> 2007 race reports
27/05/07 Helvellyn Fell Race - from Phil Green

- Phil Green's Lakeland fell racing debut

I turned up at Bram Crag Farm filled with trepidation (having spoken to Paul Appleby and Peter Reed I knew about the steep start).

The weather was wet and the clag was down on the tops. I met Karen Robertson and family in the car park, who informed me about Paul Hainsworth's previous day's success on his Bob Graham Round (Well done that man!).

The start was cheered by a slight clearing of the weather, the sight of the climb up to Calfhow Pike was not so good. It was a hands down into the grass after about 100m of climbing. I eventually got to the Pike and prodded my legs back into life. It took about a mile and a half to get any sense of normality into them. The traverse around Little Dodd and Watson’s Dodd was in hill fog with 50m visibility. It cleared as I got to the climb up to Stybarrow Dodd and thereafter was clear for the rest of the race. Good running up to Raise and the next check point. A quick drop down then up to Whiteside (apart from the gale). My approach to Helvellyn Lower Man was met with the sight of the returning runners. Got to top (snow included) and the trig point with no marshal in sight. I had a look round the wind shelter and decided to get going back down. I was running slowly for most of the return section but was happy to get round. The weather gave occasional squalls of rain mixed with bursts of sunshine, enough to make a Victorian painter happy!

However, the descent from Calfhow Pike to the finish was far from fun, most of it done on backside. At one point I managed to over-accelerate and descended about 60m in a few seconds, only managing to slow myself by using my water bottle to perform a kind of ice axe arrest! My descent from that point onwards was much slower and cautious. I was passed by about half a dozen people (some of whom I had passed previously on the descent).

So I arrived back at the finish in 2 hours and 46 min in 79th place with thirteen people finishing after me.

A great day out and the tea and flapjack in the barn afterwards certainly hit the spot.

full results

Photos by Darian at Borrowdale Fell Runners

Phil Green

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