Wasdale X Ironman Tri

5 years 5 days ago #2820 by Jan Forrester
Report from Chris Howard

The course claims to contain the most climbing in any known ironman triathlon distance, 17000 feet in 144 miles, covering pretty much all of the lake district in one day, the bike route being the iconic Fred Whitton ride, and marathon run summitting Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.The 3.8km swim is in Windermere, which remained a very chilling 15 degrees this June.
There was a race limit of 250 competitors and 236 of those started at 4.30am on Saturday morning, including 6 relay teams. I was pleased to get round the swim somewhere in the middle of the field, and although shivery cold on getting out not so cold I couldn’t get changed and off up Kirkstone Pass on the bike. Looking around in the transition from swim to bike I could see several casualties of the cold who were being swaddled in foil blankets and fed hot drinks.This was to be the end of the race for a few of them.
After such a cold start the day was soon hotting up and by the time I’d reached the top of Honister Pass all memories of being so cold had melted away.The next big climb was up Newlands Pass , only 20% compared to 25% up Honister, so a better chace to take in the scenery.
Next from there was Whinlatter Pass, followed by Coldfell, before the trek to Eskdale Green and ride over Hardknott and Wrynose, with gradients of 33% and 20%. The heat of the day had by now set in and despite taking on over 6 litres of fluid I was feeling far too hot and thirsty, and did contemplate getting back in the lake at T2 to cool off a bit.
Coming into transition 2 a few specatators including Lizzie my daughter were shouting that I was the leading lady, so I decided not to have a second dip in Windermere and headed straight out for the run.
The run is self supported which means carrying mountain survival kit and enough food and drink for several hours of very intensive climbing.The first 8 miles were from Ambleside along the Cumbria way up to Dungeon Ghyll, before the 5 mile ascent up Scafell Pike. By now I’d been on the go for over 12 hours and was really feeling the heat of the day. Reaching the checkpoint at Dungeon Ghyll I noticed a few runners either asleep or unconscious, with first aiders tending to them.I felt pleased not to be in that state but very aware that there was still a long way to go,with no signs of the sun cooling off…….or that’s my excuse for walking the next phase, rather than running it.
Several hours later it was a relief to be on the summit of Scafell Pike, on what was a perfectly clear evening. Although I’d been looking forward to the descent it didn’t turn out as hoped, cramp set into my thighs forcing more of a hopping shuffle than run downhill. Still, other’s seemed worse than me and I picked up a few places on the steepest descent, only to turn round at the bottom and see the then second lady come into view and overtake me. Quite frankly I didn’t care, I wasn’t even sure if I’d make the final 8 miles in, never mind keeping up with her.
Things brightened up when Lizzie met me for the final 8 mile run in, and I felt pleased to just get through the final stages intact without being pulled out of the race.We finished just after 11pm, in a total time of 18 hours 33 minutes, and I placed 2nd overall female, 1st veteran female. Out of the 240 entrants starting I finished in the top 40, and was to find out the following day less than 60 competitors finished the full race.
It’s a really friendly event I’d recommend to anyone who wants a change from the major commercial events with scenery and gradients to match.
The winner was Steve Clark in 14.26.24 and 1st lady Alison Bell in 18.00.02.

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5 years 5 days ago #2823 by Simon C
Replied by Simon C on topic Wasdale X Ironman Tri
Excellent effort Chris! I hope you managed to enjoy some of it. Bloomin well done!

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5 years 5 days ago #2824 by Peter Wilmot
Replied by Peter Wilmot on topic Wasdale X Ironman Tri
Inspirational!

Awesome job Christine! I think you're due to that flight and flop holiday! ;)

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