by Keith Edwards
Review Made: 09/09/2014
As always quick review of the race and them a race report.
This is a brilliant event, very different, unique in lots of ways and in my opinion a must do event for anybody who fancies something a bit different. If I was doing a “bucket list” of events to do before you hang up your lycra this would be on the list along with Alp’ Duaz, Escape from Alcatraz, Challenge Roth, Frankfurt IM and Hamburg Oly. It will not suit everybody, but despite not having my best race I fully enjoyed it and it had me smiling at how mad some parts of the course is. It is a very tough but extremely rewarding race.
Glenridding is a lovely setting in the Lake District, the lake is picturesque, clear, not to cold and surround by lovely mountains. The organisation is very slick with a big event feel but a friendly club feel at the same time, four wave starts meant there was aprox 200 athletes in each wave and because they were seeded reduce the “biff” a little.
The bike course is rolling through the valleys and woodlands but very fast in sections, first climb is long but not too step, BUT Kirstone Pass ( the Struggle ) is absolutely brutal with lots of it 20%+. I was out the saddle for about 25 mins worrying if I going to fall over I was going so slow ( lots of athletes walking with their bikes).
The run starts of out the village on lovely trail path through some trees along a small river, then you hit the mountain and everybody walks, nobody past me running in the first mile of climbing. Then there are some ridges you can run a long , stunning scenery and views which are either inspiration or sole destroying as you look up the mountain to see how high you have to go and seeing a long line of athletes walking a head of you. THE LAST BIT BEFORE THE SUMMIT AT SWIRREL EDGE IS FULL ON ROCK CLIMBING. It is mad ,I was expecting to bump into Hilary and Tenzing Sherpa , I will be honest it is a bit scary but brilliant.
You do not get a medal or T shirt ( you have the option when you enter to order one for £7) but the entry fee, I think it was £50 ish which is brilliant value compared to lots of events out there. The only negative is on a sunny day in the Lakes you will get some traffic . I got held up behind a series of cars , who were stuck behind a group of cyclists for about 3 miles. Luck of the draw and certainly no way to overtake just except it.
Yesterdays event was helped massively by lovely weather !
Your choice to carry on reading, here’s my report.
Waves were seeded on time, with wave one being the fastest swimmers . I was in this wave so started a bit to the left side away from the main body of swimmers. Hooter sounded and where off not too much “biff” all around until the last 200m when some how I ended up a cage fight with 4 or 5 swimmers who insisted on boxing me in and generally not playing nicely. Out the water in 27 minutes ( 1708 metres), solid enough.
On to the bike feeling good and really enjoying the scenery and lovely countryside. Passed lots of people and them got a little bit involve in a group of 4 guys and one girl who everytime I passed them , a few minutes later they came back past me. Generally they where not drafting just unfortunately equally abilities. However the girl in the group was a out and out cheat drafting consistently off anybodies wheel that went past. Scotty came past and joined in the fun , eventually having a quite word with the cheat !!!
The “Struggle” is a brutal climb, but you are rewarded at the top with a good vocal crowd.
Had a bit of a incident with a car driver trying to watch 2 Lancaster bombers flying through the valley, he decided to brake hard and swerve towards the gutter while I was only 20 feet behind him travelling at 45mph. I was within inches of joining him through his rear window, braked down to almost a stop before he realised what he had done.
Got caught up in traffic queue for about 3 miles approaching Windernere which was a little frustrating.
Started the run by passing Scotty early on the mountain but then everytime I looked round to a admire the view just saw him. Kept me very honest throughout the race.
Swirrel Edge at the summit is just brilliant but scary . I have now discovered I am not great at running down very steep mountains on rocky , gravelly trail paths. Was not feeling confident and them had a big tumble banging my knee cap hard on the rocks , jarring my elbow into my shoulder and “scuffing “ my head. A classic “you’ve Been framed moment “. Took a few miles for my knee to stop hurting and for me to stop running like Forrest Gump prior to having his leg braces off.
Really enjoyed the last mile or some and was able to run a bit more freely.
So happyish with 4-24 , 6th in age group out of 88 but a long way of the podium.
Scotty doing a pb on his sixth Hellvelyn going sub 4-30 shows he is getting faster with age !!!
Richard T had great race and was very happy with Hellvelyn debut in 5hr 15
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