The Westies fly the flag (again) at the Lake Districts ‘The Kentmare Horseshoe’ race. This race has been running for 41 years or is it 42. Anyway it has been around for a long time and so has the race organiser Pete Bland, who has organised every single race!! This year it was his last race with a sign up at registration asking for another individual or club to take over the race next year. I would hope that this race is going to be snapped up quickly.
The race has a 1000m height gain spread out over 12 miles. The terrain is easy to run on with only a few bits here and there (mainly at the end) that slow you down and get the brain and feet working. The village of Kentmare is also beautiful with stone cottages nestled into the hills. It is peaceful and beautiful and a great location for a race.
Myself, Lorna, Stanley and Claire made the trip south and the weather was fantastic. Mostly sunny with wispy clouds that made the climb up to the first checkpoint a dehydrating experience. But at the height of checkpoint 1 the wind was blowing a nice breeze which cooled the body. The time limit for checkpoint 1 was not generous and I just reached it in 56 minutes with the cut off time set at 1 hour. I watched Stanely and Claire ahead with Stanley peeling off from Claire to do intervals of a sort, as he raced to the top of the two summits not climbed by the race to then catch up with Claire.
The downhill section got a bit technical at the end of the race and I rolled a bit on my left ankle, so didn’t push the downhill after that. The sun was now blazing again at the end of the race with no breeze to help as we had dropped down. Felling like I was at the end because I could see cottages and a road I pushed my pace only to realise that the end wasn’t all that close, with another mile needed. I also missed a sign and ran the wrong way, but thankfully, I was spotted and called back by another runner. I saw about five runners that where behind me, go the right way and I just didn’t have it in me to chase them down. I managed to pass two I think before the finish. Technology is a great thing and I as I finished the race I was given a print out of my time and check point times. With no Westies to chat to (they were all up in the hall), I did a proper cool down, stretch and then sat in the river to cool the legs. Then it was up to the hall to listen to the prize giving and watch Lorna receive 3rd female for the v50 category!! I also had the best cup of tea and cheese and pickle sandwich of my life. The local community have been feeding the runners at this race for 13 years and over that time have raised 6k for the Kentmare first responders. My mind cannot get over the PB for this race which is 1hr and 20mins. Which as PBs go is astounding – 1000m and 12 miles in that time!!!!