Posted by: Bruce Duncan | October 7, 2009

OMM Training

So I got up, and fancied a long run, I had thought about doing a big ‘round Derwentwater run’, not the usual Walla Crag, Chinese bridge, and Catbells.  I had had a day off on Sunday due to a slight sore throat, but was feeling better and rested after the big ride we did on Saturday.

Route of my run, going anti-clockwise

Route of my run, going anti-clockwise

I set off from Portinscale up along the side of Catbells and then started going uphill.  I got to the shoulder of Catbells and Maiden Moor, and took in the stunning views, and stripped off some layers, it was not just lovely and sunny, but hot too.  The climb up Maiden Moor and High Spy was good, with lovely views, and very few people.  Dropping down to Honister I passes a lot of tourists, many giving me odd looks as I ran quickly down the hill.  The climb up round the side of Grey Knotts and Brandreth was tough, it’s a sharp up from the pass, but I soon got into the groove of running.  Getting to the top of Green Gable I saw just how much climb is still had ahead of me, the pull up from Styhead tarn was much more than I had remembered.

The run down from Windy Gap to Styhead tarn was really rocky and harsh on the ankles, but I made it down fast and shoved some more food down my throat, and wished I’d packed a few more cheese and jam butties!  Getting to Esk Hause the clouds were filling the valley below me, and I as I dropped into them and past Angle Tarn I was stopped by a guy asking how to get up Bow Fell, he was planning on going direct, but think I persuaded him to go for a safer route as you could only see about 20m!

I had to quickly get the map out at this point, 2hrs50mins in, it was the only section of the route I hadn’t really been on before, and as I came very close to a big drop I thought I’d best check out the best route.  After 15mins I popped out of the gloom and could see everything again as I started the run down to Stake Pass and back up to Pike of Stickle.

Cutting back towards High Raise I was finally headed back to Keswick.  It felt good to have turned the corner, but little did I know the last section had a real sting in the tail.  All the way so far I had been on paths or good ground.  But over the ridge from High Raise to High Seat the ground is really really boggy, with no real path and undulating terrain that really takes what little energy you have out of you.

The views were absolutely stunning, and it really helped me keep going, it was here that I also goaded some mates by sending some texts, cheeky I know, but sure they’d do the same to me!

Eating the last few bits of my food, I put my head down and battled the last few hours, the time between hour 4 and 5 was really hard, but was perked up by passing a few walkers struggling over the really wet ground, I wasn’t fussed about getting wet feet, but these people were trying desperately to stay dry, mission impossible I think.

I took the wrong route from High Spy, and ended up dropping down to Ashness Bridge, when I wanted to get to the top of Walla Crag.  But I dropped down to the lake road and began the last few km back to the house.  These were really tough, with no big vistas and cars driving past, but the thought of getting home and eating a big piece of cake and having a sit down kept me going.

It had been an epic run, 45km 2300+m of climb, and 6hrs 13mins of running.  A great day out, tough on the legs, but well worth it, and brilliant OMM training!


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