Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

July 18, 2011

Mike's BG Round - Leg 5, 15/16 July

Enough cake to feed an army!
 Well, I did a little of everything this weekend, including some kayaking, fell running, and a mountain biking session at the Gisburn Forest bike trails.  On each and every one of them, I got soaking wet from the drenching rain that seemed to fall all weekend long.  Squelching shoes and wringable rainjackets might be a novelty to desert dwellers, but splashing through puddles and singing in the rain gets old after a while.

So Mike sure picked a cruddy weekend to attempt his BG round, that's for sure.   As I was scheduled to join him on his final leg, I waited anxiously for text updates to see how the weather was affecting his round.  He had assured me beforehand that he wouldn't "throw in the towel", although on such a wet weekend a few extra ones might have been handy!?! 

Descent off Robinson with Keswick in view!
 Sure enough, he was (almost) on time and going strong through the first 4 legs, despite getting lost in the fog and wind and rain in the middle of the night atop a few peaks.   The rain made for deep bogs and waterfalls and generally miserable conditions for Mike and his supporters (including Martin on Leg 3).

I arrived at Honister Pass a bit early, in time to sample a couple of Helen's cakes and watch the slopes for the incoming runners.   Mike arrived only a few minutes behind schedule, soaking wet of course like he had been almost the whole round, and we set off quickly back up into the clouds on Leg 5.  Actually, he set off quickly, and I struggled to keep up with his quick pace up to the top of Dale Head.   I must have eaten too much cake after seeing how much was in Helen's car!  Luckily Mike had 9 other folks to keep him company until I caught up with him on the downhill.  Finally.  How embarrassing to be left behind by a guy with 55 miles and 25,000 feet of climbing already in his legs! 

Robinson  #42!
 But it was a credit to Mike's climbing ability that his round went off successfully, as the steep downhills were obviously torturing him at the end.  Remembering how much I had limped by the end of the Housman just six weeks ago, I was wincing in sympathy.   Well, Hindscarth summit passed uneventfully (with sideways rain and obscuring fog), and without further ado, we reached Robinson, the last of the 42 tops.   I seemed to have the only camera among the group, so we posed for a quick photo before making the very steep descent down to the road. 

Once at the bottom, there was a quick change into dry shoes and socks for Mike, and he donned his Dalham club vest for the final push into Keswick.  Amazingly enough, the sun came out for a few minutes, and a few intrepid runners stripped down to just their Dalham vests, although I was still happy to keep my long sleeves and raincoat on.   I felt justified when it rained a further 4 times before we finished.  :(

A big crowd was waiting at the finish, and Mike took the time to shake everyone's hand and pose for photos, although I'm sure he was only dreaming of a chair to sit down in, perhaps some dry warm clothes, and mostly his bed.  Back at the car still stuffed with cakes, we shared round a bottle of bubbly (this about did Mike in), and we all nobly tried to clean up a few containers of baked goods. 

Congrats Mike, for finishing in those awful conditions, with a time of 23:37!!!

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