Causey Pike Fell Race
The sun, as is traditional, shone on Stair for Causey race on Saturday, warming the muck on the parking field to a fine aroma. A few Amblesiders rolled up and with Harry Shuell looking keen we remembered the victorious 2017 Causey team – unfortunately Joe Mann was recovering from jetlag and couldn’t make it this year. We warmed up, double checked the route and Harry had a gel. He’d regret that in about twenty minutes’ time.
As the minutes ticked towards 2pm, runners gathered by the bridge. The field was huge, with a lot of Northern Fells and CFR vests. It turned out they were both out for club champs, contributing to the total field of 152. The pace was fairly gentle up the road, set by Jebby, Josh Jardine and Martin Mikkelsen-Barron. Josh had evidently been recceing carefully, adding an extra few metres with a loop up the road before being shouted back by Rob.
At first, Harry led up the climb to Rowling End. About half way up though, the side effects of the gel started to kick in and he flagged. It was tempting to take advantage of the easing pace but once we hit a wider section of trod I forced myself to speed up. The rest of the climb to Causey was hard, with the nasty running section (I hate running) after the first top. Victoria Wilkinson and Simon Netherway passed me (I think), but I managed to keep pushing and had them in sight over the summit. A neglect for personal safety can get you a long way on a descent, and although my legs wouldn’t thank me for it afterwards I passed them on the steep section and ran down the track alone. I could see Ted Ferguson’s purple vest in the distance but there was no chance it was getting any closer.
I found the secret beck crossing (just) and heard some splashing in the beck upstream which put a bit of fear into me for the last blast on the road. Stupidly going for the flamboyant cattle grid leap I stuck my foot through the final bars. Nobody saw and it came back out straight away so I was able to make a dash to the finish and hold on to 6th, despite Daniel Connolly from Mercia coming up fast behind. Victoria won the open women and Martin M-B won the open men. From Ambleside, Jo Simpson was second U23 and Jane Reedy was fourth V40, Harry saved himself for Carrock the next day and placed 17th, Paul Cornforth was 20th and first V50, Paul Knowles 39th, Paul Simpson 78th and Richard Tait 142nd.
No Easter eggs for the Ambleside team this year but if we keep Joe off international flights we could be in for a shout in a year’s time.
Full results are here: http://keswickac.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Causey-Pike-2018-Results_PDF.pdf
Thanks to Steve Razzetti for the photos – more are available on his Facebook page.