Dot Kesterton is Team Accelerate’s V60 Female and barely needs introduction. She can be found running as part of local ladies’ club ‘The Smiley Paces’ when she isn’t Park Running or competing at national level for her age group. No slouch.
Lakeland Trails, ‘Dirty Double’ report.
The Smiley Paces running club moved en masse to Helvellyn Youth Hostel and neighbouring bunkhouse for the last of the Lakeland Trail series, Helvellyn on Saturday 7th November and Ullswater on Sunday 8th November 2015.
A pair of fairly short races with a good bit of ascent, the ‘Dirty Double’ promised stunning scenery, dramatic views and a half hour cruise to the start of the second race, serenaded all the way by local singer Pete Lashley.
Day one, Helvellyn:
Mist over the hills. The odd squall but a good day for a race. The Smileys lined up expectantly with a couple of hundred other hopefuls, to run up the hill towards Helvellyn and past the hostel.
I secreted my water bottle at the entrance so I wouldn’t have to carry it all the way from the start.
The route ascends steadily on track and path, crossing Glenridding Beck from the start at Jenkin Field, over a couple of miles to the turning point at a weir beyond the hostels.
I knew I had to keep the pace down to be able to complete the climb, but still ended with a short walk just before the turn. Then a lovely undulating descent in varied terrain toward Grisedale and back to Glenridding and the finish.
One by one my buddies ran in, triumphant – with Abigail Hathway leading the group in 72.59mins to come in as 8th woman, followed closely by Vicky Penn, 74.40, 9th woman and Margo Duncan, 75.21, 10th woman.
I felt strong throughout and managed to race through the mud to finish in 82.46 as 30th woman and first F60, a good 6 minutes ahead of the next woman of my age group.
Day two, Ullswater:
Many hours of continual, heavy rain made this race a complete washout.
The Steamboat cruise had to be cancelled, because of high winds – and so an ‘emergency’ shortened route, from the start at Glenridding out towards Patterdale and along the shore of Ullswater, was implemented.
This is classic autumn Lake District weather. The route undulated along well trodden paths as we splashed and slid in the mud.
My legs were pretty good after the climbs of the previous day’s race, so I set a slightly slower pace and heart rate and ran comfortably through the deluge.
Frustratingly – the chip timing system failed, probably caused by the start pad being buried in inches of mud!
But a week later the results were pieced together and I am delighted to find that with a time of 55.43 for 5.5 miles, 10 minutes ahead of my nearest rival – I am the F60 ‘Dirty Double’ winner 2015.
Since my prize is an automatic entry into next year’s race, I can look forward to another Lakeland adventure for 2017.
17th November 2015.