> 2009 race reports
29/08/09 Arnison Crag Horseshoe - from Dave Johnson

3 miles 1000 feet

I had the honour of flying the flag for NFR in this short and enjoyable race which is part of the Patterdale Dog Day.

I arrived an hour and a half before the start and met two local runners who were going to recce the start because the organiser had said the course was a little different from previous years. This seemed like a good idea so I went along with them. After a while it didn't seem like such a good idea as it became clear that their idea of what constituted the "start" was a bit different from mine. When I realised that I was going to have to go some just to get back in time for the start, I made my excuses and left. I strongly suspect they ran round the rest of the course after I'd gone!

The race route is well flagged and almost all of it is runnable even for someone as useless as me. After leaving the show field you go up a little valley between Birks and Arnison Crag that contains Hag Beck. The hardest part of the race is a wall near Trough Head which has to be climbed by means of a treacherous handhold-less iron stile. If you survive that, then you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that almost all of the climb is behind you as you head north east along an undulating path to the summit. From here you turn north to take a direct and fast descent alongside a dry stone wall which takes you all the way to the show field and the applause of the crowd.

This was my first really short race. I enjoyed it and by a huge margin recorded my highest ever finish. Of course, I don't for a moment accept that my 10th place had anything to do with the fact that there were only 15 other runners!

Dave Johnson

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