Report from Tom Lynch:
Such a contrast to last year, this years running of the HBMR, a paired 4 stage mountain relay set in and around Patterdale, was a reduced and re-routed course owing to bad weather on the day, and Saturday’s surface water flooding around Windermere. Heavy rain, mist and wind were all forecast for the day, and at one point the race was nearly cancelled. The altered course followed an out and back route using only Legs 1 and 2. Leg 1 from Patterdale to Hartsop via Angle Tarn was unchanged, Leg 2 did not go via High Street, and followed an initially low level valley route via Threshthwaite Cove, and then rejoined the original route at Threshthwaite Mouth to Kirkstone via Caudale Head. Legs 3 and 4 were more or less a reversal of Legs 1 and 2.
The lack of phone signal, and half the team already being in the Lakes on the day the route changes were announced created a few organisational difficulties in arranging the team, and a few last minute tweaks were made to ensure the runners on each leg had the best chance or using their previous experience to navigate their way round in the inclement weather! Thanks to Caron and those not in the Lakes for coordinating the final team changes. The team fielded was:
Leg 1 – Patterdale to Hartsop – approx. 7.3 km – Caron Ralph and Colin Best
Leg 2 – Hartsop to Kirkstone – approx. 7.6 km/700 m Andrew Robertshaw and Tom Lynch
Leg 3 – Kirkstone to Hartsop – approx. 7.6 km/350 m Laura McCabe and Shane Ewen
Leg 4 – Hartsop to Patterdale – approx. 7.3km/430 m Rachael Wright and Steven Boddy
Otley came in 63rd this year in the Open category in a time of 4:11:51. Caron and Colin probably got the best of the weather on leg 1 (which isn’t saying much), completing it in a time of 1:03:22. The handover to Andrew and myself by way of a mass start a handful of seconds before Caron and Colin came in. We completed our leg in 1:00:56, despite a small navigational blip in heavy mist Andrew got us safely to the Caudale checkpoint (I was guilty of leaving all the navigation up to Andrew), and we descended down the extremely slippery route to Kirkstone where we overtook the mass start time and handed over to Laura and Shane. With the weather worsening all the time Shane and Laura had a good leg back over Caudale reversing our route, and navigating the leg untroubled, due to excellent preparation on their part. They came in 1:05:41 later back at Hartsop to handover to Stephen and Rachael. By this time the rain was sheeting down, and everybody waiting at the changeover was drenched, we all headed down to the start line to await the finish and fill up on buttys and cake. Stephen and Rachael completed their leg in a time of 1:01:52, with an excellent formation finish to the line.
Full results here.