With the sun shining and the smell of sun cream rife, five Keswick AC members started Saturday’s 30th Anniversary edition of the Old County Tops Fell Race. Covering 37 miles and 10,000 ft of climb, the route starts and finishes in Langdale before heading to the highest points of Westmoreland, Cumbria and Lancashire, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and the Old Man of Coniston. The race is run in pairs, with Keswick fielding 2 and a half: Catherine Spurden and Simon Netherway; Rachel Findlay- Robinson and Vic Haworth; Steve Angus faced a forced separation from his long term running partner and paired with Oli Blomfield from Eden Runners.
The post race analysis revealed a number of stories ranging from Rach and Vic’s swim in Angle tarn, Simon leaking jam, the amount of tangfastics feasibly possible to eat in a one-r and the enduring dilemma of the route off Scafell Pike – drop of death or back to the col?
The race was won, and the longstanding record smashed by 4 minutes, by Rob Jebb (Helm Hill) and Ricky Lightfoot (Ellenborough). A large number of pairs retired due to the heat, unfortunately Steve and his partner were one of these.
Catherine and Simon finished 3rd Mixed Team (15th overall) with Simon’s custom-made Keswick AC visor clearly giving them the edge. After laughing at the marshals and unknown to them, Vic and Rach were leading the women’s race for the first 15 miles before realising they had probably set off too fast. They finished in 2nd place in the Ladies pairs event (39th overall). The coveted mug, t shirt and buff were all well earnt!