Ennerdale Fell Race 2014 & The Rest of the Weekends Action

ByChristopher Holdsworth

Ennerdale Fell Race 2014 & The Rest of the Weekends Action

Ennerdale Fell Race 2014

‘Within half an hour however the mood at registration was very different – the sky had darkened, clouds thickened and thunder was forecast…’

Arriving early at the race after staying over at nearby Lamplugh campsite, I met up with Ryan Belshaw and Spencer Riley and we had a wander along to check out the start and get some photos of the lake. At this point the skies were clear and the mountains surrounding the lake looked a very enticing challenge, we could understand exactly why this was regarded as a Lakeland classic. Within half an hour however the mood at registration was very different – the sky had darkened, clouds thickened and thunder was forecast.

This left the race organiser with little option but to change the route, and so within half an hour of this being announced, a new route had been mapped out and runners crowded round to edit where the new checkpoints were on their maps. This seemed the sensible decision, although initially many were disappointed, especially as many hours had been spent recce’ing the route and training for the climbs, as this English and British Championship counter was a significant date in many a runner’s season.


Thanks to Racing Snakes for the photo.

Before long we were underway.The pace was very fast along the flat gravel path that took us around the bottom edge of Ennerdale lake and it seemed some runners had let some of the disgruntled murmurings such as ‘this is a trail race’ and ‘its flat’ go to their head.  I hung back and paced my first mile alongside Neil Hardiman, who had wisely pointed out at the start that the route still involved around 20 miles and a significant chunk of climbs.

Instead of climbing Great Borne and along the ridges that surrounded Ennerdale, we were took on gradual climb over Floutern Pass and dropped down into the next valley.  We then had a long flat section that took us alongside Crummock Water and Buttermere. We then climbed over Scarth Gap Pass, before dropping back into the Ennerdale Valley by Black Sail Hut.


 Thanks to Racing Snakes for the photo.

The route immediately took us on another gradual climb before circling below Great Gable and Kirk Fell. We then headed on a steep decent back down to the foot of the valley and after dibbing in at checkpoint 7, manned by the legendary Joss Naylor, we were left with a long flat run back to the finish.  I made good pace and managed to stick to a 6.30-7 minute mile pace as I gradually reeled in other competitors.

We then circled left around the lake, on a very tricky path.  The concentration required to not to trip distracted me from my tiring legs, and glancing up every now and then I could see I was closing in on Ryan Belshaw.  I pushed on hoping to claim my first victory over Ryan, and despite catching the majority of the runners in the pack just behind him, Ryan’s strength and power won through as he pulled away again in the final mile.

Unfortunately I haven’t seen the race results yet although Spencer Riley was the first Clayton-le-Moors Harrier back, followed by Ryan Belshaw and then myself, with Neil Hardiman and Jean Brown not far behind. Jean did manage to secure the 2nd LV45, Whilst Wendy Dodds finished as the 1st LV60. Katy Thomson also had a great performance, managing to finish as the 2nd LV60. At the finish line there were many comments on how tough the changed route was and although it had less than a third of the climbing of the original route and was slightly shorter, the large amount of runable sections had created a fast paced race and meant many runners had pushed hard all the way round.

At the finish the rain was powering down and it now definitely seemed right to do have done an alternative route, that had still provided some stunning Lake District views and challenging running.


Thanks to David Bagot for this weeks race report! Full Ennerdale Fell Race 2014 results found through the link.


The Rest of the Weekends Action

Another Saturday 2 o’clock start brought us midway through the Pendle & Burnley Grand Prix calendar, with a massive twenty two Clayton-le-Moors Harriers attending Weets Fell Race 2014. Conditions were torrential before the race, though it marginally brightened up once the race got underway.


Thanks to Andy Holden for the photo.

The race was tough, but it brought out a lot of impressive performances from our runners, with Christopher Holdsworth securing 2nd place ahead of 3rd placed Harrogate Harrier Chris Miller. Tom Brewster was the next through with another mighty performance finishing in 7th – and even managing to pip fell captain Dave Motley! Who also had a solid effort, finishing in 10th and as the 3rd Clayton-le-Moors Harrier through the finish. Elsewhere in the race, Jeffery Pickup managed to collect the 1st V60 prize, whilst Ron Chappell came through as the second V65.


Thanks to Andy Holden for the photo.

Over in Yorkshire, five Harriers took to the Penyghent Fell Race 2014. Mark Nutter lead the way, finishing in 01:02:59. Club mascot Richard Briscoe also had a fantastic race, coming through the finish as the second Harrier, in a time of 01:04:16. The third harrier to conquer the mountain was Mark Taylor in 01:11:36.  Rounding off the day were Andre and Peter Dugdale in 77th and 87th respectively.

At the Morecambe 10k 2014 race, Michael Hogan represented Clayton-le-Moors Harriers achieving an excellent result, finishing the course in 00:41:16. Another sole representative of the Harrier flag, a man who often attends 10k races, was Stephen Biscomb at the Fleetwood Rotary 2014 10k. Once again he put in an excellent shift on the road, finishing the race in 9th place with a time of 00:42:13.

Don’t forget to attend our training sessions to improve those times! Senior training times can be found here, whilst junior training times can be found here. See you all there!

Racing Snakes Photographywww.racingsnakes.com

Andy Holden Photography: www.flickr.com/photos/wharfee




About the author

Christopher Holdsworth