The second Dark/White Mini-Mountain Marathon was based in Coniston. I hadn't been to the Lake District since early July, so it was nice to see the hills again. Rob was even driving up with me, so I could watch the scenery rather than concentrating on the road. Windermere reservoir was completely fogged in, but sky was blue when we arrived in Coniston with no chance of rain for the race.
Rob headed off to walk along the water's edge while I knew my day would be spent climbing a lot of elevation. The area for the race was centered on Coniston Old Man...although I went all the way around the summit, I didn't actually go up and over it. But there were plenty of other steep hills to make up for that!
I didn't feet terribly great at the start and wondered temporarily if I should just walk around rather than push myself. That feeling lasted until I got on the clock, and then as predicted I was off and running. Although I kept my effort to about 90% today...no need to push too hard.
Of course, it had been raining. A lot. Every stream and beck was still running almost in flood, so the ground underfoot was like a mini-river. Sloshing through cold water for minutes at a time out on route was very chilling to my toes...to the point where my feet actually went numb a couple of times.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Lake District. I love the views, and often I hate the footing under me. The rocks tend to be sharp and uneven, likely to be slippery and unstable. A slip on some steep sections could mean not just a sprained ankle, but a bone busted in so many pieces that only a helicopter could get me out again. Luckily, I stayed in one piece for the race, but I know my speed suffered as I picked my way down a few cliffy areas to controls.
But overall, a really fun day out in the hills, amazing clear views of the valleys around me. I was happy with my navigation and even got in a few minutes early so I didn't have to sprint to the finish. These navigational races are my favorite type of events...I get to choose how hard and fast I race and which route to take.
Results are here: http://www.darkandwhite.co.uk/results/conistonsplittimesbyclassv2.html