> 2013 race reports
26/05/13 Helvellyn and The Dodds- from Mark Clarkson

group photo: Andy Russell

Helvellyn and The Dodds (15m, 1337m ascent)

A few representatives from NFR headed over for this race (9 think). The race starts and ends at Threlkeld Cricket Club. There seemed a smaller field than normal for a lakes race, probably due to the Skiddaw Uphill race on the same day. Following the team photo shot (courtesy of Andy) we were off up Clough Head. I had arrived an hour before the start, and spent a significant amount of time not looking forward to this lung busting climb! And it didn’t disappoint. Once topped and through the first CP, the running was steady along the Dodds with short sharp uphills and some good descents. Being an out and back race, it gives a good indicator of how the front runners are doing and who is ahead, Carl Bell followed by around 20 others in my case. Following the turning point at Helvellyn I was running fairly well but getting tired. I wished a few NFR runners some encouragement en route. This was my longest race for a while and on the pull back up to Great Dodd I was starting to suffer. The decent after this was good and I had a good run down. The sting in the tail for me was the pull back up Clough Head. Made all the worse by the great sunny weather and lack of water. Around half way up I turned to see an NFR runner right behind. Garry Owens had caught me up and following some quick introductions and some encouraging words from Garry (something about being able to push ourselves twice as far as we think we can (wise words), and the fact he was a V50 and he had caught me up!) we pushed over the top. We made good time on the steep descent down, pounding the ankles and legs, but we caught up two runners ahead. The final road section was tough and with both hamstrings twitching into cramp myself and Garry crossed to finish together in 23rd in 2hrs 46. Immediately followed by necking several cups of water! A very good run and a good test for the legs. The post-race spread in the club house went down a treat. Carl Bell was overall winner, setting a new course record in an impressive 2hrs 9mins!

Mark and Garry at the finish - photo courtesy of Paul Dobson

Mark Clarkson

more photos from Andy Russell

more photos from Paul Dobson

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