have been a lot longer out there if not for sticking with you early doors.

At Robinson the TWA joins the Anni Walts race and suddenly there are runners everywhere and as far as you can see ahead the route is marked by splashes of colourful vests and bumbags. Initially I flew past folk coming off Robinson but then I was walking far sooner than most of these fresher legged people as we began climbing Hindscarth.

Dalehead descent was tough on my tired legs and after crossing the stream and a final drink I started to feel cramp starting on the last few climbs.  Catbells eventually came and I pathetically dropped off its summit - the finish in sight.

I beat 3.5 hours (and therefore Penrith Stu's time for this event 2 years earlier (but we'll not mention how poor the weather was that day)). Plenty of room for improvement then, but not a bad showing either - a grand day out.

I got into the river soon after finishing, in attempt to help my legs repair for what I was about to ask of them not very much later in the weekend.....

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