> 2008 race reports
02/08/08 Borrowdale Fell Race 2008 - from John Duff

Great End shrouded in cloud (photo: Rob)
High House Tarn, Great End ahead shrouded in cloud (photo: Rob)

NFR was well represented at this English and British Championship race on Saturday 2nd August.  The heavy showers at the start eased off during the day, though the clouds covered the higher summits.  After the initial scramble up Bessyboot, there was a long and wet-underfoot plod to Esk Hause.  The Scafell range was in cloud, but the weather was infinitely better than at the Great Lakes Run. 

Numerous runners chose to backtrack to the Narrowcove col.  This proved to be a bad move as the scree run off Scafell Pike was direct, fast, and very runnable.  As I descended out of the cloud, I realised that I had overtaken all the non-scree runners, as the Corridor Route was empty for 400 yards ahead.   A sneaky shortcut following some locals proved to be another good move as I overtook some more runners en-route to Sty Head.

The trudge up Great Gable was as steep as ever.  But eventually the top was reached, and a compass bearing took me off to Windy Gap.  As I contoured around Green Gable in the mist, runners were veering off in all directions (apparently some of the leaders headed off to Base Brown).  Fortunately Brandreth was clag-free, which made for an easy run down to Honister.

Dale Head was its usual interminable self, but at least the clouds had lifted and there was a cooling breeze.  I hared down the final descent thinking that a 4 hour finish might be on the cards, but it was not to be – I’ll have to find another 3 minutes from somewhere next year.

Simon Booth won the race for the 11th time.  Phil Sanderson was first back for NFR in an excellent 32nd place; Aengus McCullough was not far behind him in 53rd.  Joe Faulkner and Louise Wilkinson ran round together, and behind them were Rob Stephens, Phil Green, and Bernard Kivlehan.  It was also good to see Stewart Gardner and Charlotte Roberts in their smart Calder Valley vests.

John Duff

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