> 2007 race reports
15/09/07 The Three Shires Race - from John Duff

A select band from NFR were at The Three Shires Race in Little Langdale on Saturday.  This is the shortest of the Lakeland Classics – but still a testing and tough little route.  The weather was overcast with mist on the tops, making for some interesting route finding.  There was a large field – circa 300.

After the usual mad dash along the road, Old Cheviot opted to splash through the stream as there was a queue for the bridge.  The steep tramp up the north face of Wetherlam seemed never ending, but eventually the top was reached and Old Cheviot clung to the coat-tails of the runners in front for the quickest route to Prison Band.

Coming off Swirl How, the mist was down and runners scattered in all directions.  Some climbed over Great Carrs (not recommended) whilst others dropped too low, but OC managed to find a reasonable route to Wet Side Edge and down to 3 Shires Stone.  The climb up Pike O’Blisco passed reasonably quickly.  Again the mist was down on top and several runners mistakenly headed back down the path to Wrynose.  Fortunately OC knew the vital left turn, and was soon making the greasy descent down the Langdale trod.

The section past the Scots Pines through the steep bracken was truly grim, but soon Blea Tarn was reached.  This just left the small matter of the climb up Lingmoor – a steep hill just when you don’t need it.  At the top it was all downhill – a wonderful swooping run along the ridge then down the track to the valley floor and so to the finish.

The race was won by Ricky Lightfoot.  NFR old boy Morgan Donnelly was 10th and would have finished higher if he hadn’t taken a detour into Great Langdale coming off Blisco.

Lewis Grundy was first home for NFR, with OC not far behind home in just under 2 hours 30 mins.  Jane Grundy notched a PB in 2 hours 48 mins.  But pride of place went to Martin Scott who came home in stately fashion towards the back of the field and was rewarded with a spot prize of a bottle of wine.  When OC last saw Martin he was wandering off, clutching his bottle of wine and 3 Shires mug, to thank the organiser for a grand day out.  Hear hear!


John Duff

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