Report from shane:
Following an unexpected overnight snow fall, the Coledale horseshoe was switched to its emergency route, last run two years earlier. The revised route was just shy of 8 miles with 960 metres of elevation, including a maximum peak of 762m up Grisedale Pike. Four Otley ACer’s made the journey up to Braithwaite in the Lakes for this classic horseshoe route: in addition to myself, Jeremy Stewart, Steve Robinson and Tom Lynch were all running their first Cat A Lakeland race and all did wonderfully well. This was a fabulous route, with a long track climb up from the village, followed by a stiff final climb to the snow-capped summit of Grisedale Pike (apparently Grisedale means “pig valley” in Old Norse, but no porkers were in sight here). We then descended (I appallingly so, losing some 15-20 places easily, including to Jeremy who descended well – definitely missed my Mud Claws) a snowy, sludgy, grassy route down to Coledale Hause. The original route then climbs Eel Crag onto Crag Hill, but we were re-routed around the old disused mine and back up Outerside for a fantastic run back in along a rough old miner’s track (along the normal route). Despite blustery & snowy conditions on top of Grisedale, the weather was sunny and warm lower down, and I had to peel off extra layers on the run back in.
Jeremy was first home in 1.29.53 in 84th position. I followed closely behind in 1.30.26 (88th). Tom came home in 1.40.37 (154th), just pipping Steve in 1.41.39 (163rd).
The race was won by Ricky Lightfoot in an excellent gravity-defying time of 1.06.49; that fire-fighter training must work wonders for him!
An excellent feast followed with lots of frenzied talk about the route & a collective agreement to return for the full route.
Thanks to Steve for driving.