18km with 1480 metres of ascent
4 Westies ventured south of the border for this classic Lakes race - myself, Keith Adams, Jason and John Hamer. At 18km, or 11.2 miles, this is the shortest and most enjoyable of the Lakes Classic series. Car parking at Hodge Close quarry made for a social pre-race amble to the Three Shires Inn where the race starts. A massive turnout of 334 runners made for a slightly delayed start.
Once the race was underway, to avoid getting trampled I lead the field for the first 800 metres or so, down to the bridge crossing, before letting Ricky Lightfoot take over to win the race for the 2nd year in a row, in a time of 1:57. I had a reasonable climbs up the first couple of hills - Wetherlam and Swirl How - before getting caught by Mike Robinson, Janet McIver, Alan Smith and Steve Birkinshaw. After the next hill - Pike o'Blisco - I managed to follow Alan and Steve across to Blea Tarn and up Lingmoor without dropping any more places, despite Mike Johnson of Bowland and Dave Birch of Keswick getting close to my heels. I finished in a 5 minute PB of 2:11:34 in about 15th position I'd guess.