The Tebay Fell Race Walk
2nd July 2009
you are taking part in the Tebay Fell Race. John Lennon
might have thought that itís easy if you try; Iím
not so sure but, go on, imagine.
now that you have finished in the top four and your
points count for the international championship. Iíll
bet you are feeling pleased.
a minute. Someone is alleging that you failed
to visit the second check point. Is that correct?
You ought to be disqualified,
was that? You visited the check point but there
was no one there? How come the remaining 300 plus
competitors were registered there then?
sure? There was no one there? Let me check
with the marshals. Iíll get back to you.
Iíve spoken to the marshals and they confirm that they
stood where the have stood for the past five years,
at the southerly cairn on Ulldale Head.
so thatís not what it says on the route map- they should
have been 100 yards further north-west? The marshals
were in the wrong place? Is that what you are
saying? Yes I see. What are we going to do about it?
that had happened to you; you might not be best pleased!
Or you might accept that it is your duty to make
sure you visit every checkpoint, even if mislocated,
and in this respect you failed. Where do you stand
on the debate?
Stan had been the marshal at check point 4 which was
in the right place and he was not party to the controversy.
Bryan thought it would be a good idea if we were to
walk the route of the event, held a couple of weeks
ago. The winner went round the alleged 8 miles
and 3,000 feet of climbing in an unbelievable 1 hour
9 minutes. The slowest runner took 2 hours
50 minutes. Anything approaching that time would
be a miracle (although both Stan and Bryan, in their
pomp, have done it well inside two hours).
made it seem such a good idea was that it was relatively
short and there was the possibility of thunderstorms
in the afternoon so an early finish would be welcome.
i.e. Bryan, Pete, Stan and me, set off at a good pace
from Tebay, into the rather untidy Lowther Estate with
its ambiguous warning about "No Dumping Permitted" and
that "Persons found dumping will be prosecuted". Americans
please take note.
have been warned!
We passed some wild ponies and a farm reminiscent
of the Grundies with several out of tax cars strewn
around, then progressed onto the fellside of Weather Hill.
The passage of so many fell runners had left a
clear trail on the ground in a terrain where otherwise
there are few footpaths.
trail across Weather Hill
We dropped down to Eller
Gill and then climbed up to the first check point at Rispa Pike.
So far so good. It was warm and quite sunny
but there was a pleasant breeze blowing. A good spot
for a team picture at the shelter.
route to controversy
here it was a fairly easy climb up to Uldale Head, the
site of the above controversy.
Kent Estuary from Uldale Head
Ponies and the Langdales on the descent
a new controversy blew up. How to cross the valley
of Carling Gill to climb to the third check point on
Knowles? Bryan was sure that when he did it, the
race route was the direct descent to the valley and
the equally brutal climb up on the other side. It
was only as we reached the top that he noticed the marks
on the ground of several hundred runners who had taken
a longer but more traversing route around Ulgill Rigg.
race route traversed round to the right. We came
The steepness of our ascent in the now unrelenting
midday sun had taken its toll and we lingered over lunch.
It was very pleasant apart from the cleggs. I
have never seen so many and have two large swellings
to prove that they bite! One couple were having
a moment of ecstasy together so I granted their wish
that it could last for ever.
Back Balk there was a steep descent back to Carling
Gill during which we saw the Red Arrows flying in formation
Lune Gorge. The climb to Blease Fell was looking
intimidating. This time the race had taken the
direct route. Halfway up, Pete, who was suffering
from the intense heat and not having one of his
better days, opted to contour round the hill and miss
out on the joy of witnessing exactly where Stan had
logged the runners. He and Bryan agreed to meet
up with us at Knott.
Fell from Knowles
mans checkpoint 4
and I made it to check point 4 although it was hard
work. There was then a minor barney as to which
way to go to find Knott but once I convinced him that
this was different to Powson Knott we assumed the correct
direction. We were there well before our colleagues
whom Stan spotted in the distance.
regrouped and bore off left alongside Tebay Gill and
back to the village. Here we met a man with his
dog. The first person we had seen all day. As
we drove home, there was a splendid view of the last
three check points and the challenges we had faced.
Fell, Uldale Head and Knowles from the road home
time? Not relevant, this was a walk, not a race.
But we did visit all the checkpoints! And
I am totally in awe of anyone who actually ran the course in
under three hours, never mind 1 hour 9 minutes!
2nd July 2009
If you want to comment on this report, click on
2nd July 2009
miles: Stan & Don
miles: Pete & Bryan
feet: Stan & Don
2,939 feet: Pete
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0921.
Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your
meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted
using the freeware utility GPS Babel."
For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells
Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
but is in memory of
the erstwhile landlady
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale,
who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on
If you want to join
let us know and
of new BOOTboys reports.
: A Gordon Day Out
: Thank You,
Wednesday 14th January
: A Wicked Hike???
: Take a Mug With You
: Down in the Forest
: Not How But Where?
: Binsey Can Wait
(but Uncle Monty Can Not)
Thursday 12th February
: Badgers on the Line
: It's not a W!
: Up on the Roof
: Not the Blisco Dashers
Thursday 2nd April
: John's Comeback
Monday 6th April
: Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
: Companions of the BOOT
: The Gale Force Choice
: The Comeback Continues
28th May - 2nd June
: Has Anyone Seen Lily?
Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
- BB0921 :
The Tebay Fell Race Walk
: For England and St George
: The Coniston Outliers
Friday 31st July
: Little To Be Said In Favour?
: The Third Night of the Rescue
: Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
: Dear Mrs Scroggins
Friday 11th September
: An Ard Day's Hike
Thursday 17th September
A Canter of Convalescents?
International Autumnal Expedition
Sunday 27th September
- BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
Thursday 1st October
- BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
Thursday 8th October
: When Yorkshire Was Welsh
- BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
Thursday 22nd October
: A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
: Aye Up What?
: Where Eagles Wade
: After the Floods
: The Mystery of the Missing Glove
: A Too Short Walk
: One Hundred and Onesfell
: Back to the Beginning
: BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
- 21st March
: Los Chicos
y las Chicas de la Bota
11th - 14th May
: Peaked Too Soon
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
download a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!