Wansfell Race: 27 December 2006
Cloudy, Dry, Cold, Icy at top
This fell race starts conveniently about a half a mile from where I was spending Christmas, so peer group pressure deemed that I should enter my first ever fell race. The race starts in Ambleside and runners \"warm up\" with a 1400ft ascent from there to the top of Wansfell, initially on a road then mostly following the walking trail up. From the top, the runners hurtle rapidly back down, following a course of their own choosing, to the finish. Runners is perhaps not the right term, at least back where I was the race consisted of a short initial run, a walk the rest of the way to the top, then either controlled or uncontrolled falling back down again! Fell walking would be the best training for the way up, and as I hadn\'t done any for a long time, it hurt quite a lot. The downhill brought a welcome respite from the aches and pains, as fear was the main sensation here. A race report at http://chrisupson.blogspot.com/2006/12/wansfell-race.html suggests the descent was very greasy and slippery, which I was pleased to read as I thought perhaps that might have been good conditions for a fell race and I was just hopeless! Twice I discovered that removing your feet from the ground and sliding down on your backside is a highly effective way of descending, especially on icy ground. The view from the top is fabulous, however I know this only from previous trips there, because I spent most of the race looking at my feet!
I got a lot of cheering from the good number of spectators all the way up and down who recognised (and were a bit surprised to see) the Serpie top, one comment near the top reminded me I wasn\'t in Hyde Park any more. I had already noticed. Anyway you knew you weren\'t in London right from the start, entry was free! Hopefully I\'ll be back again next year, no doubt equally as under-prepared, though some fell shoes might be on my list to Santa for 2007! Highly recommended, and a great race to score a negative split (I was 23mins up and 7 down!)
There\'s a race photo at http://www.runningpix.co.uk/Fellpics/wansfell0655D/pages/wansfell0655R034_jpg.htm
Race Report by Justin Lock
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