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Sedbergh Fell Race

14.3 miles / 5,300ft

Start and Finish, overlooked by Winder (2,000ft)

  Advertised Statistics Measured Statistics
Distance 14 Miles 14.3 Miles
Total Climbs 6,000ft 5,300ft

This is a cracking race, ideal for experienced fell runners looking for a challenge. 

Parking was at el posho Sedbergh school, about 10 min walk from registration.  Maps were available from Pete Blandís stall near registration.

On a rainy day, Mudclaw fell shoes with big rubber studs proved to be crucial, even though trail shoes were very tempting due to the long time on feet.  The descents are often very steep and there were large sections on slippery, wet grass.  Even the uphill sections were slippery and there was a lot of running up paths as the water ran down them.  Those in trail shoes were sliding all over the place.  Expect lots of contouring that hurts your jutty-out ankle bone as your shoes ride up the side of your foot.

A Garmin 305 programmed with the CPís came in handy after the clag came down and visibility dropped to about 15 yards.  That GPS arrow, faithfully pointing to the next CP, was a real comfort at low visibility.  The controls on a 405 would seize up after 5 minutes in the rain.  I canít recall seeing any flags on the course. 

In areas below the fog line, views down the valleys were absolutely stunning.  Purple heather adorned the slopes as the rivers meandered peacefully down below.  Meanwhile the poor marshals were hiding in igloo tents on the blisteringly windy and wet tops, sheepishly poking their heads out to take your number as you pass.

There is no water or food at checkpoints.  But there are streams at CP3 and 4.

Despite the horrendous amount of ascent, the course was nicely soft under foot.  There was no scree or loose bouldery sections to run on.  Although the gradient was incredible in places, there were uphill sections (e.g. up to the Calf) which were long and not too steep, making for some good running. 

Along the way folk were talking about short cuts, so I reckon some advance recceing or local knowledge would come in handy if you want to get a fast time.

At the end there was free tea and biccys, but take some sandwiches else you will go hungry after the race.  Also take dry clothes. The menís toilet facilities were good.   

Expect to complete it in about 2 to 2.5 X your half marathon time. Perhaps knock 30% off your Borrowdale time because Sedbergh is shorter and much more runnable. Also expect your quads to hate you for days afterwards.

 

 

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(C) Copyright John Mayall 2009