Sunday morning mist cleared as I drove north and by 11am Keswick visitors were strolling around in shirtsleeves soaking up the autumn sun. Fluffy bonnets of cloud sitting on Skiddaw, Blencathra and Helvellyn burnt off during the race leaving a perfectly clear and colourful landscape with temperatures around 18-19C. Hanging out by the Moot Hall before the start reminded me how attractive the centre of Keswick is, with its old pubs and cafes, especially in sunshine.
The race has been going for many years, but our starter remarked that this year’s field was the largest yet. The current course has been modified to allow a traffic-free finish on the Portinscale side of the river Derwent. This involved adding an extra loop around Swinside and Stair to maintain the distance – not sure if it’s hillier than the old course, or whether it just seemed so. Unlike on previous visits here, this time I was the only Otley runner, but there were a few vaguely familiar West Yorkshire faces in the pack. Another great event to be recommended.
Results: 1 – Russ Best (New Marske) 51.53, 2 – Chris Steele (Border) 52.30, 3 – James Appleton (Keswick) 53.39, 268 – Phil Robinson 84.46; 435 finishers.