Read on for Pete Wilson’s report on this year’s Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon
Starting at Wasdale Head early Saturday morning Team Wilson Junior (myself and Ben) set off to complete day 1 of the Harter Fell class of the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon. The day 1 course, with 10 controls to be visited with a distance of 16.5 Km and 805m of ascent, started with a very steep ascent out of the Mossdale Valley. Having reached the ridge top the gradients lessened and a mixture of running and walking allowed us to catch the other Wilson family teams by the 4th control. On the way to the 6th control we met the legendary fell runner Joss Naylor who at 76 was out for a run. We kept up with him on the downhill but he left everyone behind on the route up to Seatallan summit. From here the route was mainly downhill to the overnight camp. The Day 1 time was 04:52:32 with a class position of 61st. More importantly we were the fastest Wilson family team by 10 minutes.
After a poor night’s sleep in a small 2 man tent all the equipment was packed ready for the 8am start. The controls were given out at 6:45am and we discovered the route with 11 controls, 17.7km and 830m of ascent. The day was much cooler with clouds on the high summits. As on day 1 we started behind our closest Wilson family challengers. The route for day 2 started gently but over very wet and swampy ground for the first 4 controls, following this we had our first steep ascent of the day between controls 5 and 6. Climbing into the clouds we caught the leading Wilson family team just past control 7. We then walked together to the high point of the day just below the summit of Pillar. With 3 controls to go it was all downhill, albeit very steep at times. We completed the course with David and Kate Wilson in a time of 05:45:34.
Our overall time for both days was 10:38:06 with a position of 71st (out of 130) and most importantly winning the Wilson family challenge by 16 minutes. A great event and I would recommend it to anyone thinking competing in a mountain marathon.
Roll on next year!