Saturday 6th August: Borrowdale fell race

Saturday 6th August: Borrowdale fell race

Report from Tom P:

It was an uncomfortably hot day for fell running on Saturday. I was nervous about Borrowdale as it’s a race with a reputation, a “proper” fell race. Not only that, it was a championship race and there’s no better way to make yourself feel inadequate than lining up for the start of a race with Ian Holmes, Rob Jebb, Ricky Lightfoot and Nicky Spinks to name but a few.

Tom Lynch had recce’d the route the previous weekend so my plan was to try and stick with him for a while so I didn’t have to navigate. That plan fell apart about half way up the first climb to Bessyboot as I struggled in the heat and he gradually pulled further ahead. It was boggier under foot than expected which made it tough going below Glaramara and up past the tourists on the way to the summit of Scafell Pike.

The descent off Scafell Pike was an insane plunge down a scree slope, attempting to stay upright while stones came whizzing past from above and I soon found myself heading down the corridor route towards checkpoint 4 at Styhead. Great Gable was looming moodily above and I attempted not to think about how much the climb was going to hurt and just put one foot in front of another. After Gable there was some reasonably runnable sections down to Honister where some kind soul had brought a vat of orange squash which was very welcome.

The final climb up Dale Head was brutal, I felt like giving up a few times but going up was basically the quickest way back to the finish so I just kept plodding on and eventually made it to the last checkpoint at the summit. I foolishly thought that was the hard work done and was quickly made to realise that it wasn’t as I fell over twice on the steep upper half of the descent. Eventually I made it back to the more comfortable path through the mines and got my first glimpse of the finishing field. The run in from there was actually quite pleasant and I flopped over the line a few minutes later. Tom had already been in for a while by then and was looking characteristically fresh!

It was great to have a go at another classic Lakes fell race. Could I honestly say I enjoyed it though? I’m not sure 🙂


1st (1st Male) – Ricky Lightfoot – Ellenborough Athletic Club – 2:49:21
40th (1st Female) – Lou Roberts – Ambleside Athletic Club – 3:26:01

For Otley:
212th – Tom Lynch – Otley AC – 04:28:19
276th – Tom Pomfrett – Otley AC – 04:53:32

352 finishers in total.

3 thoughts on “Saturday 6th August: Borrowdale fell race

  1. Well done both. TomP it is not so much the enjoying ‘doing it’ as enjoying the ‘having done it’ which lasts much longer. Usually till the next one!

  2. Your report from Borrowdale makes quite clear how hard and unique this race is ..and your 4.53 is a splendid result , well done to Tom P. Also Tom L. ran strongly in this championships race.

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