Lindas Lakeland 10 Peaks

The race is called the 10 Peaks Challenge and it’s 73k (45 mile) with 5200m of ascent (18,000ft). They drop you off at the bottom of Helvellyn at 5am so you do Helvellyn then head off up Wythburn to Bowfell, Great End, Ill Cragg, Broad Cragg, Scafell Pike, Scafell, Great Gable, Pillar and Skiddaw – the 10 highest peaks in the Lake District. Although it’s a set route and you have to visit them in order, you can do an alternative route from Scafell. Either back track down Lord’s Rake to the corridor route and do Great Gable then Pillar or drop down into Wasdale and up Wind Gap or Black Sail and do Pillar first, we chose the latter via Black Sail. It gave us an excuse to pop in the pub for some light refreshment. After Great Gable you head to Honister where there was some much needed food and water as the streams were pretty dry en route. At Honister checkpoint you still have 17 miles to go which if the race finished in Keswick, it would’ve been a nice sensible distance but the ascent up Skiddaw certainly sorted the men from the boys. We went up an unconventional way via Applethwaite Gill and Howgill Tongue. Carl Side was too steep and the tourist path too far out of our way. Once we’d dibbed in the freezing cold at the top we took the tourist path down to finish at the football club in Fitz Park. It seemed to take us forever to get off Skiddaw via the tourist path but once we reached the end we found out that we were the 1st pair (not just mixed but first overall) in a time of 19 hours and 7 mins. Ian my partner was ill for the first 4 hours although he failed to tell me this and we lost quite a bit of time early on but once he’d perked up we made good ground. The weather was overcast and cool thank goodness otherwise we’d have been frazzled to a crisp.