30 March 2008

Potter Fell darkness run

John Leech writes about the 19th March run

We had a good turnout for the Wednesday Darkness Run last week:
Drove into the car park round the back of Wheelbase, Staveley, not knowing how many runners to expect, three being most likely – Steve, Adam and myself.
Wowee, too may heads to count, two dogs, Dave Aspden , Martin, Mike W,Dowy,Duncan, Tim, Dave D., a surprise appearance form John H previously renown for statements on how crazy darkness fell runs can be, and then, just as we’re about to set off, that distinct sound of squealing tyres and smell of burning rubber announced Greg’s arrival.

I can’t share much of the route, but the general idea is a clockwise circuit starting on the road but soon switching to a steep climb up a field then onto Potter Fell via a couple of small reservoirs. It then turned into a figure of eight up to the highest point with splendid clear views over to Kendal and beyond. There is something quite magical about being on the fells at night – before I tried it I shared John H’s view of sheer lunacy – but you really have to be there to understand. The conditions were ideal, firm footing and a clear moon to mean that head torches were only really needed on occasion. I think Steve ran the whole circuit on sonar as he only ignited his dimming bulb to show haw faint it was and to curse his rechargeable battery. I felt the same about my performance, my batteries clearly not feeding enough power to feeble legs.

Maximum entertainment was provided near the end. A slight navigation error (well, it was dark) added a further few miles along the flat, and the lead group took us through what turned out to be a private farm ,as the owner was pleased to tell us, and like a bunch of scolded school children we backtracked and looped round to the main road.

So onto the rehydration station and muse at John H wisely taking a guide dog with him.