The Fred Whitton
It was an early start picking Rachel and Hobbit up at 4:30am, met Craig and Tom at Ings to make sure we didn’t miss each other at the start: strength in numbers!!! We got to Grasmere and it was already fairly busy with people rushing about trying to stuff gels in pockets and trying to work out how many layers to wear. It was absolutely freezing when we set off but I soon regretted the extra layer half way up Kirkstone Pass when I was sweating like mad! Luckily Tom’s wife Nikki was at the top of Kirkstone to collect extra layers we didn’t want. We set off at a decent pace with a slight idea that we’d aim to finish in 8 hours if we could. The support around the course was amazing, tons of people, all at the most difficult sections cheering us all on, lots of music and people offering jelly babies and water. We lost Tom after a couple of hours then Craig disappeared, but there were lots of people around to ride with and chat to. Myself, Rachel and Chris managed to just about stay together throughout the ride which was good as there were some tough times throughout the day where it was good to have some friendly encouragement and a wheel to get on! The feed stations provided a huge spread of cakes, sandwiches snacks and energy drinks and that was all well received especially at 90 miles.
The last part of the ride was the hardest taking in Hardknott pass and Wrynose pass followed by 12 miles back to the finish. We finished just over our 8 hour target time but to be honest we were just glad to have made it round a really tough course of 110 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing. The weather turned out to be perfect- a bit too perfect actually as I’m completely sunburned and will spend the next 2 months trying to get rid of bad tan lines! All in all a great day out, would recommend this event to everyone. Also, my Garmin said I burned over 3500 calories so will spend the next few days feeling no guilt for stuffing my face!!