Coledale Horseshoe – sun, snow, rocks and ribs

The second fixture in the Poly fell championship┬áand the first ever to feature a lakeland classic attracted 9 hardy souls. ┬áThe Coledale is a tough race, 8.5 miles with 3300′ of up and down with the first climb taking out 2000′ of that in one lung-busting go. ┬áBy way of some consolation, it is staggeringly beautiful.

Grisedale Pike summit with Crag Hill beyond
The second climb (right hand edge of the shadowed face) from the summit of the first – yikes!

Conditions were wonderful: clear skies, light winds, some patches of snow and sun, yes – actual sun.

Will Robson showed some serious class to finish first from a strong suit of Polyfellers. ┬áContinuing his annoying habit of making it look easy, he breezed home, occasionally touching the ground…

will coledale
Will floats down the final descent to claim maximum points

Chris Rowe powered home next, with Jon Heaney not too far behind him – the Lakeland native showing plenty of people a pair of muddy heels. Scott Ellis, resplendent in new fell shoes got pipped by Jon on the last climb up little Barrow but stayed ahead of Graham Lewis-Dale who ran with a Go-Pro attached to his forehead – that’s got to cost a minute or two?! ­čÖé Hopefully, exiting footage from that to follow….

chris coledale

jon coledale
Jon ‘Suggs’ Heaney, finishing well as the first climb of the race looms large behind him

Katherine Davies continued her run of strong recent performances on all surfaces with a terrific run, taking 15 minutes off her previous time in this race and claiming her now customary first Polyfilly place. ┬áHer time might have been faster if she hadn’t have briefly stopped to kindly enquire as the crumpled heap that was Mark Smith, who fell in the fast descent from Sail and cracked a couple of ribs and picked up some sympathy inducing cuts and grazes. He walked the last two miles and recorded a finishing time at least. ┬áThanks also to DJ who pottered down from his photography perch to walk him to the end.

mark coledale
Mark clutching a couple of broken ribs and having a bit of a sulk

Lisa Henderson won the “what the hell was that?” award having perhaps had the severity of this course hidden from her by the “ah, you’ll be fine…” brigade. ┬áShe was indeed fine and did brilliantly to complete the course and to complete the key mission of getting us all back in just about one piece.

Well done to all that made it round, a special thanks to DJ for photos and patience in waiting for us all to come back as well as for including this terrific race in the championship.

The championship returns to the Lakes in May for the Fairfield Horseshoe, but not before a trip to the Cheviots and the new ‘Pendulum’ race on May 1st.