Closer to home it was the British and English Championship race held at Stool end farm in Langdale. This is a long counter race and covers a lot of rocky terrain in the first half before turning to wet boggy ground in the later sections.
Race morning was wet with low cloud. The route is 13.75 miles with a lot of climb packed in and covers a lot of ground not ventured to in other fell races which means in the mist things can get very interesting. On the climb up Bow Fell the pack split with some sticking to the path the others going direct. At the summit the front runners were back together. Over Esk Pike nothing changed but at Great End they all split and a group of four led the way, including Keswick’s Carl Bell and the new, phenomenally speedy kid on the block, Brennan Townshend.
The four stayed together until slight side. By the top of Pike O’ Blisco Brennan Townshend of Keswick had 30 seconds on team mate Carl Bell. Route choice off Blisco was very interesting and on this occasion Carl had the better line and came home in first in around 2 hours 40 minutes, with Brennan in second position about 3 minutes behind. Keswick men’s team won the team prize with Calum Tinnion having a great run finishing in 7th. All runners deserve a huge amount of credit for getting round such a tough course in very varied conditions. Keswick was well represented in the men and women, with Steve Jones and Keswick veteran men, including Steve Angus, Andrew Slattery and Craig Smith, putting in some particularly solid performances. Jenn Mattinson, Lucy Burnett and Kate Apps all finished in sub 4 hours. Zoe Webber was not far behind that, followed by Rachel Findlay-Robinson and Lesley Malarkey, Keswick’s 70 year old superwoman, flying round in sub 5 hours, despite suffering earlier in the week with an ear infection.