Leg 13, unlucky for some. Thankfully not us as we continued to enjoy the dry settled weather that has been a part of this adventure since Thursday. Although we only got to enjoy the sun for a short while, the daylight finally retreating as we tagged our first top, Shipman Knotts. Again, very little drama to speak of. The mist rolled in along the High Street ridge, making the less prominent tops more difficult to find, but this didn’t last long. The final descent from Bonscale Pike to Howtown tested the tired legs, but we soon were able to pass the ‘baton’ on to Meghan and Martyn for leg 14.
It has been a great start to the 2021 club championship, and such a welcome relief to be racing over the fells again. As things stand, all of the remaining nominated races are still going ahead, but as with so may things over the last 18 months or so, I’ll continue to monitor them and endeavour to keep everyone up to date with any changes.
The championship kicked off with the short BOFRA Coniston Gullies race late in May. In previous years I’ve tried to keep the races accessible as possible, so I can understand a lot of folk not wanting to make the long journey over to Cumbria for a race that is over and done with in little over a mile (hopefully 2022 will see more local races back in the calendar). Denise Tunstall and Andy Blackett were rewarded for making the trip by picking up maximum points in the Ladies and Men’s competitions.
Next was the first long race, Ennerdale on a glorious mid-June Saturday. The FRA took the wise decision to leverage the race’s inclusion in the DFR championship and include it as a counter race in this year’s English Championship! There was a healthy turn-out of DFR folk; myself, Max Wilkinson and Andy Blackett toeing the line for the men, whilst Dawn Hosking and Kate Fogelberg lined-up for the ladies, setting off slightly before the men.
Once again, Andy Blackett took maximum points in the men’s competition with a fine run in under 5 and a quarter hours, followed by me 12 minutes later, and Max in just over 5 hours 40 minutes. Dawn had a great run to finish in 5 hours 43 minutes and take the maximum points in the lady’s competition, with Kate ensuring all DFR runners finished within an hour of each other, returning in just over 6 hours.
Only 4 days later, myself and Andy Blackett were once again westward bound on the A66, this time to Borrowdale, for the second short race in our championship, Langstrath. There we joined Dougie Nisbet and Denise Tunstall to make up the DFR foursome. Yet again, I proved no match for Andy Blackett as he made it round this tough, steep (and this year, entirely midge infested) route in just over 45 minutes, whilst I stumbled back 5 minutes behind. Dougie rounded off a pleasant stay in the Langstrath valley, by finishing a few minutes later. Denise was not far behind Dougie and once again claimed maximum points in the lady’s competition.