Saunders Tour of the South Lakes

Well done to Helsby Runners Jackie Keasley, Rachel Arnold and Andy Robinson who enjoyed two days of great scenery participating in the Saunders Tour of the South Lakes. Please enjoy reading what they got up to!

This weekend over 1100 runners took part in the 31st Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon. The race has many courses of varying distance and endurance from the ‘seemingly impossible’ singles Klets down through the just slightly more possible Scafell, Bowfell  Kirk Fell, Carrock Fell, Wansfell and Beda Fell pairs classes. Helsby’s Rachel Arnold and Jackie Keasley competed in the Bowfell class along with Andy Robinson and friend Chris Vardy.

Rachel & Jackie set off at 8:30 on Saturday in pouring rain and low cloud but, as if by magic and as forecast, it soon cleared and we were off on our non-stop tour of the lakes – breakfast in Coniston, elevenses in Little Langdale, lunch in the gaze of the Scafells, afternoon tea in Eskdale and dinner at our camp at Duddon –  with the flanks of Pike O’ Blisco, Crinkle Crags, Stoney Tarn (what a beautiful unvisited spot) and Green Crag visited enroute. The next time it poured down was right at the end, but by then it just did not matter! An evening of continuous eating and chatting was spent at the stunning (and normally quiet) Turners Hill campsite before we continued on our weekend tour pulling in Harter Fell, Hard Knott Fell, Little Stand, Great Carrs, Swirl How and for the finale a comprehensive tour of the Coniston Copper Mines area!

Well done to Andy and Chris who finished 18th overall (15th age corrected) in the Bowfell class in a total time of 11hrs 57mins.

Rachel and Jackie finished 40th overall (don’t ask out of how many) in a time of 14 hrs 52mins and were delighted as they just kept going with no navigational errors – all weekend another pair of ladies kept whizzing past them as they were much faster runners, but then kept going wrong – their mini challenge was to win the tortoise and the hare race and they did!

The overall winner was Stuart Bellamy who won the Klets in a total time of 9hrs 49mins. This was in part thanks to Rachel who happened to spot him in a panic because he was late for Sunday’s chasing start and helped him quickly pack up and get off.  If you cant beat them, help them!

Many thanks to Jackie for this article.

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