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Grizedale Trail 26 Race Report - TES Club Member Stuart Kilmartin

It’s that time of year for the annual Montane Grizedale trail series when it’s normally either minus seven and icy or blowing a gale and knee deep in rain.

This time we decided to make a chilled weekend of it and travelled up on Saturday for a walk round Ambleside however this may have turned into a swim as the rain was bouncing and the streets became streams, not a great sign for what lay ahead tomorrow.

We arrived in good time on Sunday morning to chill out before the mass hysteria of the twenty six and thirteen starts. As we got out of the car the heavens opened delivering a stinging hail storm cheering me up no end as the forecast was predicting the end of the world…

I began sipping the secret weapon- Mountain Fuel energy- shameless plug Rupert- couldn’t not get you a mention! (Other brands are available but I don’t get any free t-kit from those folk!)

As we entered the event village it was good to see the Mountain Fuel guy’s and true to their word had saved me some “power” pancakes- note to editor, these really should be sent to trading standards as what we call pancakes in Wiggin were the size of fifty pence pieces- tasted great but pancakes?

After registration I returned to the car to get ready, sort out the running pack and don the race number, on the walk back to the events village I met Sally and Lou. I tried to get in the conversation but gave up after ten minutes as I couldn’t get a word in, even when they paused for breath.

Time for coffee and it was good to see Wayne “I know where I’m running and need no map” Booth and his “Piette” girls in the cafe!

Now at this point the mind games began with various folk dropping from the marathon to the half, pontificating (yes, a real word) on why I was still doing the twenty six miles and interrogating Mrs K to what she would be doing for the next five hours. Sadly a marital conversation followed where ashamed as I am, opted for the half marathon to maintain peace and tranquillity at Kilmartin Hall.

The sky began to brighten and the sun shone (against the forecast) and everybody was lined up for the marathon start, briefing over (delivered by a Churchill like Lord Kitchin, akin to Marc’s sermon but more concise and Chris can remember the route). Commander Booth and his posse set off to cheers, jeers and some abusive comments from a section of the partisan crowd.

Next up was the intrepid half marathoners comprising of Team Pie (I include them here first as I will need to mention them last in the results later), TES and some Tuesday Bat Runners (Paul “the whippet” Cheetham, Mr and Mrs Lowe) ready for the off and unlike the normal Tuesday Bat Run we started bang on time!

Off we went up the first hill, we ran as a group however let’s be candid here, they looked like they were on a nature walk and got passed by a one legged squirrel by mile two!

Now I won’t bore you with a serious account of how beautiful the course is and it was a great run with friendly banter from all runners above- well I think it was as I never saw any of them again (I say never saw any of them again on the route) and passed Wayne “follow me it’s this way” Booth who at this point was actually on the right course.

At the thirteen mile sign I could see the event village in the distance and knew there would be a lovely downhill descent to the finish so kicked on finishing in 1:50:20 but nowhere near troubling the winners.

A quick round up of the results TES was home first, Sarah Lowe (I have to say disappointing performance-blaming a pulled calf (yawn) when actually she hadn’t trained on the course as per her normal winning tactics, Andrew Lowe looking as smooth as when he started and then some of Team Pie began to appear.

Paul Cheetham did us proud as did Lara Smith who has to be given credit as she ran well (Lara, you know you’re my favourite!)

We decided not to wait for most of Team Pie brigade as we wanted to get home before April and exited south!

Another superb event, great marshals and well organised race…      

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