The Ian Hodgson Relay is held every year in the hills around Patterdale & Brotherswater. The event, which is now in its 26th year, covers 24.5mile and over 8000ft of climbing of some of the finest areas in the Lake District, split over four tough legs.
Leg 1 – Patterdale to Hartsop (4.5mile & 1000ft) -This leg is a mass start and with all 70 teams lined up with everybody jockeying for position, it instantly heads up hill with a steady climb up to CP1 Angle Tarn. After CP1 it’s a steady run on the top followed by a steep grassy bank which leads to a track taking to you to the finish in Hartsop. Our ‘A’ team boys Capt. Brewster and new boy Jacob Boyle had a really strong run. Even with Tom, who was wearing what looked like road shoes and having to slide on his bum down the grassy bank, they finished in 19th (Note from Capt. to Capt. Fell shoes needed). The ‘B’ team with young lads Chris Holdsworth and Dave Bagot had a stonking run just finishing behind in 21st. The traditional ‘Z’ team had Dug McCallum & Andrew Howarth on this leg and they finished in 47th. The ladies with English FV65 champion Linda Lord and Bev Thompson brought their team back in 59th.
Leg 2 – Hartsop to Kirkstone (7.5mile & 2600ft) – This leg starts with a steady run up the track to Hayeswater, followed by a tough slog up over ‘The Knott’ and onto CP1 on ‘High St’, it then continues and descends off Thornwaite Crag, up over Stony Cove Pike and across Caudale Moor before finishing at Kirkstone. At this point in the race the clagg had come down making navigation really difficult and visibility was down to metres. The ‘A’ team lead by Andy Brown and new boy Spencer Riley had a really strong run with Andy leading the navigation to gain 11 places running the 7th quickest leg time and bringing us to the changeover in 8th. In the ‘B’ team Sean Clare had a fun day keeping up with Andy Orr and lost some places on a tough leg, and after navigation issues finished in 34th place. The Z team had the experienced Mark Nutter & Pete Thompson running just dropping a few positions finishing in 49th. The ladies with Anna Kelly & Sue Burns had a strong run only losing 1 position and finishing in 60th.
Leg 3 – Kirkstone to Sykeside (4.5mile & 2000ft) – This leg starts with a monstrous climb up Red Screes, a drop down Scandale pass, up onto Dove Crag followed by a tricky decent to Sykeside campsite. The ‘A’ team runners Capt.Motley & Matt Perry had a really strong run posting the 11th quickest time and gaining a place bringing the team back in 7th. Luckily Capt. Motley recce’d the leg the day before as the conditions were tough,
and would like to thank Matt Perry who put his trust in him (even after they descended Red Screes in the opposite direction to 2 other teams!) You’ll be surprised to know the ‘B’ team runners led by Michael O’Donnell (Forrest) & Lee Smith got around the leg with no navigational issues after some advice from Gaz W (yes- Forrest didn’t get lost & showed Todd Harriers the way.) Unfortunately due to an ankle injury Lee Smith struggled, but they only lost 2 places bringing the team back in 36th. The ‘Z’ team with Andrew Firth & Richard Bellaries had good runs and kept the Z’s in 49th. The ladies with the experienced Wendy Dodds, English FV60 Fell Champion & Alison Dugdale and their typical strong runs gained 4 places bringing the team back in 56th.
Leg 4 – Sykeside to Patterdale (7.5mile & 2800ft) – This leg starts with a climb up Hart Crag and skirts the top of Rydal Head before climbing to the top of St.Sunday Crag and finally dropping into Patterdale. The ‘A’ team runners led by the old blokes Garry Wilkinson & Breton Holdsworth had a tough day as Breton’s hip injury flared up again. They finished the day on the glory leg bringing the team back in 13th. The ‘B’ team of Adam Shaw & Neil Hardiman brought the team home in 43rd with a good performace from Adam in his first Lakeland race. The ‘Z’ team with Ivan Whigham & Ralph Baines finished in 47th. The ladies led by Capt. Jean Brown & Lisa Richardson had a good run and brought the ladies back in 57th.
Overall there were some fantastic performances from all teams with new members Spencer Riley & Jacob Boyle running really well in the ‘A’ team and Lee Smith, Chris Holdsworth, Dave Bagot, Tom Brewster and Adam Shaw all experiencing Lakleand fell running for the 1st time. Its really encouraging this year as the ‘A’ team was made up mainly of members in their 20’s and early 30’s and likewise the majority of the ‘B’ team. The futures bright people!
Great day had by all including a few celebratory drinks in the finishing field! A massive Thank you from Capt. Motley & Jean Brown to all runners; for us this is what being part of a club is all about.