> 2009 race reports
01/08/09 Borrowdale - from Phil Green

This year's Borrowdale race was preceded by a week of heavy rain in the Lakes. The day of the race was at least dry by ten o'clock with a cloud base just skirting the tops of Scafell Pike and Gable.
NFR was represented by Aengus McCullough, Allon Welsh, Joe Faulkner, David Johnson and myself.

Allon and myself decided to behave and not thrash ourselves before the climb to Bessy Boot. The fell gate was being held open by Billy Bland which made for a nice start to the race. The run along from Bessy Boot to Allen Crags, which is wet even after long dry spells, was a spongy quagmire and sapped leg strength. We were running along with Andrew Callcott, who runs for Borrowdale but lives in Tyneside. The three of us were yo-yoing in to lead position of our group. Esk Hause saw the clag come down with occasional gaps to appreciate the view. We navigated to the Broad Crag col without much problem and thence up to Scafell Pike top. A quick check for bearings saw Allon and myself head down into the direction of the scree which we picked up after contouring round to the left.
A fantastic run down the scree was sobered by a significant blood trail leading down the corridor route. Allon was also hauling half a ton of gravel in his walshes. So a brief stop to empty shoes and down to the corridor route. We managed to stay on the fast grass till the short cut off to Styhead, which we hit dead on.

Phil at Styhead

Sharon and Sally were waiting at Styhead with refreshments, and after a brief chat to Joss Naylor at the stretcher box it was the long grind up Gable. The race definitely does start here, and the clag was down on the top but some good nav saw us spot on for Windy Gap and the contour round Green Gable. A group ahead made the common mistake of heading off down Base Brown instead of finding the fence line. We managed to swing off on the fast line to pick up the grassy descent down to Honister. We were through the checkpoint with loads of time before the cutoff. Allon was going much stronger by this time and he pushed on as I dragged my backside up to the top of Dalehead. I chatted to Colin Dilks from Claremont on the way up. I went for a wider right descent this year and hit what must be the right line down to the tarn. Then the descent avoiding the quarries was shown to me by a lass from Keswick. Certainly will be saving that line for next year. I managed to get back in under 5 hours and was pleased given the very heavy conditions in the first half of the race.

Aengus was 1st NFR home in 97th place, Joe next in 191, Allon was 208, myself at 234 and Dave bringing us home at 250 place.

Afterwards I managed not to go to the marquee but did drink lots of beer as vital post race hydration.

Phil Green

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