Borrowdale Fell Race 2008

On Saturday 2nd August 2008 eight Long Eaton runners, along with 492 other fell runners awoke to a grim morning weather wise; heavy rain, cloud and no sign of the tops of the mountains, to compete in the British Fell Running Championships.

With the adrenalin pumping, and apprehensive faces all round, the boys engaged in some playful mind games, syking each other out. Phil “No Fear” Abbott found himself with Race number 1 and so the banter ensued. The race started slowly due to sheer weight of numbers and gathered momentum as the climb up Bessy Boot began. Wilko led for the club, followed by Glen “Bracken Diver” Coleman.

Things hotted up between Andy “Aussie” Colegate, Phil “Mountain Master” Walters and No Fear as they battled for positions. Pete “The Power” Sturgess, Colin and Vixen made steady progress over the course.

By the time they all reached Scarfell it was hard to see anything and many runners made navigational errors, including Vixen. To everyone’s shock, even the Mountain Master went wrong, ending up in Lingmell. The descents were difficult given the conditions – runners paths became mudslides and marshlands began to take fell runners captive – Vixen had to be rescued, not once, but twice – the second time she was swallowed up to her middle, both legs trapped and had to be set free by a friendly competitor. Colin “the Saviour” Bostock, missed the cut off at Honister through rescuing damsels in distress who had fallen prey to the marshlands.

Wilko and Bracken Diver made light work of the course and sailed through the cut-off checkpoint. No Fear had battled to pole position, leaving the Aussie and Mountain Master in his wake, until they passed through Honister, were No Fear “blew up” in spectacular style, allowing the other two to get ahead of him. On reaching the summit No Fear hurled himself off Dale Head, landed on his arse and slide his way to the bottom!

Pete attacked the course with gusto and made the cut off at Honister. Unfortunately Colin’s heroics cost him and he was timed out of the race, along with Vixen.

Wilko finished in 4:02:52, followed by a relatively unscathed Glen, who completed the course in 4:25:46. Aussie and Mountain Master battled right to the end, Aussie finishing just ahead of Mountain Master in 4:36:13, with the Master crossing the line in 4:36:57. No Fear, battled to keep both boys in sight and against all the odds finished in 4:42:34, taking a further 4:42 to recover from his earlier “blow out”. Pete successfully completed the course in 5:30:46 and was still smiling!

Nurse Debs was on hand at the finish to provide much needed sustenance and comfort to the LERC team, particularly in the case of Mr Abbott. A collapsed Mr Walters was revived by a small yappy type dog that licked him back into shape! Thanks also to Karen for her support at the start and finish and to the much welcome support and jelly sweets provided by Sean and Rob at various points out on the course.

After much needed showers and food it was off to the pub to indulge in some well earned Scarfell Blonde and Black Sheep. Across from the pub, the race organisers were holding a post race party in a Marquee. The scene was one from an episode of The League of Gentleman. This tiny village was suddenly filled with an abundance of 14 year old girls who were out to bag themselves a handsome burly fell runner! Phil Walters came to the aid of four ladies and was never seen again. Meanwhile Colin found himself competing in the local sport of “hay diving” and discovered he was a natural and Vixen discovered she had an innate ability to get served at the bar much quicker than any of the boys! Top race, top night, top weekend!


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