Sat 8 July 2017
The Wasdale fell race is rightly known as one of the toughest, classic long distance fell races of the Lake District. Starting and finishing at Brackenclose, very near Wasdale Head, with the highest peaks in England rising above, the race covers 21 miles and a huge 9,000 feet of ascent. It is not an event for the faint hearted or the inexperienced, especially in misty conditions. This year, however, it was blue skies and sunshine all the way with the race being one of the long English fell championship counters.
There are seven checkpoints and the first four, on the summits of Whin Rigg, Seatallan, Pillar and Great Gable all have cut off times applied – get there after the closing time and your race is over. There is no arguing with the marshals, and it`s back to the finish area under one`s own steam. This year the summit crews applied a bit of leeway because of the very warm weather and a number were glad of the flexibility applied.
Three intrepid Harriers toed the start line and Nichola Jackson, having been the leading lady for almost the entire race, was annoyed to lose out after the descent off Lingmell breast and a sprint finish with Anna Lupton of Black Combe Runners; Lupton securing the win by just 2 seconds in 4 hrs 41.28. Jackson finished 46th out of 233 finishers.
Andrew Harrison finished in 6 hrs 02.11 and Michael McLoughlin feeling the heat was timed out on Great Gable, but was somewhat relieved he didn`t have to climb up Scafell Pike after a strenuous day. 51 runners were either timed out or retired. The overall winner was Carl Bell of Keswick Ac in 3:40.53, and he was 10 minutes clear of 2nd, Karl Gray of Calder Valley.