> 2010 race reports
04/09/10 Grisedale Horseshoe - from Old Cheviot

The last climb is the steepest – at least that’s what it always seems like to Old Cheviot’s aged limbs.  But at the Grisedale Horseshoe on Saturday the climb up to the Glenridding ridge really was the steepest.  OC was reduced to scrambling up on all fours.  Ahead of him, the Bowland runner who had been picking some excellent lines was leading the way, with Pippa Archer (DFR) not far behind and seemingly making light of the climb.

The race had started in warm sunshine by Glenridding village hall.  The climb up to Birkhouse Moor was hot, but then a cooling breeze and high cloud set in which made for good running conditions to Red Tarn.   Catstye Cam was steep but fairly short, and OC was soon heading for Helvellyn via Swirral Edge.  The run along the top of Helvellyn was fantastic with sweeping views down to the tarn below.  Soon OC was descending the flank of Dollywaggon Pike and heading for the Grisedale Tarn checkpoint.

The climb up St Sunday Crag offered a couple of route choices.  OC opted for the lower route, but suspected that the higher level gradual climb would have been quicker.  But at least coming off St Sunday Crag he found the scree gully that soon had him descending head-long to the valley floor.  Instead of the usual crossing over the river, difficulties with land access meant that runners were diverted half a mile or so up the valley to a bridge.  This was warm work in the sun, but Joe Faulkner was on hand with some water and words of encouragement. 

After the crossing the bridge, OC took a ‘short-cut’ across some boggy grass, and promptly lost the path.  This led to some thrashing about through grass and bracken, but fortunately didn’t cost much time.  All of which just left the final heart-break climb to the ridge checkpoint.  On the last descent, Pippa Archer sped off and caught the lady in front to finish first lady.  OC ambled home in more stately fashion and enjoyed the tea and cake at the finish.

Chris Steel (Borrowdale) comfortably won the race in under 2 hours.  Will Horsley was first home for NFR in a creditable 8th place, and Geoff Davis was pleased to duck under the 3 hours mark.  Also spotted there from NFR were Bernard Kivlehan and Dave Coxon.

Many thanks to the organisers Achille Ratti who once again put on an excellent race: spectacular scenery, 10 (plus 1) miles and 5,000 ft of climbing, egg sandwiches at the finish – and all for a fiver.  Why pay £44 to do the Great North Run with the world and his wife?

Old Cheviot

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