So my first mountain marathon is complete and I really really enjoyed it. We entered the Wansfell class, the simplest class, which meant a total of about 20 miles and 2000m ascent over the two days.
We arrived late at the event centre due to Virgin trains, which was a blessing in disguise as we avoided a night with the sportident dibber attached to our wrist. Thanks to @sifriday we had a large tent to leave at the base camp.
Saturday went well. Conditions on the Howgills were amazing, possibly too hot at times but it meant navigation was easy. We managed to find all of the controls apart from the penultimate one, a stream, relatively quickly. Despite the fact we were fast walking (fastpacking?) most of the day we completed it in just under 4 hours, which meant we got to the overnight camp nice and early.
The overnight camp was very good; we enjoyed a dip in the river followed by a couple of drinks watching the other competitors arrive in various states of fatigue. The most notable feature after an interrupted night of sleep was the midges in the morning - they were everywhere. We also pitched our tent in the wrong place as we were a little too close to the slamming doors of portaloos.
The second day we had an 7.15 chasing start as we were leading our category. We knew that if no-one overtook us we would win. The first checkpoint was the only one we had genuine route choice decisions to make and we ended up taking the longer but more runnable route. After that it was a case of following a ridge path, following a valley path, getting a bearing from a cairn to a sheepfold and then straightlining it back to the final check. We were second off the fell and the first in our category.
During kit check the marshall was laughing at our equipment selection and suggested we could have gone considerably more lightweight and less bulky on many items.
Got a nice photo with endurance legend Nicky Spinks to celebrate our Wansfell victory. We will definitely be back for more and a more challenging course in the future.
It was less boring than road running.