Commonwealth fell running

chemweno2 This last weekend’s been a memorable day for Keswick and Cumbria as the town has been host for the first Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Championships. It’s a fitting place to kick off the push to include fell running in World athletics and the Olympics as the world’s first organised fell race took place in Grasmere in 1850.

The town was host to many new faces and Latrigg, high above the town, the best place to watch the unfolding excitement. Runners raced out of Fitz Park, crossed the bridge over the A66 and then climbed the steep routes over Latrigg and – for the uphill only events – took the long path up to Skiddaw (931 metres).

Fell running is a great sport and exacting too! Full details of the runners and times can be found on the Commonwealth Championships website, with KW Chemweno from Kenya winning both the Skiddaw uphill only and Latrigg up and down races in the fantastic times of 50.42 minutes and 47.55 minutes respectively. There are excellent pictures of the participants on the Woodentops website; and more details of the event in the Keswick Reminder (18 September 2009).

Not to be outdone we will be including a new section on the website with details of easy fell running routes from The Larches. These will include the Figure of 8 run up Comb Beck (3.9 km and 212 metres ascent), the Marshes circular via Braithwaite (7 km and 100 metres ascent) and the Barrow circular (4.15 km and 332 metres ascent). Watch out for details for an easy introduction to fell running!

Many miles without stiles

latrigg1 It’s not Keswick’s highest peak but for convenience and fantastic views Latrigg takes some beating; and it’s a top that is almost always visible from our Belvedere (See the right hand fell in photo taken from The Larches).

Last week after a day’s work I took the easy route to the top heading SW at first from the parking area. Approaching from the Keswick side last winter, we’d decided to leave the top section because ice and frozen snow had made conditions so slippery. It’s not always a doddle this walk.

What I hadn’t known was that the route (No 38) I was now on had been developed as part of the Lake District Planning Board’s Miles without Stiles new scheme to promote walking for those with limited mobility. It’s a great project and needs more publicity as it helps to put many of the Lake District tops, lakes and fells within the grasp of those using wheelchairs or pushchairs and people with visual impairment.

IMG_1346 Just hours later I found the Keswick Reminder’s ‘Chinese Bridge Ready on time’ story (21 August 2009) about the walk round Derwentwater. So here was another favourite, (Route No 34) which is also part of this same scheme – and it’s fun for children too! More details are on the Things to do section of the Planning Board’s website.