The Wansfell 10k Mountain Trail Race 2017 was a small field of 39 runners this year, so numbers down from 2016, but the weather played ball on this bright and very muggy Autumn Sunday at the Festival of the Fells in Ambleside.
We had a great mix of hardcore fell runners, 1st time trail/fell runners to a couple of Nordic Walkers who all found the course extremely well marked and great fun.
The terrain is technical and plays to good ascenders, but you need to be a good descender as well or all can be lost in the fast and furious switchback type chicanes of the Wansfell descent into Jenkin Woods, then technical skills really take over with the rooted descent back into Ambleside.
The start was dominated by Mark Dyer who kept the lead until the final descent, but with Alan Beckett, Rupert Bonington and Paul Knowles hot on his heals the pressure was on.
Alan Beckett took the win crossing the line in a cracking time of 01:06:20.
The ladies race was neck and neck until the final ascent of Wansfell, with Rachel Simpson and Sally Houghton fighting it out, but Sally pulled away on the final descent to take the win in a time of 01:13:29.
No records were broken but the course was very wet, more so than last year and the very humid air made it feel pretty damn hot.
2 Nordic Walkers also stepped up to the challenge and both made cracking times. Heidi,one of the Nordic Walkers, was quoted saying "Far worse than any Total Warrior!", which we of course take as a major compliment.
The course will soon be know as a classic race for all to do, it mixes a bit of everything and is the "perfect pre-blast your legs need before the Hodgson Relay" according to Mountain Fuels Rupert Bonington.
The course is fully marked throughout with A5 Correx Arrows for major directional changes and the town sections with Red Flags for the mountain and woodland sections to keep runners on track. This means if you've never done a "Mountain Trail/Fell Race" before then you don't have to be able to navigate and it opens up the opportunity for runners without the skills be able to come and enjoy the mountians and racing without fear of getting lost. (Of course we encourage all runners to learn to navigate and do run courses to help you learn!)
All the route markings were placed out by myself between 06:00 and 08:00 and stripped by our excellent marshals directly after the last runner/Nordic Walker comes through.
I then made a final sweep today (Tuesday 26th Sept), just to make sure we are in fact only leaving footprints and nothing else!
Thanks go to the Climbers Shop and Mountain Fuel for supporting the race with vouchers and products for the prizes. Thanks also go to the National Trust for allowing us to host the route over Wansfell.
Thanks also to the small team of experienced marshals, without who's help we wouldn't be able to put the race on.
We look forward to hosting it again on the Festival of the Fells weekend, designed to bring business to Ambleside on a weekend, post the summer holidays, which it certainly seemed to this weekend.
Results and RD report for the 10k Trail Race and Stickle Grind Uphill Fell Race
Theo from #LoveTrailsFestival and #LittleBigAdventures came to the Lakes for some investigating and fun so we had a...