Its was kind of a late decision to do the Langdale 1/2, Team mate Rob McGraph was doing the full marathon [ you can read about his amazing performance below-in his own words] and it seemed like a good excuse for a long weekend in the Lake District and meet up with some of Niz's friends. The day dawned with a perfect blue sky and light winds [ideal race conditions], Rob drove us all down, setting off at 8.30 in the morning for the 12 noon start. Once parked up in the field close to the start we got out and took in the awe-inspiring views, we were in a lush green valley with volcanic looking mountains erupting up all around, Their summits reaching high into the fluffy white clouds above. There was about 500 runners at the start [ 100 including Rob running the 2 lap marathon], my plan was to start easy then take the first mountain climb steady before pushing hard to the finish, well it didn't quite work out like that, as from the start I had heavy unresponsive legs which never seemed to let me push it to the max! The first mile was slightly downhill and I let the nutters shoot off to self-destruction and melt down. As we approached the first gruesome climb I slowly made my way through some of these fast starters. Once onto the climb proper the narrow road zigzagged madly with lots of hairpin bends into the distant horizon, I tried not to look up too far, but one could not but stare at the incredible views across the valley. Once at the top there was no time to relax and recover as the road plunged downhill at a suicidal angle, the legs took a hammering as I tried to run as smoothly as possible, it seemed to help to concentrate on picking your heels as fast as possible using the hamstrings. I went past a few more runners and slowly got onto the back of a small group of runners as we approached the next hill at 4 miles. The second main climb was not to bad and before I knew it we were into the next crazy descent, more undulations followed before the next shock, we crossed a main road then turned down a narrow lane round a corner and the road climbed up a 1 in 4, a girl I'd been running with shot off into the distance as my legs refused any more effort! Round another corner thinking I was at the top of the hill only to find another section of road climbing into the distance, more corners and more climbing through the tree lined road followed, I took a wrong turn and headed back letting a guy who was a good 30 sec behind catch my up, finally we came out on top of the mountain to be faced by even more crazy suicidal downhill running, it was At this point I was thinking of Rob having to run this lap twice 'CRAZY'! The last couple of miles were an endless series of undulations back to the finish, the guy I was running with pulled away, I concentrated hard trying to imagine that the finish line was pulling me in on a magic elastic band, finally the welcoming sight of England flags flapping in the wind, came into sight as I reached the finish line, I finished in 11th out of over 370 runners, feeling a bit pissed off that my legs had felt rubbery and heavy from the start of the race, but man that scenery was 'priceless'!
Rob came through the first lap only 3 minutes behind me looking happy and relaxed! and you can read his amazing account below. In the evening Niz and me and friends Linette and Andrew went night clubbing in Kendall, dancing into the early morning [ how many 25 YEAR OLD'S let alone a 48 year old can run the hardest 1/2 in the country and still be able to dance the night away] it was a great weekend and I want to come back for the full marathon next year- shit did I just say that!
NOW READ ROB'S REPORT'
He had to endure over 4770 ft of climbing on his way to 2nd place in the Marathon, AWESOME!
Report by Rob McGrath
A very sunny Sunday morning in September and Rick Bowker and Rob McGrath went to the
With a fairly flat first mile to start with before starting a very tough 2nd mile which even saw some of the leading runners walking. I settled into what seemed like a very gentle pace on a downhill section as Rick ran off into the distance. The course was never flat and some of the undulations would be described as hills in other races.At 8miles we were greeted with a sign that said 1 in 4 hill ahead, and that was followed by another couple of uphill miles. 10miles down and 72mins gone, perhaps a little too quick.
The 1/2 marathon runners began to peel off to the finish, with Rick taking 11th place, and 1st v45 in 1hr 29min. A cracking result.
For the marathoner runners it suddenly became the "loneliness of the long distance runner". I was in joint 4th place, with a man called Steve who used to live in
Put this one in your diary as even the 1/2 is well worth doing.
PHOTO, ROB finishing the marathon
Great Langdale Half Marathon
Great Langdale Marathon