The trails are hard and technical compared to the UK and Ireland, but there’s some great running and outstanding views. Let’s take a look…
Race report continued…
I stopped at the Wythburn checkpoint for maybe 10 minutes, in hindsight it was a bit too long, but I put that down to being cold and wet. Changing clothes is hard enough in a race. Throw in being soaked through and covered in mud and see how long it takes! Nonetheless Ian Mulvey was on hand to remind me this was a race and to crack-on!
The summer was dry. The recce weekend was dry. Plenty of weekends, long runs and mountain days were even sunny and warm. Well that all ended on Thursday 2nd October – 2 days before the inaugural 3×3 Ultra Trail.
I woke up early on the morning of Friday 3rd to heavy rain. The kind that had been beating down all night. Things were not looking good for the race. I proceeded to make my way to the ferry for the 6.30am boat across to Scotland, and subsequent driving south to Keswick in the Lake District. It rained heavily the whole time. If the rain stopped now the race would still be a wet one.
On Friday 5th September I set sail for Scotland, with my ultimate destination Keswick in the Lake District. The purpose of the trip was to join High Terrain Events for a two day recce of the 3×3000 race route. Having never been in the Lake District before, I figured this might just be a good idea! I don’t want to learn it at 5am in the dark on race morning!
The race is a rework of the classic ‘Lakes 3000s’ route for the Skyrunner National Series, which is also in its first year. The route covers 80Km and a mean 4000m of ascent. It’s mostly marked, but that means nothing in the clag and high mountains. The route starts (5am) and finishes at Crow Park, Keswick, and undulates along the hills to the east of Derwentwater, before it winds it was up the Borrowdale Valley to the first summit – Scafell Pike. The tallest mountain in England at 978m. That’s checkpoint one! The route then heads off towards Wythburn on the southern banks of Thirlmere, via Angle Tarn and High Raise. At approximately half way, the route ascends the Helvellyn range, were we have a checkpoint on the Helvellyn summit and another at the end of the range on Clough Head. A sharp fell descent from Clough Head and a short trail run across to the checkpoint at Latrigg brings us to the last of the 3000s, Skiddaw. The route here is an anti-clockwise summit loop by Dash Falls, then a steep final fast descent from the summit trig point back to Latrigg. The last section is an easy 5Km back to the finish at Crow Park.
Click here to view the Route Map