Duddon Valley Fell Race


Swirl How & Great Carrs – Photo by Peer Lawther used under Creative Commons

31st May 2014 – 18 miles/6000ft

I had attempted this twice before both times finishing a broken man. I have particular fond memories of the 2011 championship year when I thought I was fairly fit but blew up big style going up to Swirl How. Our esteemed Pudsey & Bramley colleagues Mr R Hope & Mr J Heneghan finishing at the sharp end over an hour in front of me.

So, 2014, hopefully third time lucky for a half descent performance, along with Andrew Birkinshaw giving it a go for the first time.

After the usual dash around the starting field we quickly sorted ourselves out into the correct pecking order, and coming over the top of the first peak, Harter Fell, the top lads had already disappeared into the distance.

I managed to tag myself onto a local Black Combe runner who then proceeded to tow me around for most of the rest of the route. Hardnott came and went, followed by a headlong dash down into Mosedale.

Then it was a hard grind up Little Stand with a glance below revealing a chasing pack of runners, before a quick contour around and a drop down to Three Shire Stone. A final push onto Swirl How, where my Black Combe guide pulled away, leaving me to trot along the final ridge of Dove Crag & White Pike and then dive down to the finish from the last peak of Caw.

A great day out in a very scenic & quiet part of the Lake District, with Andrew putting in a sterling performance for his first attempt at this tough lakes Classic.

Charlie McIntosh 12th 3:27:35.  Andrew Birkinshaw 72nd 4:13:52. (Full Results)

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