Reports from Kerry Law at Hawkshead Trail Race 9th April and Colin Williams at Llangollen Fell race 10th April
Last weekend I did one of the Lakeland Trails races down in
Hawkshead. It was a 16k route and it was brilliant. When we arrived in
Hawkshead there were clouds and a few spits of rain, but thankfully it soon
cleared into a cold, sunny day – perfect for running.
The route headed out of the village along a country road but
soon turned up onto a wee path heading into the hills. I knew that the first
2.5 miles were uphill so settled in for the climb and shared a some ‘phew,
tough start’ comments with my fellow runners. It was a rocky path which kept
the climb interesting and we soon lost sight of Hawkshead and could see nothing
but trees, fells and stone walls – classic Lakeland views. A short section on a
forest road took us to the top of the first climb. Up here there were trees
down from the winter storms and the route was diverted a few times and also we
had to do some climbing up and over fallen trunks – I knew those Thurs runs
scrambling over trees in Glentress would come in useful!
From the top of the hill we popped out of the trees and had
a lovely long descent down a wide grassy slope with incredible views across to
the Coniston fells. There were a few stream crossings – wet feet! – then we
reached Far Sawrey. A short run through the village before turning up for more
I knew there was a hill at the start and another to come
towards the end, but I wasn’t expecting this middle hill! It was about half-way
at this point and I was feeling good, though, so managed to overtake a few
folks on the climb. Nice to know all those intervals on Janet’s Brae are worth
The descent off this hill was great fun – wet, muddy, rocky,
rooty and fast! At the bottom we followed a forest road along the side of Lake
Windermere which was bright blue in the sunshine with sail boats bobbing
Then came the tough bit. It was described in the race blurb as an
mile long, near vertical, killer climb’. I’ll confess I did underestimate it,
thinking it’s only a mile, I’ve done longer climbs, how hard can it be? Answer
– really quite hard! It started off as stone steps that seemed to stretch up
into the woods forever! Thankfully it did get more runnable nearer the top. We
popped out on a forest road and I thought that might be it, only to be told by
a very smiley marshal that there was still a quarter to go!
Up through more trees then finally I reached
somewhere I recognised – we were at the top of the first climb of the day. The
route retraced our steps from here so I knew it was all downhill. Woohoo!
It was a great way to finish, running back down the
wee rocky path we’d come up. Near the bottom the views opened up again and I
could see into the valley and Hawkshead waiting. A short wiggle across some
fields, along the edge of the village and I was back, done!
Afterwards I was surprised, and delighted, to
discover I was 10th female. Just squeezed into the top ten! It was a
great race and I’d recommend it. Colin's Report
I planned a boys weekend away with to catch up with my Dad who lives just over the English border from Wales, so we headed west and into beautiful Wales and the Vale of Llangollen. Of course I couldn't resist the opportunity to slip in a cheeky hill race!
This is how it is explained on the website:
Llangollen Fell race is a 17 mile fell and trail race that takes in around 3000ft of elevation, Taking in the beautiful views across Trevor Rocks, Eglwyseg Mountain, Rhuabon Mountain and then towards Cyrn Y Brain & Watkins Tower. Then down the Offas Dyke and along the beautiful Worlds End Trail back towards the finish. An amazing and beautiful course, all marked and marshalled and very runnable from start to finish.
It was perfect race weather - cool but sunny, amazing scenery and course
suited me - more of a trail race with gentle inclines. I was very happy to finish 9th and 2nd Vet in 2:19:37, in a race where the previous course records were beaten by the first three men and winning woman. And I managed to get back to guest house by 11.30 to meet Dad for a slap up lunch.
|That's actually me in the photo through a telescopic lens!|
|Me with my prize of Kendal mint cake coffee!|