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The Karrimor Great Trail Challenge
Sunday 1st June 2014

The Karrimor Great Trail Challenge

My visit to the Lake District for a long weekend culminated in running the 11 km/7 miles around Keswick in the Karrimor Great Trail Challenge. I wasn’t aware of the race until the day before the event when on our way up to Skiddaw I walked by a sign pointing in the direction of the start. Using my mobile phone I learned that registration was still possible until 5 pm in the afternoon. We continued our way up Skiddaw and luckily I made it back in time at 4:45 pm to register for the race next day.
Even so I was feeling a little tired from walking up Scafell Pike and Skiddaw during the days before, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to run in this magnificent area of England.
On the day about 600 runners lined up for the 11 km/7 miles (not accurate) run. In addition to the “mass” start, a “senior men home countries international race” featuring some of UK’s top mountain runners started at the same time.
The first 4,5 km were fairly easy going along the river Greta leaving Keswick. It ended abruptly with a steep uphill part gaining 100 m (328 feet) in 1 km. After a short downhill it went up along Latrigg Fell until about 8,5 km and from then on down to the finish line. The winner of the Manchester Marathon 2014, Andi Jones, for Team England won the race and coming in second was one of the best mountain runners from Ireland, Brian MacMahon, for Team Ireland. About 13 mins later I managed to finish 23rd overall in 53:44 min, which excluding the elite men was 8th place in the mass start.
The race was very well organised and marshalled. I can recommend it to anybody who wants to try out mountain/trail running. It is definitely not a real fell race therefore suitable for the regular Castle Hill runner.

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