In what was to be a very wet and windy weekend several Red Rose Road Runners made their way up to Glenridding for the Dirty Double. It was to be a weekend which would see cancelled boats, changed routes, flooded car parks and lost car keys.
The closing weekend of the Lakeland Trails calendar consisted of two trail runs heading across towards Helvellyn on Saturday and along the banks of Ullswaters on Sunday. As usual three options were available across two distances.
Saturday saw 4 Red Roses line up for the 10k Helvellyn trail. Lisa Bolton returned first in 68th place overall with the fantastic time of 53:42. Also coming home in under an hour was Vicky Gore with 58:08 on the clock. Claire Shaw was next with 1:05:47 and Tracy Woods completed the quartet with 1:22:05. Well done ladies, great trail running.
Next up was the 15k challengers with 9 runners representing the famous red vest. First back was Chris Brown in 43rd place overall with 1:18:15. Following closely behind was Richard Ward and Philip Davidson with 1:24:02 and 1:25:10 respectively. Samantha Scanlon was next to appear registering 1:28:02. Margaret Lupton finished strongly just outside the 90 minute mark with 1:34:04. Mary Conway came home next with 1:46:08. Jenny Fairclough and Wendy Ward crossed the line together in 2:10:25 and 2:10:26 and Lydia Plackett ran the difficult 15k with a time of 2:48:32 rounding off a fantastic display of trail running.
Finally the racers set off an hour later along the same 15k route as the challengers. Michael Hall was the sole Red Roser out on the course and he came safely home in the speedy time of 1:10:07.
The going was difficult under foot and the rain made the slippery rocks demand concentration throughout with a few runners reporting minor falls. The conditions however were about to worsen for day two.
Sunday morning started calmly enough but the pleasant weather wasn’t to last. As runners started to arrive they were turned away from the flooded car park and forced to find parking wherever they could.
The Ullswater trail route required runners to take a boat to the far end of the lake to run back to Glenridding along the bank. The boats were to ferry runners throughout the morning resulting in staggered starts, but as the rainfall increased and winds picked up a decision was made by the organisers to change the start and the 10k runners were the only competitors to make it across on a boat before the rest of the crossings were cancelled.
First of the 10k Red Rose Road Runners to return was Vicky Gore in 1:24:56 and not too far behind was Claire Shaw stopping the clock at 1:32:00.
The 14k challenge and race routes were reduced first to 13k then 9k with a mass start scheduled for midday. The new delayed mass start time meant that the waiting runners filled the local cafes to shelter from the wind and rain before the inevitable bracing against the elements that was to follow.
Fancy dressed had been mooted prior to the event and Red Rose Road Runners were well represented with Steve Gore, running as second choice, in full Luigi costume. Philip Davidson’s Mario was nowhere to be seen however. In all the excitement Mr Davidson had lost his car keys. A search was undertaken with help from Abigail Brown but as the start time approached the keys remained lost and Luigi was forced to head to the start line brotherless.
First back from the 9k reduced trail run was Steven Gore as Luigi in 98th place overall with a time of 51:02. Also coming in under 60 minutes was Margaret Lupton with 57:02. Next home was Chris Brown with 1:02:16. Samantha Scanlon returned next with 1:07:32. Mary Conway completed her arresting run dressed as a WPC in 1:13:48. Jenny Fairclough and Jane Petrie were separated by a single second with 1:23:41 and 1:23:42 and Alison Mercer completed the wet and windy day of running with 1:27:39.
But what of the elusive car keys?
Well, they were eventually recovered from Philip Davidson’s pocket, where they had been all along! Not so super, Mario!
Well done everyone on what was a very wet and wild weekend of trail running. The Red Rose Road Runners were well represented up in The Lakes proving that running is not always about getting a good time, it’s also about having a good time.