Centurion Ultramarathon Blog

Wainwrighting: The Yellow Book

Feb 01, 2016 (4 days, 17 hours ago) | Posted by JamesElson | Tags: 2015

Notes on the North Western Fells

As I get around to finishing running each of the 7 Pictoral Guides I thought I'd put down a few notes and pictures on that group of fells, with a few suggestions for routes. Please treat these as a laymans guide to some good days out in the Lakes, but please refer also to this post for an overall picture and crucially the things you need to think about before heading out in the mountains.

Word of warning that you must pick up the relevant maps for much of this to make sense. 

I'm not going to descibe the intricacies of any of the individual fells, you can get the books for that, but I have spent a good deal of time putting together routes linking valleys, tops, ridges and tarns. There are a few specific routes in these groups which have been truly exceptional.

Finally, be aware that this barely scratches the surface of what is available in terms of exploration of this terrain. 

The North Western Fells fall in to 3 groups. The Newlands Valley Fells. The Buttermere Fells. The Whinlatter Group. There are three logical days out that on those bigger groups. There are also a few outliers which make for good short easy walks.

The North Western Fells are almost unfailingly exceptional. None are boggy slogs like their more central associates. Rock is ever present but it rarely impedes screaming fast descents. And the views over the coast where Lakeland drops away to the west are spectacular on a clear day.

Family Fells

Most or in fact all of the fells in this group make straight forward enough excursions, but there are a few lower outliers that don't make logical sense as part of an extended route. These make for great easy family days out.

Castle Crag: Stands alone as a rocky prominence above Grange in the Borrowdale Valley. This is actually Wainwright's lowest fell. A short drive from Keswick, parking responsibly in Grange Village by the River, you can join the Cumbria Way on a flat path, before climbing the western side of the Fell on a short, well made track. There is some loose slate but only a short section. 

Sale and Ling: These two fells up around Wythop Mill mark the end of Lakeland to the North West. Reachable within 20 minutes of Keswick via the A66, both are gentle grade climbs of a mile or so, offer stunning views and are achievable in all conditions, even with 2 stone of child on your back.

Louis on Ling Fell 

Newlands

Newlands Valley is just stunning. It's not surrounded by the highest peaks, but the ridge lines of the fells reach north like spiny fingers towards Keswick and Skiddaw, creating a narrow corridor of exceptional beauty. This view from the top of Dale Head looking North down the valley gives a perspective.

From Dale Head summit. On the left Hindscarth. Ahead in the distance Skiddaw group.
Maiden Moor is on the right. 

Bob Graham Leg 5, the final leg, takes one from Honister Pass up to the top of Dale Head, around to Hindscarth, then Robinson, and down her flank to Newlands Church and Little Town before the final 5 mile run in on road to Keswick.

Left to Right - High Spy, Dale Head (Distance), Hindscarth, Robinson.

Whilst Leg 5 is a great day out, that group of fells is better done in a bigger horseshoe. By starting at Cat Bells, a natural ridgeline ascends over that first summit, on to Maiden Moor and High Spy, before a drop to Dale Head Tarn. A steep pull up a grassy slope deposits one on the summit of Dale Head, before commencing the leg 5 tops of Hindscarth and Robinson, before the drop back down to Little Town and a couple of gentle flat miles back to the foot of Cat Bells. This is a reverse of the Fell Race, The Anniversary Waltz. Navigationally this is a  very straight forward line.

The path up Eel Crag from Sail Pass

The sister race to the Waltz, Teenager With Altitude, is a much more signifcant route taking in Causey Pike, across to Outerside, then a big pull up to the King of the Buttermere fells - Grassmoor. Off of Grassmoor via Whiteless Pike. Up to Newlands House, High Snock Rigg (not a Wainwright) then on the remainder of the Waltz Route via Robinson around to Cat Bells. More information here. Circuit is around 16 miles with 7300ft of climbing.

The View over Rannerdale Knotts (near) to Red Pike from Grassmoor Summit.

The Teenager and Buttermere Sailbeck Fell Race Routes are truly the pick of the bunch. You can pick up the maps (pictured) from Pete Bland Sports (online and with a shop in Kendal), though as always in the Lakes it is worth taking the relevant OS Sheet for the area too. Please don't copy and paste them from here, they are featured merely to show the routes as opposed to long written descriptions. For those familiar with the Lakeland 100 route, the Sailbeck links the fell tops seen to the left and right as you climb up from Buttermere check point towards Sail Pass and down to Barrow Door. Highlights include the line up Causey Pike and the run from Eel Crag all the way down across Wandope and Whiteless Pike before the steep drop to the finish. Circuit is around 10 miles with 4700ft of climb.

Whiteside from Grassmoor


Finally, one should not ignore the ridge across Whiteside and up and over Grisedale Pike, the towering giant of a mountain which looks like it has a motorway driven up it from the A66 approaching Keswick.

Here is a line I took in April 2015, starting out from Buttermere and linking together the western group of Buttermere fells before dropping off of Grisedale Pike to Braithwaite. This was one of the best days of running I've ever had. Link to Strava File

Whinlatter Fells

The group consisting of Graystones, Broom Fell, Lord's Seat, Barf and Whinlatter make for a logical round. My chosen route was to start at Scawgill Bridge, taking the fairly extreme initial climb up Graystones before a sweeping view over the coast presents at the summit. From there it's easy if slightly boggy running around to Broom, Lord's Seat and then to the classic Barf with it's rocky escarpment overlooking the A66. From Barf I took a direct route through Whinlatter Forest to the peak. There are scores of tracks in there and they do not correlate necessarily to the map. I ended up in a fairly desperate manoevre climbing directly up Willybrag Gill, actually in the water itself. It's worth coming at it from the East via the Forest Park. This circuit is circa 8 miles with 2500 feet of ascent.

Here is a link to my strava file of this route

Country to Capital 2016

Jan 24, 2016 (1 week, 5 days ago) | Posted by JamesElson | Tags: 2016

Country to Capital organised by Go Beyond is a classic season opener to the UK ultra calendar. Low key and low fuss. The course divides up in a similar way to some of the longer standing US classic 50 milers in that it's a race of two halves. 22 miles on a hot potch of footpaths, bridelways and road to the Grand Union Canal. Then a 20 mile straight shot down the towpath to Little Venice. At 42 miles with about 1000 feet of climb, it really isn't going to get any flatter than this at a trail race, in fact it's a net down hill so it doesn't count.

Race day dawned this year cold, dry and sunny. Conditions could not have been better and rarely has the course been in better knick.

The first 400 metres have become known as Race to the Gate. An event within an event. The origins of this initial sprint were founded after it was recognised early on, that the sharp right turn off of the high street could only really be negotiated one at a time so that it was worth hammering it down the perfectly graded initial road descent to beat the rush. This has developed in to a hunt for pure glory. In 4 previous outings I've had 4 second places. This time I wanted it all, my hopes bolstered when serial nemsis Tim Adams pulled out the night before with a broken fingernail. Except I mentioned to Dan Gritton at the start that he should go for it too, and he promptly dropped me like a sack of shit. Whilst there was a yawning gap to 3rd place, Dan was well ahead of me. My 400-800m pace is awful right now. Though it's possible his performance didn't count because he isn't on strava and thus didn't contest the current (greatest) leaderboard (of all time) for that segment.

Diving through the gate in to the alley, we were both completely wasted so I jogged with Dan and waited for the wave of front runners to join us. Dan looked and sounded like he was at the circus. Before the race I had talked about running a 5:30ish overall time. I assure the reader familiar with the outcome, that this was not 'hot-dogging'. The race is a great leveller because who really knows what kind of shape they are in come mid-Jan? As Chris Brookman, Jon Ellis and Svein Ove Risa caught up to me at the head of the field, I fell in line and at the top of the first of 2 'climbs' on the course, I was still with them so I stuck around. If I'm honest, I expected to be dropped without having to go harder than I was willing to at that point, but that didn't happen. 

We rolled on as a group of 4 to Check Point 1. Chris, Jon and I all knew the route so that saved any messing around. Svein had no clue so he stuck with us like glue. Everyone seemed to be coping well with the pace.

Down the Chess Valley and up through the short woodland climb, the group splintered for the first time and there were some horse impressions to be heard from behind. I took the opportunity in the run up to Check Point 2 to push it a bit on any marginal descents and see if anyone went off of the back. My La Sportiva Helios SR, the greatest shoe of all time were handling the mixed terrain well, but I took a big heel skid on some ice on a short road descent ending up in the ditch to the side, however managing to keep it upright was my omen that this was to be a good day. As we got to that second check point, Chris had fallen back just a little, Jon stopped to get something and Svein and I hammered straight through. Checking back on the rollers to Denham and David Hellard was now in third keeping us in sight probably for nav reasons but seemingly unable or unwilling to close the gap. With only a couple of miles to the canal I had a frank conversation with my man Svein. I told him the directions once we hit the canal - 7 miles or so, turn left, see you later - and he asked me if I was planning on dropping him? I told him no that was for him to kick on ahead if he wished.

As we hit the towpath, my watch said 7:02 average pace. My plan was just to try to hold it there and run as even a set of mile splits as I could. Something in my mind seemed to be able to rationalise this being do-able. Last time I ran this stretch of canal, I shat my way to the finish from there in 5+ hours having already covered 125 in the GUCR, in comparison this shouldn't be too bad.

Svein stayed on my shoulder and I decided then that he probably couldn't pass me otherwise he would have done. As we neared check point 3 I decided to put the boot in, hitting the dibber board and kicking the aid station table in one fell swoop like a total amateur. It was so embarrassing. I managed to stay upright however, and I think the shock was enough to scare Svein. I held the same pace to the left turn at which point I checked behind and couldn't see him. 

The 'I'm running in the moment, just feeling the natures' is probably the right attitude for 100 milers, but in a straight time trial on a totally flat canal path, that approach is not correct. I decided this was the day to try to 'channel Zach Miller' (4:17: Vid. Another Vid) instead and basically just grit my teeth and run as hard as I could. Plumbing for a Gu gel every 20 minutes as I had from the start gave me just enough fuel in the fire and looking back on the canal as an overall it's one of the most pleasing sections of a race I've ever run. My watch at the finish said 7:03 miling on it, so I'd dropped about 30 seconds on the canal over my average split. I knew where they were too, fumbling a gu on to the ground 12 miles out, and hiking the ramps by Saino's with a mile to go (those ramps suck).

I figured from the canal turn that my time was likely to be around 4:56, but the urge to run under 5 was the over riding one. I knew that if I could sustain that I probably wouldn't get caught and in the end my splits from every section of the course were the fastest, so that was borne out. 

In the end I finished in 4:59:19, a pleasing 20 secs under my team mate Danny K's 2014 time, though I have resisted the urge to mention it so far. Ed Catmur's CR 4:48 is light years ahead. 

The standard in UK ultra's continues to rise. The average of performances this year were way above any that have come before in part due to the gradual improvement and longevity of so many in the sport. There aren't rafts of new names cropping up, it's the same guys and girls who are putting in the work year after year, accruing that vital base mileage that yields stronger performances. There are no short cuts in this sport!

-Thanks to the guys in our little lead pack for the company at the start, it made the time fly. 

- Congrats to my main man Drew Sheffield for bagging his 8th consecutive C2C finish, the only person to have kept such a record going. I can't wait for you to be that weird guy that people point at in a few years time and go, 'that dude has done them all. Surely there are other races out there?' Maybe they already are.

Drew & Claire (Photo: Tim Adams)

- Congrats to Sam Amend making the transition over from the road too for a super ladies course record despite some nav issues. And to Susie Chesher and Jess Gray for pushing her close. It's great to see closer, faster women's races. Our team runner Debs Martin-Consani ran the race too (below), getting in some early season miles and happy to enjoy the day, a solid work out as she builds up to her main season races ahead.

Drew, Debs, James. The Team at the Finish (Photo: Nick Greene/ Debs Martin-Consani)

Wainwrighting

Dec 10, 2015 (1 month, 3 weeks ago) | Posted by JamesElson | Tags: 2015

The line between what might be considered running vs climbing and mountaineering has blurred drastically in recent years. Sky Running has been around for many moons but in the last 5 years has seen a massive elevation in profile thanks to renewed sponsorships. Mountain ultra's have become the pinnacle of many a runner's racing career. They are the culmination of experience and time, a realisation of the energy required to move fast and light, often simply to exist safely in the mountain environment.

This summer over the course of one week, over half of our our ultra team were in the Chamonix Valley, their days and schedules converging at various points to combine in to various training sessions. The Alps in general are spectacular not because of their relatively modest overall altitude, but because of the level of prominence the surrounding peaks and their dramatic terrain. The relief from valley to the summits is breathtaking. The area demands exploration and to do that to the fullest, both running and climbing become important.

Here in the UK, the Lake District offers perhaps the greatest range of accessible terrain. It's possible to get serious pretty quickly in terms of steep ground, yet always be within a short distance from a valley or decent descent option. It's breathtaking beauty never ceases to amaze. One will often find themselves reaching for a camera but most of the time put it back in the pack, because what it'll produce just won't do justice to the experience as a whole of being there in person.

There are 214 Wainwright's in the Lakes, a catalogue of mountains as such. There are scores of other outstanding fells and 'tops' that didn't make Alfred's grade. Similarly there are one or two inclusions which make no sense at all. You may affectionately come to know a couple of fells by variations on their true titles. Armboth (Arm Bog) and Mungrisedale Common (Mung Bog) are undoubtedly two of the most sodden places in England and fail to inspire on an almost dazzling scale. However these are the exception. The majesty of almost every fell in the Lakes is awe inspiring. You are likely to come away with stories from a visit to each one. 

As ultra runners, sometimes we can use a break from the cycle of training and racing. Some are better than others at doing so. I've spent the last year or so racing hardly at all and had the most enjoyable period of running in 10 years by a long stretch. Towards the end of 2013, I started to recognise that I'd been chasing arbitrary goals for too long. A bucket list of races, times and PRs to aim for at various distances, a volume of racing that wasn't healthy or sustainable. Then somewhere that all faded in to the background and I'm left with the overwhelming desire, not to race at all. 

I've frequently been overwhelmed by what I've found in the Lakes. The way the land, the weather and the people who reside within that environment interact. In winter time, getting to the top of even a lowly peak can be taken away by the weather. We spent a whole week near Coniston one February where the cloud base didn't move above 200 metres and it rained and snowed the daylight hours of every day. That's absolutely typical of winter in the Lakes. 

Alfred Wainwright compiled his 214 peaks in to 7 volumes, each focused on a different area of the Lakes. The beauty of those particular fells are the opportunities they present and by visiting the higher ground opened up in part by Wainwright's descriptions, the Lakeland landscape begins to make sense. 

As a family we've picked lower/ outlying peaks as mornings or afternoons out. It's hard work carrying a toddler up peaks, but there are some that harbour accessible, relatively gentle inclines, putting them within reach of anybody with a healthy heart and lungs.

Holme Fell with Louis at 6 Months

They've also challenged me to work on my own mountain skills. Being up high in the Lakes when the weather is in, is an incredibly exhilirating experience. It is necessary at times to use all the experience you have to negotiate the terrain safely, particularly in mist or in the dark.

Paul Navesey Descending Hall's Fell, Blencathra

I haven't approached visiting Wainwright's fells in any specific order. There are the stand alone summits that can be reached easily enough from the valleys, but which offer no logical route to additional peaks. The great opportunity with the books isn't there. It's that they enable one to string together groups of fells in to the best running days out I've ever experienced. In April of this year, we stayed in Newlands Valley and spent the morning walking around Buttermere. I ran back on a route over the North Western Fells. It was the best 5 hours of running I've ever had. A day when the weather clears, the wind drops and the Lakes shine in all of their glory.

L to R Mellbreak, Crummock Water and Grasmoor from Whiteless Pike

Red Pike over Buttermere from Grasmoor.
Another Wainwright, Rannerdale Knotts dwarfed in the foreground.

The adoration isn't universal. Some local people feel quite differently about Wainwright's guides. They have opened up the opportunity for tourists and 'Peak Baggers' to head directly for remote peaks for no other reason than to tick them off of their lists. In many instances, that involves driving a vehicle as close as possible to the foot of the fell, often blocking farm access or passing spaces, disturbing the peace and tranquility of otherwise remote valleys, and leaving nothing in return for the local community. The same thing happens in Scotland with Munro-ists, in Wales wih people after the 3000's and most every other mountain range going.

Somewhere in there is a balance. What getting to know Wainwright will do, is open up the opportunity for non-Lakes residents to gain a much great understanding of the landscape and how the area links together.

My plan is to write a short piece on each of the 7 books. To give a few ideas for exploration, days out, fells to do with the family and those to put together in to the best of the Lakes. Of course, many of the best routes can be experienced by simply showing up with six or seven quid to a fell race.

Alternatively you could run them all in one go, as Steve Birkinshaw did in under a week in 2014, bettering Joss Naylor's 7 days and 1 hour. His blog is here. A video of his adventure is available here. It is well worth a watch.

I hope that the posts will give a few ideas to those heading out in to the fells for the first time. The most important thing to be aware of is the weather. That was brought home all too clearly last week when Storm Desmond brought 350mm of rain down on Honister in under 24hrs, a UK record, and the widespread flooding of Cumbria as a result was absolutely shocking. Always check the forecast (MWIS & the Met Office), always let someone know where you are going and always make sure you have enough kit on you to get out of trouble by yourself. Lastly and hopefully this goes without saying, don't venture in to mountains of any kind without a map and a compass and the knowledge of how to use them. 

I'll link the posts from here as I send them up. The North Western Fells are up first. After all, it's the yellow book....

2015 A100 Preview

Oct 14, 2015 (3 months, 3 weeks ago) | Posted by JamesElson | Tags: 2015

Could this be the most competitive men's/ women's Centurion 100 miler yet?

The start list for this Saturday's A100 is chock full of solid experienced runners who will all have their eye on the prize. Perhaps the men's field contains a clear favourite in repeat Centurion 100 mile Champ Ed Catmur, but there isn't otherwise a stand out name that looks set to run away from the rest of the field. The battle behind Ed looks set to be an epic, with the chance that if Ed suffers his usual late race fade, he may be overhauled....

In the ladies race, we have Sally Ford - winner of all 3 previous 100s in 2015 and going for the Slam with a 4th title, up against reigning champ and course record holder Sarah Morwood. What a battle this could be. Behind those two and similar to the men's field, there is a good number of exciting solid female runners who will be waiting in the wings should things not go as per the script....

As usual with this course, nothing matters until mile 50. The first loop times we see are usually off the scale leading to some almighty blow ups late in the day. Perhaps this race more than any other lures people in to neglecting their pacing. We'll see who emerges on top once the carnage has time to unfold but one thing is for sure, look for many of the early leaders to fade in the second half. 

Men's Race

Ed Catmur: 2013 Champ, 2nd in 2014. A man with a 2:32 marathon PB and so much experience is capable of running close to 14hrs on this course, and perhaps this is his race. Ed won the NDW100 in 18:02 a couple of months ago but slowed greatly in the final stages. At last years W100 his 3:03 opening lap was followed up by a 5:56 final spur. If he can run a solid final 25 he can and should be running clear of the field as usual. 

Ed at our very first event in 2011

Dave Ross: The journeyman. Dave's odyssey of racing continues on in relentless fashion. The Grand Slam record holder is looking for his 5th 100 mile finish of 2015, and comes off of the back of the Stage Coach 100 just 2 weeks ago. Can he recover in time to race as hard as usual? Almost certainly.

Duncan Oakes: Perhaps the most solid performer in the field. Duncan's last handful of 100 mile results read 1st NDW100, 5th CWC, 1st AofA, 3rd WHW, 3rd LL100. You can't argue with that. He perhaps doesn't have the out and out pace of Ed, but he'll be competitive all the way to the finish and fades less hard than most.

Ed Egelie: This man has 3 finishes to his name on this course including a 17:44 in 2013. He has reached new heights this year and is running his best season yet. Look out for him to break the 17hr barrier.

Ollie Stoten: Ollie has a couple of 100 mile finishes to his name and 2015 wins at the T60 night race as well as a very impressive early season victory at Country to Capital. Getting stronger every year, can he go all the way this time.

Sam Robson: Originally in for the Slam but stopping during the first 2, Sam's form is an unknown but he has some fine results historically to fall back on. 

Peter Kaminsky: 2015 SDW100 Champ after Stellan ran off course with 5 miles to go, and behind Sally Ford in the overall Grand Slam standings for 2015 by jus 26 mins, he'll have his eye on two prizes here....

Barry Miller: Barry brought home 3rd at this event in 17:14 in 2013. He's since gone on to finish the US Slam and ran Western States this summer. If he's in shape he'll be hoping to repeat perhaps his best ever run from a couple of years ago. 

Barry during the 2013 Event

Warwick Gooch: A super solid runner with lots of 100 mile(+) experience, similar to Duncan, he rarely fades and knows how to get it done mentally. Still remembered foremost for his stellar Caesars Camp win in 2012. 

Ziggy Stardust: Zig, the salty ol' dog, has a couple of half decent results to his name, but comes in to this looking for 'a different view on things'. If he starts which is not yet a given, it'll be more about his celebrity pacer than him. 

Women's Race

Linn Erixon Sahlstrom: Linn ran close to Sarah and Debbie in the 2014 edition of this event before dropping. She has some good results behind her including wins at CTS Sussex and the Imber Ultra in 2015 - she'll be looking for retribution here. 

Sarah Morwood: Reigning champ and with mostly extremely good results in 2015. She picked up the wins at the SDW50, Race to the Stones and just a couple of weeks ago the 3 x 3000 up in the Lakes. These amongst others. A DNF at UTMB may play on her mind a little but unlikely, she's always smiling and is a joy to have at events but is a fierce competitor and she will want to win this one. 

 

Sarah flying in 2014

Sally Ford: Champ at the first 3 x 100s of 2015 including most recently a course record at the NDW100. She'll be looking to make it the Slam of wins, but also finish first outright in the Slam overall by holding on to her 26 min advantage over second place Peter Kaminsky.

Sarah Sawyer: Sarah bagged her first 100 mile finish at the TP100 this year, and went on to win RTP Ecuador this summer. Look out for a strong second half and for her to close down anyone ahead.

Wendy Shaw: This must be Wendy's 11th or 12th feature in a Pre Race Preview. She perhaps doesn't have the speed against the front 2, but she knows how to get it done and finish strong. Has well over 1000 Centurion miles to her name. Experience counts for so much here.

 

As usual if anyone is missing that you feel warrants a mention please do leave a comment. Live timings will be available on the website during the event.

James

2015 NDW100 Pre Race Preview

Aug 05, 2015 (6 months ago) | Posted by JamesElson | Tags: 2015, Preview

A quick fly through the possible contenders for the title of Champion at the 5th edition of the North Downs Way 100. Race Start Sat 8th August at 0600.

The Course Records at this event belong to Ed Catmur, 15:44 from 2013 and Alice Hector who ran 20:10 in 2012, a time which stands 1:44 faster than any other lady on this course. 

Men's Field

Ed Catmur: Ed is the existing course record holder and has run the event 3 times, finishing 4th, 3rd and 1st. Last year was a slower race for him as he faded to a 19:44 but he rarely stops and has marched out a few 100s rather than simply drop, to his credit. When he raced Anthony Forsyth in 2013 to the only ever sub 16hr time on this course, he ran a brilliant race and with the strength of a few behind him, may get pushed to do the same again here. This year he's already raced 3 100 milers, finishing 1st at the Spine Challenger and the Jackpot 100 in Nevada, going on to pick up 2nd at the Malvern Hills 100 in May. Recently he dropped from the Dragon's Back but perhaps that will leave him in better shape for this race.

Peter Kaminsky: Always smiling, Peter was our SDW100 champ in June of this year. He is a prolific racer with almost 100 Ultras behind him in the last 6 years, including many victories. Perhaps most notably his win last year at the 230km Tour de Ruhr, and a sub 30hr Spartathlon finish. He is running the Grand Slam and currently sits around an hour ahead of Dave Ross' 2014 GS Record.

Peter with his trophy after winning the SDW100 back in June

Luke Ashton: We've seen Luke run a number of Centurion 100s in the past but he recently turned in one of his best with a 2nd to Peter at the 2015 SDW100 in a superb 16:52. That coupled with his 8th here last year put him in great shape to step up from two 2nd places at our events, to his first win.

David Pryce: 2nd at the 2014 TP100, David was pushing Ed Catmur all the way in the final stages of that event and I am sure the man who also won the 2014 Piece of String Fun Run will want to push for the win here. 

Oliver Sinclair: Ollie has been on the circuit for almost 10 years now and has results to his name which impress. He's won Caesars Camp 50, The Pilgrim Challenge on this very trail and had the Hardmoors 55 Course record until Kim Collinson bettered it this year. He ran the NDW50 back in May to a top 10 and has recently returned from Davos. We will see whether he can push the other four (and perhaps others) this weekend....

Ladies Field

Sally Ford: So far in 2015, Sally has raced the TP100 and SDW100 and won them both. She has come in to her own this year after steady improvement in results. As a Grand Slammer I am sure she has her eyes on 4 victories but this may be her sternest challenge yet in what is, time-wise, our toughest course.

Elisabet Barnes: Elisabets win at this years MDS catapulted her in to the main stream so I am not sure if this race will still feature in her calendar, however it would be great to see what she can do if she runs. She has raced four ultras in 2015 and won them all - nothing yet as long as 100 miles....

Wendy Shaw: I mention Wendy every time. 10 Centurion 100 milers, 8 podiums, Grand Slam record holder - but as yet no win. She will be looking to get revenge on this course after last year where she heartbreakingly but sensibly decided to stop at Dunn Street with just 4 miles to go. 

 

If you'd like to mention someone who is missing please do so by commenting below. The website homepage will change to show the live results feed link from this Friday. 

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    Wainwrighting: The Yellow Book
    Notes on the North Western Fells As I get around to finishing running each of the…
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