Racing Without Gels

slattery without gels

Yesterday was Keswick AC’s 15mile 6,100ft Helvellyn and The Dodds Race from Threlkeld which attracted a field of 167 on a cold breezy day which was absolutely freezing on the tops. As there is no water anywhere on the route I took 500ml of Mountain Fuel and a couple of emergency gels.

The first climb up onto Clough Head is very steep and familiar to all Bob Graham runners and I went well staying just inside the top 10 with the leaders in sight. As we started the long route along the Dodds Sam Ware and Sam Stead took off and stretched a good lead with Simon Booth and Mark McGoldrick further ahead.

From Stybarrow Dodd I started running with Lee Toast Newton of Keswick AC and we worked well together to overhaul Borrowdale’s Tony Meanwell and start to chase Sam 1 and Sam 2. I started to feel fatigued after about an hour on Raise and had a drink of the Mountain Fuel and Lee did the same. I kept having a sip on each of the climbs and felt good. I never resorted to gels and normally I’d have had at least two.

When we turned on Helvellyn we could see who was chasing us and saw Hannah Horsburgh running really well not far behind. The Dodds seem even harder the second time around but we gradually pulled the Sams back, catching them on Clough Head. We were set for a 4-way Keswick Athletic Club race from the summit to the finish. I made up ground with a direct descent on the scree and as we got into the boggy ground below we were all together. I found some energy to get in front and was first off the fell and onto the road. I fully expected Sam Stead to blitz past me but kept going, putting in a 5:42 last mile to hang on for 4th place.

A great result for me and brilliant to see Simon Booth winning and Hannah knocking 15mins off the ladies’ course record. Keswick took both men’s and ladies’ team prizes.

Full results at Keswick AC website

Great photographs from Grand Day Out Photography