18th October 2009

Following a 3-year absence, Westerlands made an illustrious-ish return to the FRA Relays, held this year in the north west Lakes near Ennerdale.

After an alpine start from Glasgow, we found ourselves at "Lakes Bakes" cafe in Cockermouth by 8.30am for cappucino and bacon rolls, which strangely turned out to be the highlight of the day. The race itself was in a desolate forgotten corner of the Lake District on largely featureless grassy hills. Soon after the race started the clag descended and the hills vanished into low cloud with the rain setting in.

JD & Christine ran Leg 1 for our respective men’s and women’s teams, with Cat & Ellie and David & Chris running Leg 2. David & I set off first but overshot our turnoff for Gavel Fell and then became hopelessly disorientated in the mist as we visited checkpoint after checkpoint only to discover they were not the right ones. After a fairly exhausting and wearing 2-mile detour we finally found our Checkpoint 1 and then belted round the rest of the course, eventually catching Ellie & Cat who were amused that we appeared from behind.

Dave Rogers and Steffen had a much better run on Leg 3, and almost handed over to David Dickson before getting lapped by Simon Booth running for Borrowdale vets, whilst for the women Helen & Pauline eventually made it back for the final handover to Pat.

The first 3 teams were all disqualified for failing to find Checkpoint 1 on Leg 4 which was strange since David & I had no problem in finding this checkpoint 3 times and it wasn’t even on our route!

Video of lead runners final descent | Link to photos

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