Monday, 28 October 2019

#RMRChallenge Lakeland Trails Dirty Double 2019

More than 10 months after I signed up for the Lakeland Trails Dirty Double, as part of my RMR Challenge, it was finally race weekend! The forecast was dire for Saturday and we set off up towards the Kirkstone Pass with no views due to the clouds. Luckily when we reached Glenridding it was dry and just a bit grey:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

Day 1: Helvellyn 5k/10k

We registered for our respective races (10k for me 5k for him) and then just had to try to keep warm until our starts:



Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

My race set off at 11 AM and I tried to make sure I didn't get carried away by the fast start as we headed out through Glenridding. We passed the 5k turning point and headed up towards Helvellyn and the Youth Hostel:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

As we climbed we could see the front runners already heading back on the far side of the valley, at least we could see where we going next:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

As we reached the highest part of our run we could see Helvellyn with snow on the top:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

Then we turned and took the very undulating and rocky track back down towards Ullswater:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

I was allowing myself plenty of time to take in the views and snap some shots as this was my first time on the route:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

We had rejoined the 5k race route and headed up our last climb which would bring us into the next valley and passed Lanty's Tarn where James was lurking to take our photos:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

My son was flying at this point in his race which had started at 11:15:



I just looked pleased to still be able to manage a gentle jog:



We were then once again treated to a view of Helvellyn:



Then we approached the notorious grassy slope:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

The lady with the Nordic walking poles headed straight down whilst the rest of us were more cautious as to avoid an embarrassing photo taken by Carlos who was lurking at the bottom:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

Here is my son demonstrating how to do it properly:



Not wanting to risk and injury on race 1 of 2 I was so much more cautious:



I safely made it to the bottom then had a steady run along the roads back to the finish where my son had been waiting after finishing his 5k in 5th place:



As I hadn't pushed myself I was pleased to not come last and I've set myself a low bar of 1 hour 20 for when I do it again:




We stayed to watch the next 2 races start and were blessed with a rainbow:


Eventually we felt too cold to wait for the runners to return to retreated to YHA Patterdale where we had booked to camp for the night. The advantage of this was that we had full use of the facilities indoors and could sit by a roaring fire until bed time and make new friends:



Or in my son's case just chill with the free WiFi:



Due to the wild/cold weather forecast we actually slept in the car and woke in the morning to this lovely view:



Day 2: Ullswater 10k

I had to register around 8AM so it was an early walk to the start area. At least it was a dry, calm day so the mythical steamers actually sailed and even had entertainment from Pete Lashley:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

I felt pretty nervous about the whole thing:



We sailed up the lake to Howtown and passed where we would be running:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

The event organiser pointed out key features as we passed them:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

We had time to appreciate the stunning views as we cruised up Ullswater:


Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

Andy, one of the lovely marshals, was on board to make sure we were heading the correct way:



Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

We disembarked at Howtown and headed to the road for our start. There were 243 of us brave souls for the 10k race. After leaving the road we joined the Ullswater Way path which would enable us to follow the lake back to Glenridding. 

At times we had some congestion due to the width of the track or difficult sections. This was a perfect chance to capture some of the stunning views:

Ullswater Way

It was pretty colourful view ahead of me to with the runners waiting to descend the rocks:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

As we progressed the runners spread out due to varying speeds and levels of confidence. I managed to trip on a tree root whilst putting my hat back on! Two kind ladies picked me back up and I wasn't bleeding too much so I carried on - it did knock my confidence on tricky bits and my hip was rather achy though...

At least this gave me more time to appreciate the views on what was a perfect October day in Cumbria:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

Some of the route wasn't as close to the lake as others and we had some grassy tracks with lovely walls next to them:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

It turned out there was another event running down the Way. I was overtaken by canicross runners and quite a few very fast and fit runners! Those of us near the back of our race all stopped to let some of them through and get a few photos and selfies:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

I do look very pleased to be in such a beautiful spot doing a sport I've come to love:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

The colours at this time of year are amazing and with the (mostly) blue sky they were at their best:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

The nature of the geography meant that we could see (and hear) the finish from the opposite side of the lake. Unfortunately it was still at least 3 miles to get back there...

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

Eventually we dropped back into Patterdale itself and crossed over the valley to reach the road back to Glenridding:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

I wasn't last across the line but there weren't too many people behind me! 


My rewards for the efforts? Two Lakeland Trails t-shirts, a bloody knee, grazed forearm & elbow and some strange bruises on my thigh!

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double Ullswater

Oh and a scone and coffee in a cafe with a beautiful view:


We've already noted that next year the event next year is actually on my son's 13th birthday. So I guess there is only one way he is going to celebrate becoming a teenager... and I have to actually race my way around those 10k routes. Who's joining us?


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