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Shap to Grasmere

This was the first of many recce days prior to the big event next year.  Whilst I hope to have some company during my crossing of the country – hopefully helping with the navigation but I can’t rely on it.. I also know from experience in Adventure Racing navigation uses up energy.  So if you are familiar with where you are going it will ultimately be easier.

So this little trip was to run / walk from Shap to Grasmere.. most people take a day and half for this section.   It was an early start, Jim Rounsley and I caught a bus from Kendal at 7 am – the big bus only found 2 other passengers and it cost us the mighty sum of £2 each.

I learnt a few important lessons on this day.

  • Those leg warmer things don’t work on my legs.  If anyone driving through Shap saw a man hoiking up these tights every 10 pacers early one morning that was me.
  • Inhalher – I forgot my asthma inhaler, it was encouraging to find I didn’t need it but we did walk for the 1st hour until I warmed up.
  • Maps – thought I’d be clever and print the route on 1:50K maps.  Thats all fine for the mountains but for the navigation across fields between Shap and Haweswater it was challenging.  1:25 next time.

OK so we picked up a few pork pies / sugars tested and we were off!  But not going fast what with the leg warmers / navigation and the wheeze bag of a diabetic athlete.

I always find it refreshing to see new views and parts of the country so close to home.  It was great to chat to Jim and jog along the side of Haweswater.. I kept thinking perhaps this would be a cool bridleway to MTB along (but it is a footpath).

Climbing the hills up towards “High Street” (that’s a hill by the way).. we entered the cloud and for a moment became slightly misplaced.. all good experience and reminded me that when I do this next time it could be dark.

It was a great run down to Patterdale where we met a couple of old boys who asked us if this was the way to Shap.. oh hell I hope they made it.  Patterdale had the delights of a pleasant village shop that served tea and cake.

We then set off up Grisedale valley and over to Grasmere – not being that steep it seemed to go on for sometime.  The run down was a steep grassy slope and one that only should be done with fell shoes.

Grasmere was our finish line – where we found our next bus back to Kendal.  This time we were definitely on the tourist line with it costing £7 each.

Back in Kendal, shower at Ant & Sally’s and then off to Pizza Express – happy days and a great day – recommend it to anyone.


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