Well the Keswick Mountain Festival has been & gone but was very enjoyable & once again spent in the great company of Fraser.
Without the pressure of our own Presentation this year we could enjoy attending a couple of Presentations in the main Lakeland Theatre. The first was a Q & A session with Joss Naylor hosted by Claire Mixsted of Trail Running Magazine, Joss was accompanied by fellow Fell legend Kenny Stewart & it made for a fascinating insight into how they set records that are still un-beaten several decades on.
On Friday we tackled 8 summits on & around Skiddaw which was my first time on this iconic mountain. I ran up the last climb to Little Man which felt great but our direct descent line back to the car was far from comfortable but did allow us to get to Friday’s early evening Presentation by Peter Habeler of Everest without Oxygen fame. Peter’s enthusiasm for guiding lesser mortals in his native Tyrol shone through above his own magnificent achievements.
8 summits & 2 nights of Beer & Wine are not ideal prep. for a Half Marathon Trail race but we were relatively well behaved & early to bed on the Friday so Saturday morning I was feeling better than expected. This led to a good race, my stamina began to kick in as I picked off a few competitors on the return home until with 3K’s to go the route markings dissapeared, Marshalls were where exactly & seemingly everyone got lost & had to find the finish line by following one’s nose or the loss guy in front. Imagine my surprise when I the tannoy announced that the guy who I’d been following for the last 12K was actually Vassos Alexander the BBC & BT Sports presenter. I cmae in 13th out of approx. 100 so that felt pretty good despite doing an extra 1K in the mayhem. Organisers please take note you need to improve things it took a little gloss of what was a truly beautiful route (when we’d been on the right one at least).
Now the focus moves onto the Welsh 1,000 metre race, some serious prep. is required so please Thunder Storms take your leave & let me safely back onto some summits over the coming weeks.