Lakeland Trails Keswick 15k trail challenge 2021

It was good to be back.  I’ve missed this, getting away, into a beautiful place, forgetting about the stresses for a while.

Unusually we were on our own for this LT run (normally there are a few friends that come over too) which changed the tone of the weekend, but gave us a chance to do our own thing.  We’d both taken Friday off work and once we were on the road I felt like I could finally relax.  We were booked on a site we’d stayed at before, knew the route, and weren’t in a rush – perfect. 

Part of the climb

Saturday morning and we were at Keswick parkrun (blame my husband – I was going to miss it and keep my legs fresh for the afternoon!).  Third time I’ve done this parkrun, but first time since improvements to the path the course runs along – it’s fab!  And includes a tunnel!  We were supposed to be taking it steady, and did for the first mile… 9:30, 9:00, 8:25…  resulting in a course PB.

The rocky path, heading home at this point.

Our start time for LT wasn’t until 12:48 (very grateful for LT for continuing with the option of staggered starts for the rest of the year) giving us a chance for a wander around Keswick (purchase of new walking boots) and something to eat before getting prepped and to the start line.

I didn’t feel very settled, I felt rushed, had a bit of a stomach ache, just not right.  I had a jog around the park to try and settle, which did help a bit but I had to fight hard (with myself!) in the first mile to relax and enjoy the run.

Starting the fast decent back to Keswick

In my head the route is split into sections – the first section out of the town, climbing up with some road sections, some through woods.  The second section along the side of a fell (through the bogs) which is really hard to run and onto a track for a short downhill section to cross the stream.  The third section has a short uphill from the stream on a narrow rocky path before following a level ish path on the fell side.  I like this path, you have to watch your footing as it is very easy to trip, but it’s mostly very runnable.  It’s at this point that I finally believe that I can do it.  The fourth and final section takes you off the fell, through a little car park and onto the hard, fast, descent back into Keswick.  

The amazing view that suddenly opens up to you
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Race elevation

I hadn’t looked at my previous run times before setting off – I knew I’d done it in just less than 2hrs previously and was targeting a similar time.  Fairly early in the run I saw my husband a little ahead of me reaching for some sweets – made me think did I need some.  The thought of eating anything just made me feel instantly ill.  I decided then that I just wouldn’t bother.  I had water with me, and I did have a few salt tablets, but couldn’t face anything else.  I wonder if this caused issues after the run though.

I felt pretty good for most of the run, yes it was hard on the uphills, but I finally felt pretty strong on the downhills (for the first time in a long time), with not a lot left to give for the final push into the park and through to the finish.  

Finish time:  01:50:38 – course PB

Nearly 6 minutes quicker than last time

The official race photo

I love the LT events, feel that they’ve really thought through the Covid requirements and done far more than the bare minimum.  I felt very safe and comfortable running.

And I’ll be back at Coniston in October!

Starting the climb up Skiddaw
That’s the path we were heading up…
At the top of Skiddaw
At the top of Skiddaw

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